Positive Vibes feels like an Insta-worthy t-shirt slogan you’d see at a music festival. It’s used loosely, without meaning, and most people don’t actually think about what it means to…
Positive Vibes feels like an Insta-worthy t-shirt slogan you’d see at a music festival. It’s used loosely, without meaning, and most people don’t actually think about what it means to take on a positive approach to life. It could quite happily stay as a hashtag, but we wanted to take a closer look at how positive vibes could actually change your life
We know that developing a positive mindset isn’t always easy, especially when life gets stressful. However, these pointers are designed to make your 2019 better than Beyonce.
Stay in the now
Be present. Easier said than done right? With all the digital distraction we have on a daily basis, our minds are neither here nor there. Staying present, and not wandering into the past or future, is the first key to developing a sunnier outlook on life – and it can help your mental health too. It is said that while depression means we are stuck in the past, anxiety means we are stuck in the future. Being in the now releases our minds from stresses that are not in our present.
The easiest way to keep your mind in the now is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a sort of mind training in which you constantly bring your mind back to what you are doing in the present. For example, usually if you are making a cup of tea, you may turn the kettle on, walk away, do something else and come back when it boils, but instead try this – keep your mind focused on the action at hand.
Focus your attention on your breath, then notice the rumble of the water starting to boil, and how the leaves dance when you pour water over them, then the way the liquid turns to amber and the steam rises from the teacup.
Instead of wandering off, trying to be time-efficient, and bouncing between tasks, choose to stay present with the task in front of you, and you’ll start to feel that positive shift within. There is a lot to take in from one tiny action, and doing things with mindfulness is a life-changing practice.
In the chaos that is the 21st century, still moments can be few and far between. The power of stilling the mind, through meditation or breathwork is extraordinary but a can often feel unattainable for the normal person – but it doesn’t have to be.
Osho says “Meditation helps you to grow your own intuitive faculty. It becomes very clear what is going to fulfill you, what is going to help you flower.”
There are many different kinds of meditation. Guided meditation is a helpful way to access meditation for beginners and experienced meditators alike. You can find all sorts of guided meditations on YouTube or look up some local meditation groups and give it a go in person.
Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting still for an hour, because if we’re perfectly honest, that isn’t sustainable, which is why vedic meditation or mediating with a mantra can be beneficial – and it allows you to meditate anywhere, for short periods of time.
There is a very useful app by 1 Giant Mind that will help absolutely anyone get into a meditation routine. It only requires 15 minutes a day, and it’s the perfect way to invite stillness into your life.
Don’t take things personally
“What other people think of me, is none of my business.” – Dr Wayne Dyer
This might sound obvious but it’s a pillar of happiness that often gets overlooked. Taking things personally makes you ungrounded. It causes you to turn something small, into something big. By taking things personally you are choosing to suffer, and it is suffering without purpose.
No good comes from taking things personally, and by doing so you are giving a huge amount of power to the person who is offending you. Interestingly enough, 100% of the time, the attack/insult, isn’t about you – it always about the person doing the attacking. It is their issues that are coming up in the attack, you are just who they’re firing at. So choose not to take things, good or bad, personally. Be strong enough in your sense of self, that what others say or do won’t affect you.
So simple, and yet one of the most powerful choices you can make towards a positive mindset. The Western world isn’t accustomed to feeling gratitude unless it is for something big. We are nurtured to always strive, to work towards, to achieve. With this ever-achieving mindset, we often focus on what limits us, at our failures and setbacks. We forget to look at what we do have, when we zoom in on what we don’t have.
A way to bring more gratitude into your life is having a gratitude journal or even a gratitude column in your diary. Everyday list 5 things you are grateful for. They can be little things like, sitting in the sunshine on your lunch break, or being grateful of the kookaburra that laughs when you hang out your washing, or how someone stopped the lift doors from closing so you could get in.
Tiny things that could pass us by without acknowledgement, but if we stop and appreciate them and give thanks for them, it can change a bad day, to one that had some happiness in it.
Be aware of your thoughts and emotions
According to Dr Joseph Murphy, your subconscious mind is a darkroom that develops your belief systems into your outer world. Murphy explains in his book The Power of the subconscious mind, that our beliefs and thoughts have greater weight on our lives than we realise, “For example, if you believe that sitting near a fan will give you a stiff neck, your subconscious mind will see to it that you get a stiff neck. It is not the action of the fan which represents innocuous molecules of energy oscillating at a high frequency, that will cause your discomfort, but your erroneous beliefs. The fan is harmless.”
With this theory in mind, it serves to be aware of what belief systems rule our world and how our thoughts can affect our daily lives.
One way that our thoughts can hinder or help our happiness is by learning to control them. We can’t control the world around us, we can’t control terrible situations, but we can control how we respond or react to things, how we feel about them and how much energy we give them.
Say you get fired, you can’t control that situation, you cannot force your employer not to fire you. However you can control how this situation affects your life. Of course, being fired is a hurtful situation to be in, but it doesn’t have to impact your world in a devastating way. You could choose to fall down a pit of despair and fear, or you can see it as an opportunity to open another door that you may never have had the chance to if you stayed in your old job.
It’s all perspective. If you have control over your perception, you are in control of your happiness. No matter what the situation, if you mind automatically turns to the negative, remind yourself that there is another way of looking at this.
The F word
Probably not the first word that comes to mind but it is one that is just as powerful – forgiveness. Forgiveness can be one of those uncomfortable things to talk about because it requires an action of letting go, and most humans are not adept to letting things go.
Forgiveness is a very private action. It has nothing to do with the other party whatsoever, in fact you can never talk to someone ever again – and still forgive them. Forgiveness is releasing someone’s hold on your thoughts and emotions. When you’ve had a big fight with someone, you are almost guaranteed to be consumed by it. It saturates your thoughts, your emotions, your conversations. In the beginning it can be cathartic to “let it out”, but very quickly this action turns from soothing to toxic.
People can hold grudges for years, decades even, and the funny thing is, the grudge doesn’t affect the person you hate, it only affects you. Holding on to trauma, betrayal, hurt or hate, is only toxic to you. It doesn’t impact the other person at all. So ask yourself, how important are they, for you to allow them to affect your life so negatively? If you spend your life waiting for a sorry or a resolution, you may be carry the grudge to your grave, so love yourself enough to forgive them.
Forgiveness isn’t a service for the other party, it is a service to yourself. By releasing them, you are releasing yourself. Let forgiveness be your new favourite F word!
There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way
The idea of taking on a positive mindset can seem flippant to some people, but positive vibes isn’t just a fad, it is an attitude that can impact your life in the most dynamic way. Making the choice to see things more positively, and aim to be the best version of yourself, is choosing to lead a life of happiness. By making small changes, joy will become effortless, and when you live through happiness, it’s contagious!