Seven simple ways to increase your feelings of positivity and happiness.
I’m sure we all know at least one of those really happy people. Those people who are always super positive no matter what. Those people who interrupt your gripe sessions, reminding you to look at the bright side.
I am so not one of those people. And I’m sure some of you can relate.
If you are the kind of person who sometimes need a little boost to stay positive during challenging times, I am right there with you. As I’ve gotten older, I have learned a few techniques to help me feel more positive when I need it most.
Journaling can be such a helpful tool to help improve your mindset. I don’t mean a dear-diary recollection of your day, I’m talking about strategic journaling. Beginning the day with a few minutes of journaling, jotting down what you are grateful for can help you focus on the good things in your life, even if the going is tough at that moment. If you’re looking for a new journal to help get the ball rolling, The Five Minute Journal is a great way to structure your thoughts!*
2. Fresh air
One of the best things you can do to center yourself, and feel more positive is to reconnect with nature. Hear me out on this one – I am NOT a hiking/camping/outdoorsy mountain woman by any means. So if you aren’t, that’s totally okay too. Really, all you need is a bit of fresh air. That could mean taking just a 10 minute walk during your workday to calm down from busy tasks, or even opening a window nearby if you can’t make your way outside. Breaking up the stuffiness.
Okay, “pretties” sounds a little ridiculous. But again, hear me out. By pretties, I mean anything aesthetically pleasing that brings a smile to your face. That could mean having a pen or notepad that is your favorite color. Or (my favorite) a vase of your favorite flowers in a place where you will see them often. Being able to enjoy small things throughout the day that lift your spirits can work wonders. Keep them nearby for a little boost whenever you see them.
If you aren’t already listening to podcasts, its time to get with it sister. No matter what you’re into, there is a podcast that can pique your interest. Listening to uplifting, inspirational podcasts can be a great way to get a boost if you’re feeling down or uninspired. A few of my favorites include the Earn Your Happy Podcast by Lori Harder, Mind Body Musings by Maddy Moon and The Lively Show by Jess Lively. These ladies are so easy to listen to, interview some fantastic guests and have really challenged me to think more positively. I encourage you to give them a listen!
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5. Unplug and connect
You probably saw this coming. We are incredibly fortunate to be living during a time of so many amazing technological advances. We are able to connect with others around the world, share our gifts and even build businesses all through technology. But with that, can come feelings of great overwhelm, comparison and feeling just plain crappy. If you truly have the blues, do not, I repeat do not go on social media. Nine times out of 10, watching everyone else’s highlight reel won’t make you feel better. You don’t need to see the curated insta photos, or the snapchat stories in that very moment. If you are craving connection, call your best friend. Call your parents. Make that coffee date you keep blowing off. Spend time truly connecting with loved ones.
We consume a ton of information on a daily basis. Sometimes, that can send our brains into overdrive, making us feel sluggish. Turn that feeling on its head by taking a break from consuming to create. What is your favorite way to get creative? Do you like to cook? Sew? Paint? Take photos? Pick your favorite (non-competitive) creative activity and schedule time for it on a regular basis. Going through the full creative process – from idea, to creation is incredibly rewarding and a huge spirit booster!
7. Know when to take a step back
If you are feeling down because you are overwhelmed and have too much on your plate, consider taking a step back from non-essential obligations. I know we all want to do anything and everything, and the truth is you can do anything. But you can’t do everything, especially if it is compromising your health and mental well-being. Christina from Addicted to Lovely shared an insightful post about knowing when to take a step back from a situation, and how taking a break is not the same thing as quitting. I highly encourage you to check it out. If you are feeling overwhelmed and think it may be time to remove something from your plate, here’s something I like to do to help prioritize.
Take out a piece of paper, and write down everything you have going on. Everything you feel obligated to do or even something you have been meaning to do but haven’t gotten to yet. Write it all down. Then put a star next to three things that are your highest priority. That could be a regular date night with your significant other, working on your blog, a workout class you want to make every week or spending a certain amount of time with your family. Pick three and star them. Those are your key three things you want to focus on. The rest of the list? Take a step back from them. If they are not one of your key three, or don’t support your key three, save them for another time when you have the clarity and energy to devote to them. Narrowing your field of focus to the things that are most important will greatly help reduce overwhelm, and can help increase overall satisfaction and happiness.
What are some things you like to do to increase happiness? Please share your tips with us below!
*This post contains an affiliate link for The Five Minute Journal, meaning if you make a purchase from that link, I may receive a small commission. I only recommend products I trust. Thank you for supporting The Balanced Berry. <3
Les is the founder of Balanced Black Girl and the host of the Balanced Black Girl Podcast. She’s a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and natural beauty junkie who loves 90’s R&B, trying new skincare products, and creating recipes in the Instant Pot. She created Balanced Black Girl to provide content and experiences empowering women of color to live well.