We live in a modern society that seems determined to make us buy what we don’t need, fear what we don’t understand, and replace accountability with entitlement.
It can sometimes feel like the world is burning, but I don’t think it is.
In fact, there seems to be a growing number of people seeking to correct this cultural narrative by learning to take control of their lives; they are designing lifestyles they want based on their values and goals, not by what others are trying to push on them.
For example, I’ve developed my lifestyle around practicing my favorite parts of intentional living, minimalism, and slow living, but there are many ways to work on creating that perfect life for each of us.
But despite the lifestyle you choose to create for yourself, there will always be obstacles to navigate around and tough days to get through, and your ability to keep a positive mindset will prove essential.
With that in mind, here are six daily actions you can do to help spark a positive mindset.
1. Perform Acts of Kindness
When we perform an act of kindness for someone, several things happen, and they are all good:
We get to check the good karma box.
We make someone else smile, and, at least for a moment, they believe that the human race has a future.
We feel good about ourselves, and that nurtures a positive mindset.
Mind you, the act itself doesn’t matter; even the modest efforts of opening a door, helping someone put their bag in the overhead, or offering someone a compliment will benefit everyone involved.
2. Limit Negative Online Content
The internet tends to get unfairly blamed for many things, including negativity, but there are many positives about it, too; it all depends on how you use it. I spent a half hour yesterday watching funny pet videos, and that put me in a very positive mindset.
If we’re mindful about what online content we choose to consume, I think it becomes clear what does and doesn’t promote a positive mindset. Reading about the news is not necessarily harmful, but following conspiracy theorists who are predicting certain doom probably is. Social media can be damaging if all you do is compare yourself to the influencers you follow, but it’s probably fine if you just want to find some inspiration for dinner.
We won’t be able to avoid all negativity; try to surf positive waves.
3. Connect with Others
As somewhat of an introvert, I’ve been working daily on improving my efforts to connect with people, and it is amazing what even the slightest interaction does to create a positive mindset. Even the simple act of making a comment while standing in the checkout line and introducing myself to someone puts a smile on my face, and I’m in a positive mindset for hours. It’s incredible how some well-intentioned chit-chat can make us feel good about ourselves and others.
Even offering a smile and a quick “Hello” to a stranger you pass by can have the same effect; these simple social interactions will not only boost your mood but, when repeated throughout the day, seem to enhance my overall outlook on life (and people).
4. Take Short Breaks
Taking a short break between tasks can improve your positive mindset by giving you time to reboot, collect yourself, and prepare for what comes next. You don’t feel like you are always rushed, never get to finish anything, and get overwhelmed.
It doesn’t matter whether we choose to step away to do some breathing exercises, stretch, get a drink of water, or take a brief walk; taking the time to incorporate these breaks can help us recharge and approach the next tasks with a more positive and focused mindset.
5. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is watching a beautiful sunset; practicing gratitude is writing down how that sunset made you feel.
In this way, practicing gratitude is how we make our appreciation of something real. When we keep our thoughts of gratitude on the inside, we are not practicing gratitude; we are shying away from it. We can practice gratitude outwardly, like telling someone how much we appreciate their friendship or writing down how thankful we are for our family.
The other day, I wrote on the back of a grocery receipt, “I am thankful for this food because not everyone can buy what they need,” and then I threw it out. Writing how thankful I felt is practicing gratitude, not the note itself.
You will be amazed how taking just a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for will create a wonderfully positive mindset.
6. Visualize Positivity
Many great athletes visualize their actions before they perform because it’s possible to make something happen by visualizing its positive outcome.
This positive visualization is not so much controlling the future as it is helping to maintain an optimistic mindset, and it encourages us to focus on the possibilities and opportunities ahead instead of the negativities and what could go wrong.
Whenever something needs to be done, there is always a series of steps to achieve the result. So, instead of rushing to start something, try pausing to think about the process and the desired outcome; visualize it positively. Try it, and I think you’ll agree that beginning a task with a positive mindset usually produces better results.
A Final Word
Life moves fast, and it’s challenging to stay positive at times. The key is to be mindful that throughout the day, we can make small investments in our daily lives that will yield a positive mindset.
Then, we can start stacking up positive mindset wins, one small action at a time, and these six ideas will help with that.
About the Author: Gregg Zambrovitz is the author of “I’m Figuring Life Out, Kinda” and publishes content about intentional living, health and wellness, and lifestyle design. Find out more on his website, GreggZambrovitz.com.