Mental & Emotional Health
My Best Ways to Stay Positive
From the evening news to Monday morning blues, there are things that happen in life that are sure to take your happy mood down a notch. For me, worrying about my job, my (lack of) relationships and any caloric intake over my ideal number per day thanks to one-too-many glasses of wine can throw me into a sad state. So how do I get back to my sunny side? Here are four of my top tips.
Work It Out Early. We all know that exercise leads to the release of endorphins that can keep your mood elevated, so why not make it the first activity of the day? There’s nothing like starting off my morning with some grueling intensity, which always puts me in a better mood to handle life’s daily stresses. It negates the agony of worrying when I’ll fit in my daily workout. It also counterbalances some of the caloric damage I could do later.
Write It Down. Attitude is a choice – you actually have to decide to be positive and upbeat. But when the world doesn’t seem to want it to be that way for you, it’s easy to forget. So I write it down, literally. I once was in a job that made me miserable. My co-workers were mean and my boss (five years younger than me) was always on my case. One afternoon, she brought me into her office and told me I was on probation, and over the next few weeks they would evaluate if I should stay in my role. Instead of panicking (well, after a little panicking), I sat down and wrote a list of the ways I wanted to feel in the office.
My list included: I get along fabulously with my co-workers; I make invaluable contributions to the team; I really like my job. I wrote it in the present tense and kept it in my wallet. I read it every morning and throughout the day, sometimes out loud. And I noticed, rather quickly, that there was a shift in the energy around me. My co-workers were more relaxed and affable. I noted how I could improve my work (making my daily to-do list and sticking to it) and implemented that system. Within two weeks, my boss pointed out how my attitude had changed. It saved my job and my sanity. Write post-it notes for your mirror, hang signs on the wall – whatever it takes to remind you to be your best and be happy while achieving it.
Act Like A Child. Ok, I’m not telling you to have a tantrum when you don’t get your way, though I have done it and sometimes, it’s a glorious feeling. Remember the things that made you happy when you were a little girl? Was it playing in the dirt? Find a community garden where you can volunteer your time. Were you a boss on the soccer or kickball field? Why not take it up again? For me, the former high school musical diva, I make sure to get in some serious karaoke time at least once a month. Reclaim those childhood activities that left you feeling exhilarated, and find creative ways incorporate them into your very grown-up life.
Dance, Dance, Dance! This may be my favorite. When I’m feeling low, it’s time to get up and boogie. I like to put on my favorite female anthems: Beyonce’s “Run The World (Girls)”; Katy Perry’s “Roar”; anything by Adele. I shake my hips and whip my hair back and forth. First, those endorphins snap into effect. And there’s something about listening to your favorite tunes while letting your body move freely, the way nature intended. It’s almost impossible not to bring a smile to your face when you let it go.
Now go be happy!