9 Ways To Cultivate Positivity

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9 Ways To Cultivate Positivity

It is no secret that people who are more positive are also more resilient - they can "bounce back" more quickly when bad things do happen.  But there are proven ways you can take action to cultivate positivity and counter a downward spiral?  The answer is “Yes!”, according to Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. and, author of the book Positivity.

According to this article in the Huffington Post research data shows that there is a 1:3 relationship between negativity and positivity.

In other words we need three positives to neutralize one negative experience, so it is crucial to find heartfelt ways of experiencing positivity each day.  The data also supports the fact that fake attempts at positivity are more harmful than helpful to our efforts toward an upward spiral of positivity.

Finding positive meaning is not about fully neutralizing a negative situation but instead creating some positive dynamics that open up a space for the development of future plans and goals.

To feel heartfelt positivity, we must slow down and get connected with our inner selves by seeing, hearing, and sensing our own heart.  A slower pace and a sincere attitude help to unlock heartfelt positivity.

There are ways we can cultivate positivity in our lives even if we are not one of the few (1-5) who are naturally positive.  First, let’s see what we can do to “broaden” and raise our positivity and seed more joy in our lives.

Following are ways to find more positivity in our lives whether by focusing on the positive or rethinking the negative:

Find Positive Meaning

How we address our current circumstances reveals the meaning we find within each circumstance.  Since we cannot wholly eliminate negativity, finding positive meaning more frequently within our day-to-day lives and events can increase positivity. 

Finding positive meaning is not about fully neutralizing a negative situation but instead creating some positive dynamics that open up a space for the development of future plans and goals.  When in doubt “zoom out” to a broader perspective to look for the positive in a situation and to consider the larger life picture.

Savor Goodness

Finding the “good” within the good is another way to up your positivity ratio.  Whether a positive experience is in the future, present, or past this approach is about stretching out the positive and pumping it up. 

Often how good we are at savoring something depends on how we think about ourselves – our self-esteem.  Do we believe we deserve good things?  Savoring is a mental habit that can be developed by slowing down and attending mindfully to the activity or happening. It is important to remember that boosting positivity requires a light mental touch rather than an extensive analysis of the event.

Counting Your Blessings

As we practice moving the riverbed of habitual thoughts, it can be a good practice to count our blessings while taking something seemingly commonplace and making it sparkle. 

Recast aspects of your life that seemed before to be mundane as gifts to be cherished.  The blooms outside your window at your office, the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning, a cup of hot tea, the way your neighbor smiles and waves when they see you at the mailbox while recognizing and genuinely appreciating her act of kindness toward you.  Counting your blessing can also work the other way when we take note of our kindness toward others. 

Follow Your Passions

The best indicator of success is not education, status, or wealth. The most significant indicator of success is passion!

The best indicator of success is not education, status, or wealth. The most significant indicator of success is passion!  Living with passion creates states of flow and peak moments in which we are fully absorbed in the moment and fully connected to others. 

Dreams About Your Future

Visualization has power and has always come easy for me not only in my mind but also on my frequent vision boarding sessions.  If it is on my vision board, I know there is a high degree of likelihood that it will happen. 

Although we do not clearly understand how visualization works it may be because it gives you insight into how your daily goals and motives fit into your dream about your future.  Research has shown that this technique engages the same area of the brain responsible for carrying out the actions being visualized. 

Connecting With Others

Make an effort daily to connect with others, building meaningful relationships.  No one reaches full potential in isolation.  Science shows that every person who is flourishing also has warm and trusting relationships with others; people who flourish spend more time each day with the people they are close to and less time alone.  This finding may indicate that being with others is an extraordinarily reliable way to boost our positivity.

Connect With Nature

Natural environments may be as helpful as social environments to flourishing.  Being immersed in nature creates fascination (drawing your attention involuntarily) and vastness (providing sufficient scope and richness to fully occupying your attention).  These two qualities may produce positivity and openness when we experience nature.  These qualities may also be the reason why time spent in nature is so healing and restorative. Set a time aside to purposefully and mindfully spend time in nature. 

 Opening Your Mind

Once you deliberately cultivate openness, positivity follows automatically.  Positivity naturally opens your mind and positivity and openness feed on each other, triggering and reinforcing each other.  The take away:  be open, and positivity will follow.  Studies have shown efforts to be open practiced through mindful meditation will increase positivity.  Mindful awareness is simply paying attention to the present moment without judgment. 

By having a soft focus on the present moment and experientially being open, we begin a positivity spiral upwards. 

Open Your Heart

An open heart helps you to experience your connections with others.  Loving-kindness meditation is a technique used to increase feelings of warmth and caring for self and others.  Practicing loving kindness helps move the riverbed of emotions from the day-to-day to higher ground. 

Next week we will cover ways to counter negativity and stop the downward spirals from taking hold in your life.  In the meantime, you can connect with me at www.healthylivingwithhope.com to learn more, sign-up to hear about new information, videos, posts, and events that will help you live your best life!  

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About the Author

Hope Knosher is the founder of Healthy Living With Hope and Hope’s Yoga. She is a certified Health & Wellness Coach, Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapist & E-RYT500 through Yoga Alliance. Hope and her work have been featured in numerous publications including Reader’s Choice “Best Of Atlanta” by Atlanta Magazine, one of Atlanta’s “Over 40 & Fabulous” by Best Self Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for her work with cancer survivors, MindBodyGreen, Noteworthy, Mantra Yoga & Health and cover features with Northside Woman and Yoga Magazine. Learn more about Hope.

Hope Knosher