Positivity Recharge

Life hacks for a more positive you.

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Everyone has been on both sides of this coin: It’s a long day and nothing is going right. You turn to your closest pal and vent for an hour about everything that has gone on over the last forty eight hours. Heart on the floor, you’re looking forward to some much-needed guidance and what life-changing advice to they muster up? “You’ve just got to think positive.”

On the flipside, earlier today a friend called with some melodramatic story about how her life was slowly but surely spinning more and more out of control. She spent the better half of an hour walking me through the weeks leading up to the realization and quickly concluded with, “What the hell do I do?!” Flustered and desperate for an answer I spat out the obvious, “Stay positive. It’ll all work out.”

It’s the truth. It’s also my personal motto: In the end — it’ll all be okay. If it’s not okay — it’s simply not the end. The reality is in order for us to actually get through the difficult times and through the other half of whatever storm is swirling around us, we need to be level-headed; in order to achieve that balance, we need to calm the f*ck down. Positively true.

For me, positive thinking reaches far beyond the traditional “focus on the good.” In order for me to get to that headspace, I often need to put some physical or heavier mental effort in. Here are some of the things I do to remain positive against all odds:

Make notes, prepare a plan, and delegate everything possible. One of the leading stressors of our lives is work. If you find yourself overwhelmed by work, I recommend writing it all out and delegating whatever you {personally} don’t need to tend to. This’ll play with your level of trust in others, but the comfort in knowing someone else has your back (for once) is all you need to sometimes breathe again. If the issue isn’t a particular task, write it out still and list the possible avenues you can can travel in the decision-making process. From there, the best possible route will be pretty clear; although not always the easiest route.

Monitor and then censor what you’re putting into your body. This concept reaches far past the obvious. While food is certainly a key player in the fluctuation of mood and mental state, there are other organs that thrive on outside resources. Like the old-time’y analogy, our minds are like sponges and the substances they absorb are that of which we’re most surrounded by. I find in high-stress times that by monitoring what I read, what I watch, and who I associate with can greatly impact the way I think and in turn perform.

Become keenly aware of diet, activity and rest levels. It’s human nature to take a seat when you feel tired. It’s human nature to curl up into a ball and take refuge under the comforter until your serotonin levels rise again. Doesn’t make it the most positively effective. In times of distress and aggravation, I look inward to what I’ve been consuming and quickly analyze the result it could have on my mental and physical performance. Once I see where I’m at (protein, water, sugar, fitness, sleep ratios) I can begin to reimplement the necessary elements to regain my inherent sense of self.

Divert your attention to something that requires your undivided attention. If you’re truly and entirely focused on a singular thing, you’re unable to ruminate on the negative things that are plaguing you. One of the strongest defenses against rumination is engaging in some sort of fitness. I will admit, the gym is the second from last place I turn to when I’m stressed out… but it’s no longer “the last.” If you’re open to it, do what I do: Close the laptop and go for a run. It’s a pretty great place to start.

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