“Think happy thoughts.”
“Be more optimistic.”
Chances are we’ve all been told something similar at one point or another. We find ourselves down in the dumps and unable to get out of a rut. Friends, parents and mentors come along side us and try to offer up whatever lackluster encouragement they can muster at the moment and then move on.
Really helpful, right?
What if I told you there was a simple solution to getting yourself back on track?
It is one little thing you can do on a daily basis.
Here’s the secret.
Positivity has to do with more than just changing your internal dialogue. It is often far easier to change yourself from the outside-in, than from the inside-out.
Let me explain.
Do you think that you are more likely to be positive by thinking about happy things (puppies, meals with friends, etc) or by going out and doing something positive for yourself or someone else?
I would argue that you will get longer lasting spurts of positive energy and emotion from doing things than anything else.
Action always trumps inaction.
Maybe work has been rough on you for the last few months or your marriage just isn’t clicking the way you want it to. You’re sad, anxious, upset, and somewhat depressed that things just aren’t going very well right now. So, to get yourself back on track you decide to do something about it, instead of just waiting for the season to pass.
You get up, go to the store and buy $5-$10 gift cards to Starbucks for everyone on your immediate team at work. Then you buy a pack of thank you notes. You go home and hand-write a personal thank you to everyone on your team at work, regardless of whether or not you like them. Force yourself to write about the positive things about that person and why they are a great addition to the team at work. Go out of your way for them. Then pack one of the gift cards in each envelope, seal them and deliver them the next day at work.
Even if you never hear a peep out of the people on your team to acknowledge what you did, you will immediately feel a sense of accomplishment and a surge in positive emotions because you have done something for the others on your team. And by expecting nothing in return, you find yourself overwhelmed when the people on your team do come to you to praise you and thank you for the kind gesture.
By doing something simple like investing $50 in the people around you, a bond of positivity has been created between all of you. There is a high likelihood that your actions will infect someone on your team or even the teams around you to do something similar in the coming weeks. Positivity is contagious.
Doing something positive is always better than trying to will yourself to be positive.
Don’t think positive, be positive.
Do you have any experience with forcing yourself to BE positive? Tell me about it in the comments!