Imagine it is the perfect spring day. The sun is shining and warm. At the coffee shop you are given a free cookie with your usual coffee order. You show up to work on time, everything goes smoothly. You get home early enough to make it to your favorite workout class and then enjoy a healthy and delicious dinner. You are perfectly content and happiness comes easily.
It is now the next day, you wake up to pouring rain. Due to the weather you get to work 15 minutes after start time, which means you are late for your first meeting of the day. Your boss has words with you about your tardiness. To make up for it, you stay late and pick up takeout from the place you don’t love, but is convenient, on your way home. Ugh, everything is so irritating.
The reality is that all of our lives are made up of days like the two described above and everything in between (and sometimes even circumstances beyond). Even though you may try to live both days with the same level of positivity, the reality is, it is much easier to be happy when things are going well. Sometimes things come up that really rattle us and throw us off our game. This is inevitable, however the important thing is to rebound quickly and get back on a constructive track.
From my own experience, I have found that maintaining a positive perspective (even during the most testing of times) is a skill that needs to be strengthened and practiced everyday. For some it may come perfectly naturally, but unfortunately for the rest of us, there is some homework to do. Though you do have to put in the effort, there is definitely a lot to be gained from your dedication. By spending a little time everyday dedicated to your practice you will find your mindset shifting, and obstacles in your life won’t seem so insurmountable anymore. Think of this work as a safety net you set up each day, that keeps you from falling too far down the rabbit hole when life’s setbacks get thrown your way.
The two tools I am currently using in my daily practice are: the book Find Your Happy and the Miracles Now card deck (both pictured above and available on Amazon: Find Your Happy, Miracles Now). Find Your Happy is a book of 365 positive mantras that take you on a yearlong journey of positivity. I am a night person so I like to read one mantra at night and then try to keep in mind the lesson as I go through the next day. With the Miracles Now card deck I randomly pick one card in the morning, and let that set the positive tone for the day. Between both exercises I spend no more than 10 minutes a day, but with time and consistency I have noticed both are making a significant improvement in the way I see the world even on those not so stellar days. We cannot change the things that happen in our lives, but we can control how we respond to them.
What positivity practices can you incorporate in your own life?