If we measure our own positivity against the average person’s positivity it is not much of a benchmark. We need to work on it ourselves and determine our own metric.
This weekend I created my own circle of negativity, which is so easy to do. Once you send one negative thought they all want to pile in!!
The power of “Yet” rather than “I will never achieve this…” Instead re-programme your brain to say I have not achieved this “Yet”. This powerful insight comes from Professor Carol S Dweck who is author of Mindset.
Shawn Achor the author of the “Happiness Advantage” explains how we need to change the lens of how we see things. First year medical students have what he describes as the medical syndrome where they learn so much about diseases in the first year that they start to embody the symptoms.
We also must be aware of judgements on other peoples happiness as we can only predict 10% of others happiness based on external factors. You have a good job and a great partner “You must be happy”. However happiness is how your brain is processing the world. We can control our own brains, but it is not going to help if some-one is telling you to be happy based only on their external evidence.
If our brain’s our processing the world which will determine our happiness, look out for the influences that affect you. At the moment we are bombarded by negativity in the media, if we let all of it penetrate we will walk around with the World’s responsibilities. How many times do you hear the news during the day, perhaps just once will keep you up to date, but continuously throughout the day might let the negativity spread?
Shawn Achor describes in his TED talk that a school that was hosting a Wellness Week, with various talks spread out over the week entitled:-
- Adolescence depression
- Eating disorders
- Bullying and violence
- Illicit drug use
He said to the school what you have outlined is a sickness week. Change the formula for the brain, rather than the negative, what could those workshops be about instead…
One of the formulas for being happy is to work to a 3:1 ratio.
- New opportunities
- New experiences
- New or enjoyable interactions
Each week think of any of the above to make your 3 to counteract one negative opportunity/experience or interaction.
Train your brain to focus on the present what is the positivity you feel in the moment. Society measures success on getting better and better. If you are waiting to be happy it limits your brains potential for success. We constantly think there is a happiness horizon based on completion.
Take time to scan the positives. The chemical in the brain (dopamine) is what we release when we feel positive so measure how often you are releasing it:-
- 3 gratitudes (what are you grateful for in your life? – focus on what you have not what you lack?)
- Journalling – daily/weekly record the positives (think of the 3:1 ratio)
- Exercise – getting outside gives you a new perspective
- Meditation – take time to do nothing
- Random acts of kindness – rewiring your brain is about being optimistic for others
By doing these rituals you will be scanning for postivity.
Enjoy the week and stay positive, please get in touch for one to one coaching email@example.com