3 Steps to Adopting Positivity as a Habit

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We have all heard that it can take at least 30 days to make somethinga  habit.   In fact I was inspired by an article over at Tiny Buddha about 3 Keys to Being Happy to write more abougt how being positive and happy can become a habit.
It seems many of us have a bad habit of being negative, pessimistic, or overly dramatic about a variety of situations in our everyday life. 

Okay, so stop being so negative.   That's the problem.  You can't just stop doing something (like a bad habit) because it creates a void.   Instead you have to replace it with something else. 

We stop smoking cigarettes and replace it with a piece of gum.

We do jumping jacks whenever we start giving in to our snack food craving.

So the key to becoming more positive is to replace a negative thought with a positive one.  Of course that will be challenging at first, but since it takes 30 or more days for something to become a habit, you have plenty of time to condition yourself. 

I put together 3 steps to help replace your bad habit of negativity with a good habit of positivity.  If you practice these consciously for the next 30 days you will come back here and be able to leave a comment telling me how easy it is now that you've made it a habit from practicing so often! 

Step 1:  Every morning write down 3 things you are grateful for.

You can do this on paper, on your computer, or on your phone.  They can be big things or small ones, silly or important, specific or vague.

For example:
1. Your best friend (for letting you cry on the phone to her last night)
2. Your job (it's paying your bills)
3.Your car (it get's you to work so you can keep your job)

Whatever they are, choose 3 things each day that you can think of with gratitude.   Even if it's the same thing each day, there's nothing wrong with being grateful for a job every single day.

Feeling stuck?  
Then take your negatives and transform them into something to be grateful for.

"My car takes forever to heat up" becomes "I'm grateful for a car that starts so I can get around"

"I'm so tired today" becomes "I'm grateful to be able to wake up in the morning and be alive"

 How This Conditions You:
 Don’t you see already?

1. You’re taking things you normally only thought about in a negative way and you're pointing out the best in them.    You don't really go out to your car every morning and exclaim how much you absolutely love it now do you? In fact you probably only bring your car up when you are complaining about the fuel efficiency or a funny sound it's making.
2. You are becoming aware of what's around you and how you perceive it.  You are also becoming aware of how you allow it to make you feel.

Step 2: Say positive to yourself OUT LOUD each morning.

Once again it can be big or small, silly or important, specific or vague.

"I love my eyebrows"
"I have a great sense of style"
"I did a great job on my workout this morning!"

Feeling stuck?
What do you normally complain about? Your hard to tame hair? Your sore muscles?

Think of the positive once again.
“My hair is so frizzy” becomes “I have such nice  I have a nice thick head of hair”

How This Conditions You:
1. You start to focus on what you have going for you. You start to give yourself more love and attention.
2. This is essential for a healthier state of mind.  No matter how many outside influencers give you compliments, you can't have a healthy confident mindset until YOU learn to identify and compliment YOURSELF.  

Step 3: Start accepting what you cant control. 
 You’re in line at the grocery store and the cashier is moving as quick as molasses. 
Sure, you may have been able to control that by picking a different line BUT how were you to know that the cashier would be this way?  
And, you can't go back and reverse it because it's in the past so you have to STOP, breathe, and let it go. 
Feeling Stuck?
When you start to get angry over something, ask yourself if you can fix the issue at hand.  If you can, do it.  If you are sick of being tired in the morning, go to bed earlier each night. 
If you can't do anything to fix it because it's beyond your control, take a deep breathe and imagine yourself pushing the issue physically away because it can not be resolved.
It's a beautiful thang!
So what benefit will come from doing all of these steps?  Well...
When you go to complain about the "stupid" traffic jam making you late during your commute you'll realize:
1. You're lucky to even have a job that you can go to today.
2. You can't help that the accident happened, but next time you can leave a bit earlier. 
3. You'll breathe and let it go.
4. You'll identify the good that can come from the bad.  You now have some extra time to go over your notes for the meeting you have this afternoon. 
When you are upset because you have a cold and it's making your day at work SO EXHAUSTING you'll realize:

1. You're lucky that you were blessed with life and still woke up today.
2. You can't help that you caught a cold but in the future you can make sure you take your vitamins and get more rest. 
3. You will see the brightside.  You now have a great excuse to cancel your extracurricular activities and veg out on the couch!

What do you think the biggest challenge to this process will be?

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  1. Love this. I am actually usually a pretty positive person. I thank God each night for 5 things specific to my day. Anyways, shortly after I read this post, I started to complain about something. I can't recall now what it was. Maybe that my Internet wasn't working? Then I said something along the lines of, "But, ya know what? At least I have Internet available to me in my home." And I was thinking of this post when I said that.


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