Positivity. Not an overly long word. Not a difficult word to pronounce. In fact, if you sound it out it makes it even easier to pronounce. So why, in my day to day working life, is positivity so hard to come by? I’m not sure about you, but some days I will walk in to work and offer a smile and a ‘good morning’ to my colleagues passing by and I will get not much more than a glare or a mumbled ‘hi’. I know that life can get hectic and we can’t always be chirpy, however I’ve really started to enjoy the small things in life and I’ve learn’t that a little positivity goes a long way. Here are some simple ways you can help spread positivity – not only could it mean something to someone else, but it also generates good energy which ultimately can increase your happiness.
- Ask someone about their day/week/month and actually listen to their answer – often I find a “How you been?” kind of question a little bit tokenistic, but recently I’ve been asking people how they are and actually caring about their answer. This is a good time to share in people’s happiness and success, or alternatively offer some support in the not-so-good times. The sharing in success part is crucial – I’ve started to move away from people and old friends who find it hard to be genuinely happy for others, and I’ve noticed that I’m happier because of it. Life isn’t all about you, and taking some time to celebrate and enjoy other people’s achievements has really made me feel good.
- Happiness board – I started a happiness board a little while back. I stuck pictures on it that give me inspiration (that house I Googled in Paddington, that Museum I really want to work at), and also pictures that are nostalgic (St. James’ Park in London, my bike that I named Vada). Seeing these inspirations and nostalgic memories each day whilst I get ready for work remind me of where I want to be in life and how far I’ve come. They give me that little boost and remind me that I can start this day fresh. I also have a little whiteboard on my happiness board where I write down three things each day that I am grateful for. I can’t use the same thing twice. This makes me realise that even in times of sadness or uneasiness, that I still have so much to appreciate.
- Compliment someone – this isn’t always easy I know, but complimenting others is a positive way to interact with them. You can start out superficial, “Omg I LOVE your skirt”, but slowly start to build up more genuine compliments, such as “you have raised beautiful kids” (or whatever compliment applies!). Compliments go a long way and people tend to remember them when they are meaningful. I like to tell lex one thing I like about him whilst we are having dinner. This one thing needs to be different each night – some nights it can be silly and other nights it can be serious. This one is great for relationships too as it reminds you what you love about your partner and vice versa.
- Disengage with negative behaviour (aka gossip) – I wrote a post a while back about refraining from gossiping and bitching about people. I was stuck in a friendship group that always focused on bad-mouthing others (hair, work, clothes, weight – anything!). It made be sink in to a bit of a pit and I had to eventually leave that group of friends because I just didn’t want to be that kind of person. Gossiping is not only hurtful to others but it slowly and surely influences the way you see the world – you start to look for the negatives and you don’t embrace happiness and successes of other people. I’ve since found some beautiful friends and am much happier talking about superficial things over lunch – fashion, beauty, dogs! Our motto is that we’d rather talk about superficial things that make us laugh, than speak about other people for the sake of our enjoyment. Since making the switch I’ve noticed how much more approachable I seem to be to others – people at work approach me to have a chat and see me as someone that can be friends with. It’s a great feeling.
Let me know how your mission of spreading positivity goes.