The truth of the matter is positive thinking will build your skill-set, improve your health, and can even allow you to be more successful. The problem is we tend to equate positive thinking with "just smile!", and even more people think positive thinking is just being happy. The thing with fake smiles and fake happiness is it’s not long-lasting and so when adversity kicks in, resiliency leaves.
Fortunately for you and I, helpful research has been done by someone who is much smarter than me. Brooke Fredrickson did a study comparing negative and positive emotions, and she found that people, when experiencing positive emotions, we’re able to see up to 10 times more possibilities when faced with adversity than those that were experiencing a negative emotion. The best part is positive thinking is not just something you’re born with. This means that anyone can learn it, but in order to learn it, you must practice it.
There are three very simple ways and challenges that I have for each one of you in order to increase positivity in your everyday lives. I’m all about taking a new approach to things, and it's likely you've heard these techniques before. I challenge you to be open-minded and to actually try using these techniques. The first approach is my "morning routine."
The first 5 to 10 minutes when I wake up in the morning I get a piece of paper and I write down the three things that I am the most grateful for, then I take another 5 minutes and meditate. I simply sit either in silence or with some soft music in the background and think about why I am truly grateful for those three things I just wrote down.
The final five minutes is truly my favorite: I call this my playtime. Each and every morning I plan out what and when I’m going to have a little bit of fun for that day. Let’s face it: we all have busy schedules, we plan for meetings, we plan for lunches, but we don’t ever plan when it’s time to have fun. I have found that when I plan to have a little fun, it allows me to look forward to something throughout the day.
I challenge each one of you to wake up 15 minutes earlier, and try this morning routine. Don’t just do it for a day, do it for a week, and see what positive thinking can do for you.