How To Manage Negative Thinking

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Negative thinking can have a detrimental effect on our lives and can cause us stress, anxiety and depression. For a lot of people it has become a habit – always seeing the glass as half empty rather than half full. You may not think there’s much difference between the two but one can lead to a happy life and the other a much less happy one. The consequences of a negative mind are less confidence and lower self-esteem, less happiness, less energy, less enjoyable social interactions and less health benefits. What may seem like just a habit can subtly lessen your well-being and quality of life without us even necessarily realising it.

Negative thoughts are normal. First of all, it’s completely normal to have negative thoughts. We are all processing billions of thoughts a day and for these to all be positive would be a tall task. Negative thoughts are all part of normal human functioning but it’s when the negative thoughts outweigh the positive and start having an impact on our daily lives that the problem occurs.

Your thoughts aren’t true. When we start to realise that what goes on in our heads isn’t reality then it becomes easier to make peace with them. How we view the world isn’t how someone else views the world and it’s important to remember this. It’s the same in that, if someone else thinks or sees something negatively, it doesn’t mean it actually is something negative.

Is a problem still a problem even if you don’t think it’s a problem? Ponder this question for a minute. If something you thought was a problem suddenly wasn’t seen as a problem anymore – was it a problem in the first place? This shows that the ‘problem’ never actually existed other than in your own mind. If you think like this then you can start to realise that most of our negative thoughts aren’t valid.

You don’t have to believe your negative thoughts. With that in mind, you don’t have to believe your negative thoughts. You have a choice to believe them or let them go. You just have to be open to the fact that life isn’t out to get you. We can go through, and learn from, negative experiences but ultimately we have the power to see things a certain way.

Positive thinking is always going to be beneficial to our overall happiness. Consciously seeing the positive in a situation rather than focusing solely on the negative is where we want to be but getting rid of negative thinking by just being more positive isn’t necessarily the way to achieve this.

It’s really important to notice our negative thoughts for what they are. Accept that the negative thoughts are only in your head. The tiny step of noticing the thought and not believing it is where the growth really lies. Once you get used to doing this then negative thoughts will go as easily as they came and it’s in this space that you can adjust the thought to a more positive one.

The more you appreciate why negative thinking does not have a positive impact on your life, and why you are better off without it, the more your mind will be motivated and energised to get rid of it. Your brain will start to naturally see the glass half full and life can start to get a whole new perspective 🙂

 

 

International Day of Happiness!

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Today is International Day of Happiness! The 20th March every year is the day that the United Nations have officially elected to be a day of happiness and to acknowledge that every person has a right to be happy and to experience happiness in their life.

Of course, happiness shouldn’t be experienced on one day just like all the other official or unofficial days throughout the year but it is a lovely reminder that happiness is out there 🙂

I thought I’d list the objectives listed on the U.N’s website as I think it sums up what the Day of Happiness represents 🙂

  • Do What Makes You Happy

Smile, share, eat healthily, exercise, be grateful, give back, think positively, spend some time with friends and family, spend some time alone, be mindful, dream, listen to music, say thank you and mean it, compete, be charitable, say “all the more” instead of “nonetheless” – you get it. Do what makes you happy.

  • Spread Happiness

While you’re doing whatever it is you do that makes you happy, don’t forget to do whatever you can do to make others happy! Happiness is contagious. A simple smile can make even a stranger’s day much brighter. You’ve seen the Coca-Cola commercial, right? It’s not a gimmick. Watch it; you will smile! Spread happiness.

  • Tell Everybody

There are more than 7,300,000,000 (that’s 7.3 BILLION+) people on this planet. Each one of them has the right to happiness, and not all of them know it. Tell them. Tell your friends, your family, your neighbours, your co-workers, and your boss – hold your government accountable for securing your happiness. Tell yourself, and remind yourself: happiness is a fundamental human right, and happiness for all is a fundamental human goal. Tell everybody.

  • Celebrate The International Day of Happiness

Article 2 of UN Resolution 66/281: International Day of Happiness

Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate awareness-raising activities.

Celebrate the International Day of Happiness.
Every March 20th, forever.

  • Support Campaigners

Since the International Day of Happiness was established in 2012, thousands of happiness initiatives all over the world have emerged to celebrate and promote its values. Happiness Day’s annually increasing success is due in every way to the organic uprising of mission-based organizations including NGOs, government programs, private sector marketing campaigns, and community-based movements. Support our campaign partners.

 

So go out today and do at least one thing that makes you happy and if you feel inclined, let me know what that is 😉

 

8 Ways To Create a Positive Day From Your Morning Routine

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We all know that starting the day on a positive note can set us up for a more positive day. But how often do we do this? How often do we intend to get up 15 minutes earlier but once that damn alarm goes off we reach out for that snooze button?

A lot of the time we can end up rushing too much in the mornings which can inadvertently cause us unneeded stress, anxiety and panic. But is this really necessary? Do we realise how much a structured morning routine can help us with our day and overall happiness? Don’t get me wrong, I know how hard it can be sometimes to get the strength to get out of bed especially if you’ve had an unrestful night sleep or you have trouble sleeping in general. But there’s a great power in getting up a little bit earlier.

