What Is Positivity
I do not know the dictionary definition of positivity, but to me it is a mindset. You know the old age question, to see whether someone is a pessimist or an optimist.
‘Is the glass half empty or half full?’
I believe the root of positivity is being thankful to have a glass in the first place. I feel that positivity starts from a place of gratitude. That is tip number one.
Have you heard of the 22.214.171.124.1 grounding exercise? It’s often used to help people who are experiencing anxiety to focus them and bring them back into the present moment. You focus on
5 things you can see
4 things you can feel
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
I like to take this one step further and think about why I should be thankful to be experiencing these things. I often find myself doing this in the shower to stop my mind from running away with itself. Which is easy today, when you don’t have any real external stimulation.
Although doing this exercise proves that is not true, we have become desensitised to a lot of it, but that’s another story.
Below are some examples of how I have used this exercise to experience genuine gratitude.
I can see my body
Although I have my issues with my body, like most people do. It has allowed me to carry and birth 4 children. It allows me to express love towards my friends and family. It allows me to cook, clean, run, enjoy great food and music and to laugh.
My body is what ultimately allows me to experience life. Whether I have saggy boobs, bunions and a spare tyre round my tummy I have so much more to be thankful for.
I can feel the water
Water. Such a simple commodity that I take for granted every.single.day. I do not have to worry of my water is contaminated or if it carries life threatening parasites. I do not have to walk for miles to retrieve it or limit myself to one bucket per day. The fact that it comes out of a shower warm as well. It’s a luxury that I often do not consider and when I do. I truly feel grateful.
I can hear the heater
I used to hate our shower room, it’s so cold with only a little heater and in the depths of winter I would feel so hard done by that this little room was so cold. However, there is a heater in there and if I pop it on 5 minutes before I use it, it’s actually quite toasty in there. I am lucky that I don’t have to really worry about the cost of running that heater.
I can smell the shower gel
Yay. I have shower gel. Not something to really get excited about, but when I think of it I have multiple shower gels, scrubs etc and some are gifts. Which mean I have people in my life who care about me.
I can taste the coffee
Coffee, yum. It’s 12 on the afternoon and I am at home having a shower after having had a coffee. Ezra is napping and this is what I am grateful for, that at 19 months I am still able to be home with my boy. Yes, there are times I wish I was working but there are women who have to go back to work mere weeks after delivery. I am so very lucky I have a choice.
The Media We Consume
This is such an important component to being positive for me. We are bombarded with media from various outlets. Some we can not control and others we have direct control over. Particularly television, films and social media.
I personally believe I have something called Sensitive Personality Disorder. It basically means you are a highly emotional person and you can be deeply affected by the media you consume. I do not like horrors or anything containing lots of blood, death, sexual abuse and even psychological thrillers can be difficult for me to watch.
This is why I haven’t really watched Game of thrones. I have seen a few episodes and it’s just not for me. This is the same reason I couldn’t finish D’jango unchained. I understand others such as my husband really enjoy these types of media, but as I have got older I have realised it is OK to say ‘I’m going to sit this one out’. I’m not weak or boring or over sensitive. I am just more affected by these things and find it emotionally draining to watch and I don’t experience pleasure from them.
I used to watch a lot of soaps and so I get the appeal, however now I do not watch them. I find them far too depressing. They are very captivating and you tend to feel like you have the connections with the characters, but watching them constantly battling against life I find particularly draining. I think this is also because we have no impact or influence over the results. There is also the fact we dont have a television license either so we don’t have access to the main channels they are broadcast on.
You may think what on earth do I watch. I like comedies such as The Big Bang theory, Friends and recently I have got into Jane the virgin and Lucifer. Then there is YouTube. I love YouTube and watch mainly videos to do with minimalism, families and motivational speeches too. As I have mentioned before in previous posts I love a good podcast as well.
When it comes to social media Twitter, Facebook and Instagram I try my best to ensure that the content I see is positive and inspiring. I went through a phase of following a lot of accounts that I was comparing myself too and ended up making me feel rubbish. The people who made these accounts weren’t trying to make me feel bad they were just showing elements of their lives.
My discomfort truly said more about my state of mind rather than the actual content. I speak a little on the subject here. It came to a point where I had to make a decision not to see these accounts. There is no shame in this. I think it is actually a mature and responsible decision to make. I’ve slowly added some accounts back over time as I have explored and made peace with why I found them so difficult to view. It is our job to be aware of and actively monitor and cull what we even as adults see as it directly impacts on what we feel.
Laughter is good for the soul. When we truly laugh, you know the kind when you accidentally snort and you just forget about everything that has been worrying you. It’s like it lifts a dark cloud and you can see with a clarity that you didn’t have before.
Find your source of laughter. Here are some examples of how I get my laughter on :
Watch a funny movie
Watch stand up comedy (live if you can)
Ask kids to do a funny dance and join in
Reminisce with friends
Watch some funny vines
Do something childlike eg trampolining
Let a child do your hair and make up
Whatever makes you laugh. DO IT MORE. Bring the laughter, fire up those happy neurones, bring some positivity and clarity. Remember everything you have to keep helping you push on and move forward.
So there you have the Part one with the first three tips. I hope they are helpful or at least a little thought provoking. Let me know if you try any of these and if they work. I hope you will come back for parts two and three. Thanks for reading.
Much love and many thanks