The reason babies like to be picked up is the same reason you and I like to be inspired – it changes our perspective. Psychologists suggest that the average person has over 60,000 thoughts in a day, and unfortunately 75% of them are negative.
Below are five tools that can help you change your perspective and your thoughts.
1. Upon waking up, ask yourself, “What’s going well?”
Even on our worst days, we can all find something that is going well. Sometimes I ask myself this question and my only answer is, “well, I woke up today.” The importance of this question is not found in the answer, but in the process. The second you change your internal language from a negative to a positive, you begin the process of thinking optimistically. At the end of the day ask yourself again, “What went well today?”
2. Move your body.
Whether you go to the gym or go for a walk, make sure you are moving every day! Not only does exercise help us all shed unwanted pounds, but it does wonders for the psyche. Exercise sends happy signals to our brains causing us to be less stressed, sleep better, and feel more confident and capable of handling whatever comes our way each day!
3. Do the tiny actions that support the things you care about!
Even for those of us who are lucky enough to enjoy our job, when Sunday night rolls around we begin to start feeling the “Monday Morning Blues.” Just because the work week is beginning, doesn’t mean you should stop doing the things you love until Friday comes. Make time for family, friends, hobbies – whatever it is that you love to do, make time for it! You may feel as though there is not enough time in the day to do it all, and you’re right. There’s not. When you are feeling stressed, remember to ask yourself: what should I stop doing? What should I continue to do? What should I start doing? Distinguishing the difference between the shoulds and the should notsis difficult, but it is vital to making happy choices. The second you get rid of the should nots, you can begin to add the things you love into your day.
4. Get rid of the negaholics in your life.
You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind – or negative people. The conversations you have with the people who surround you will automatically shift your thinking. If these conversations are positive, you will continue to have positive thoughts; if these conversations are negative, you will continue to have negative thoughts. Part of your decision to be happy is to get rid of the ‘negaholics’ in your life – sometimes this means encouraging them to make happy choices with you, or leaving them behind.
5. Find the humor.
The simple act of laughing relaxes your entire body, releases endorphins, boosts your immune system and protects your heart by increasing blood flow. Why on earth would you ever go an entire day without laughing? My number one goal when I wake up is to make my wife laugh—if I can get her to even chuckle a little bit I know that I have had a successful day. Watch your favorite comedian on comedy central, spend time with your kids, or dance like nobody is watching; as long as nobody gets hurt, do whatever you have to do to laugh every day!
We all deserve to be happy. If you are struggling to even begin using the tools I offered above, repeat “I deserve to be happy” over and over again in your head. Start saying it out loud. Change your language in order to change your thoughts and belief about happiness; there is no use wasting another second waiting to change your perspective.