1. Appreciate and enjoy your morning shower. We can enjoy a slightly longer shower that wakes us up better. It’s a small price to pay for getting out of bed earlier. If you’re really brave, then try a cold shower – many, many health benefits but in truth one of the worst yet most invigorating experiences I’ve had! (Not for the faint-hearted!)

2. Make time for a good breakfast. The act of not rushing around results in us being more mindful. We have more time to make a decent, healthy breakfast and actually savour it setting our body up with a good injection of fuel instead of grabbing the easiest or unhealthiest breakfast – or worst still, no breakfast at all 😮

3. Meditate. A great thing to do is actually meditate every morning. I started doing this about a year ago (no, I’m not a mediating guru – my mind wanders all over the place!). Now I’ve somehow managed to make it well and truly part of my routine – it clears my head, sets me up for the day and puts my brain into mindfulness mode which carries on throughout my day. I really noticed how much it changed my outlook and helped me cope with the day ahead.

4. Don’t expose yourself to negative news. Cut out listening to or reading the news. In an earlier post Is The News Having An Impact On Your Happiness? I talked about how listening to the news (which is primarily negative) can deplete your happiness. If the news is the first thing you immerse your mind in then perhaps stop. Read more positive news – you want to protect your positive vibe as much as possible.

5. Don’t check emails and social media. I’m sure most of us are guilty of this. You wake up and the first thing you check is Facebook, Twitter, WordPress 😉 or emails. I’m not saying to stop checking but try not to let this be the first thing you do when you wake up. At least try to reduce it. Facebook especially can sometimes be a downer which we don’t need first thing in the morning.

6. Spend time outside. If it’s a nice morning, spend time sitting out in the garden or porch. Maybe eat your breakfast out there. Go for a quick walk and just appreciate being out in the fresh air.

7. Exercise. The morning is a perfect time to do your exercise routine. It gets it out of the way and releases those endorphins that carry on all the way through the day. Whether it’s running, cycling, yoga or just going for a walk. It will do wonders for your outlook.

8. Be present with the people you live with. Some of us have kids to deal with in the mornings which can cause us to rush, get stressed or frustrated. Get up a bit earlier and allow yourself to enjoy the moments you have with them. With more time you can appreciate the little conversations you have with others instead of frustration-induced rushing. You’ll be more relaxed and create a much more positive atmosphere which will rub off on those around you.

Our morning routines are really so crucial for our happiness. Having that extra time in bed may seem like a good idea at the time but at what price? We are robbing ourselves of the opportunity to have mindful moments, chances to set up a proper structure to the rest of our day and ultimately screwing with our happiness levels. It might not seem like much but implementing a solid, relaxed routine will help you in many ways and increase happiness much more than you realise 🙂

How Smiling Contributes To Our Happiness

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We all love seeing people smile. We all love making people smile. It’s a fundamental human trait. It’s also highly infectious and seeing someone smile causes us to react with our own grin even if it’s with a stranger.

Smiling is something we did often as children – smiling, laughing, playing and just being in the moment and enjoying it. I think I read somewhere that children laugh and smile around 200-300 times a day while adults, on average, only smile around 20 times. What the hell happened?! I guess many would say that life happened. Stress, worry, anxiety happened – everything that comes with modern life and ‘adulting’.

Everyone knows smiling is good for us – we release those feel-good endorphins and we all know these help us to feel happier and less stressed. There are numerous other benefits too – a hearty laugh exercises the body and stretches our muscles, it helps release emotions and also helps draw people positively to us – we can seem more approachable and confident to others and they’ll react better towards us and in the right way it can resolve conflict. And what’s the number one trait people look for in a partner? Someone that’ll make them smile and laugh.

So if this is a huge key to feeling happy and getting us into a positive state then perhaps we should try and consciously smile a bit more?

Fake smile. Scientific studies have shown that even if you form your face into a smile (in other words, faking a smile) your brain is tricked into thinking you’re happy and releases endorphins. So this is a great exercise for you to do to up your happiness a bit (perhaps try this alone lest you look like a loony in the street gurning at yourself!) So much strong evidence in the field of research is coming through about just how much our body and physiology affects our thoughts and feelings.

Do things that make you smile. I think sometimes we tend to forget to do things that actually make us smile. We don’t always consciously go out of our way to do these things. Find some music that brings back fond memories and have a dance around for 5 minutes – anything.

Spend more time with people that make you happy. These people can work wonders for getting us out of a funk sometimes and help those smiles come to the fore more often.

Watch a funny film or TV comedy. Always a winner here – guaranteed laughs and smiles all round and can really lift our vibration.

Smile as much as you can. When you’re out and about try smiling more at people. Smile at the shop assistant. If you catch someone’s eye just give them a simple smile and carry on. These are little instances but you’ll eventually find that smiling will instantly put you in a happier state.

Being mindful about smiling can be hard especially if we don’t always feel like we have anything to smile about in the moment. But perhaps try to be more conscious of it and smile a bit more in your day-to-day life. In most cases it’s become a habit to not smile and just get on with our work, chores and the millions of other things we need to do. But just give it a go, even just for a day. Be aware of how much you smile or don’t smile and see how it changes your perceptions and your overall vibration and well-being 🙂