Human brains are more attuned to negativity than they are positivity. It’s something called the negativity bias and it means it’s physically more difficult for us to focus on the positive.
OK, this may be a slightly dark note to start on – but stick with me here! What this means is that we need to invite and inspire more positivity into our daily lives to tip the scales back to the positive.
To do this, I believe we need to think small. Our lives are made up of everyday moments. Sure, when we look back we may only remember the landmark events, but in terms of our overall happiness – it’s the little things that count.
I also think mindfulness has a huge part to play here. Getting our heads out of the past (hello rumination) and out of the future (oh hey anxiety) helps to connect us to the present and recognise when happiness is present.
While I certainly wouldn’t say I’m a perfect example of a ‘positive’ person, I like to think I’ve figured out a few ways to make my day to day life happier. So I thought I would share these with you, in case they do the same for you.
How to make every day that little bit lovelier
I’m not going to sit here and tell you you have to meditate to be happy – because I know it’s not for everyone, BUT it is worth trying. It’s something I’ve come to love, I use the Insight timer app for five minutes in the morning to clear my mind and be present.
But if meditation isn’t your thang, then focus on the being present aspect. Try paying more attention to your actions. Stop yourself every now and then to check in – what’s going on around you? How do you feel?
I like to call these happiness rituals, because I’m cool like that. For me, these look like:
- breakfast and coffee in bed at weekends
- yoga and a hot shower after work
- meditation in the morning
- walking breaks at work
- cuddle time with Sanka
- a glass of red on a Friday night
Nothing groundbreaking, nothing time consuming. Just a few things that genuinely bring more joy into my day. Think about what rituals you could start.
When we’re away on holiday, we’re hyper aware of the beauty around us. This is because we’re in a new and different environment, and our minds are taking everything in.
In our day to day surroundings, we can become beauty blind.
Try to make it your mission to notice one beautiful thing every day. Whether that’s the way a mother speaks to her child on the train, the way the sun pours through the window during golden hour or the way your partner looks when they’re talking about something they’re passionate about.
And don’t be afraid to add some beauty into your surroundings too. Buy yourself some flowers, get some inspirational quote cards for your desk – invite beauty in.
Take your time
Slow down. Life moves far too quickly and we can forget to pause sometimes and take in the seemingly mundane moments. For one week, notice those moments of ‘boredom’. You know, those moments you would normally reach for your phone. Instead let your mind wander. Notice what’s happening around you. Embrace a little stillness.
Relationships are so important to our happiness. Try to connect with someone you care about every day – whether that’s a friend you made on Twitter, your partner, a family member or your friend who you haven’t seen in ages. Let them know you’re thinking of them.
These ideas won’t make the bad days disappear or magically make you ‘happy’, but hey – they’re a good starting point right?