One of my favorite characters on Parks and Recreation is Chris Traeger, the eternally positive and upbeat city manager of Pawnee. He is litereally Motivation Monday, personified. The smile never leaves Chris's face, and he tutns everything negative into a positive. Chris cares for his body and health (in a somewhat obsessed way), and makes everyone feel special.
I am not that person.
I'm not sure anyone is that person. But I do know people who have a positive outlook on life. They are happy, generous and people you want to be around. I struggle with negativity, as I'm sure many of us do. I find it can be easy to get caught up in all the wrong things happening, all the bad situations you are in, all the misfortunes. Whether it's waking up to an Alexander kind of day or a rough season in life, negativity is hard to combat.
But not impossible!
I've been trying to employ Positive Tactics - little habits I'm hoping to create in some of the corners of my life to change my overall perspectives. Sometimes small changes lead to big transformations of the mind and heart. Here are a few ideas on how to eat some Positive Pie in your own life:
Write it DownKeep a positivity journal. You don't have to call it something cheesy like that. But have a place where you can write down 5 positive things that happen every day. Before you go to bed, open up your journal and recount your day. Even the most terrible, horrible, no good very bad days have good things in them. Find the diamonds in the rough, or turn a negative into a positive. Maybe your kid didn't nap - but that means you got an extra hour of snuggle time. You burned dinner, but it meant a fun family dinner out. You are struggling financially, but it is making you stronger. Write down the good things and go back every once in a while and read them as a reminder that life is good, even when it is bad.
Share itWhen you love something they say to set it free, right? When something good happens, however small the victory, share it: over a phone call, in an email, on Facebook, across Twitter. Find the good thing that happened on a bad day, share the good news you've been waiting to hear, share the triumph. As people celebrate you, it is a reminder that you have love and support. You are never alone! Sharing something makes it real, and confirms that, yes, there is good in the world.
Maintain your moodI shared last week about the Bad Day Downward Spiral: you start the day off wrong, and every small thing that happens piles on top for the perfect storm of the Epic Bad Day. If you find you struggle to come out of a bad day and are more of a Negative Nancy than you'd like to be, make an effort to lift your mood. Consistently work on combating bad moods!
Restart the DayAlong with maintaining your mood, stop a bad day in it's tracks. I find that when the Bad Day Downward Spiral starts, I become negative, irritable and impatient. My poor kids! So when I find myself snapping, yelling and losing my temper, I take the advice of a friend of mine to "Restart the Day." This can look however it needs to for you: a scenic drive, a trip to the mall, some quiet time to regroup, a fun activity, an impromptu dance party. Take that moment to shift your focus, to breathe in deeply, and change the trajectory of the day. Restarting the day is one step to managing your mood!
AccountabilityBeing negative on a regular basis not only brings you down, but it brings down those around you. Who wants to talk to the Debbie Downer (wah wah wahhhhhh) who ever has anything happy, good, positive or nice to say? If the realization has struck that you are, in fact, a Debbie Downer, enlist the help of a friend to hold you accountable. Let your friend know the things you'd like to work on, and have them hold you to it. Give them permission to call you out or say difficult things. Knowing someone is looking out for you can help you focus on being more positive.
Take the complimentHow often does someone say something nice about you, and instead of saying "Wow! Thank you!" your response is more, "Oh, no way I look awful in these pants I have five more pounds to lose I'm so awful at cooking it wasn't that funny I'm not really that good at painting blah blah blah NEGATIVE." Here's my simple challenge: when someone gives you a compliment, give them a grateful thank you. And mean it!
What are your tips and ideas on keeping a positive attitude? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!
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