It was around the start of 2013 when I made the commitment to be positive every single day.
Technically, I’ve always been a positive person - it’s a word people always use to describe me. But after a bad final year at university, it definitely changed me. I knew that I always felt better when I looked at everything in a positive light, but because I let the negativity take over me, I never seemed to see the full benefits.
At the end of 2014, my mum gave me the idea of writing down three things I was grateful for, and three things that had made me happy at the end of each day. I made the decision to start this and commit to including this in my routine.
Reflecting on the past couple of years, which have been huge, in terms of both my career and personal life - with new jobs and starting to build my life together with Tom - I can say without any uncertainty that I’ve never been happier, more confident or more at peace with myself than I am right now.
Since I’ve now been keeping up this commitment for a long time, I wanted to share with you what I’ve discovered through daily positivity. It’s become such an essential part of my day that I couldn’t imagine life without it.
IT WILL HELP YOU BE MORE INTENTIONAL
When you purposefully become more positive, you’ll start to understand what you want in your life, but more importantly, what you don’t want. You’ll gain clarity on what goals you want to achieve and be able to prioritise - you’ll want to put the things that give you positivity in your life first. You’ll begin to realise that you don’t want to waste your time on things that drain you of energy or give you negative vibes. You’ll become much more mindful of how you are spending your time and what areas of your life are giving you positivity.
Through being more intentional and positive, there have been some amazing things that have happened in my life - finding my soulmate, building wonderful relationships with my family, getting a fantastic job at a top institution, and building this blog to the success I believe it has.
YOUR ACTION: Think about what areas in your life are stopping you from being positive and plan how you can change them. If you’re unhappy in your job, start looking for another. If you’re not getting enough time to work on your graphic design portfolio, take another look at your routine. Taking a little step closer to positivity every day will add up to big changes.
YOU WILL BE LESS ANXIOUS
If you were to ask my family to describe me, they would say that I worry about everything - and it’s true. I’ve got a lot better as I’ve gotten older, but I still let a lot of worry and anxiety rule my life. I used to constantly worry about things that could potentially happen and always assume the worse case scenario.
Committing to daily positivity and gratefulness has helped me do what I never thought possible - focus on the present. I’ve learnt to be in the moment at all times, instead of thinking about the past or worrying what could happen in the future. I used to be such a planner, but now I’m very much a day-to-day kind of person - being positive has helped me do that.
The reality is, we can’t change what happened in the past or control what the future might bring. We only have this moment to define our path and choose to be present, rather than worrying about the what-ifs. This will help you have such a better value of life.
YOUR ACTION: Write down all the things you’re worried about right now. Just let your pen flow on the paper. When you’re done, look through your list and split each item into two columns - what you can control and what you only have a certain amount of control over. That way, you can start making some purposeful changes right now to make sure you’re on the right path.
YOU WILL BE ABLE TO RELAX MORE
Worry affects people in different ways. For me, it gives me stomach ache. I know when I’m worried because my insides start doing somersaults - and not the good kind. I used to worry so much that it impacted on my sleep and my down time. I had nights when I didn’t fall asleep for hours because I was worrying, and found that I couldn’t relax properly if negative thoughts were swirling round my mind.
It’s safe to say that this impacted me as a person in a bad way. I became exhausted, overwhelmed and very unmotivated. I was irritable, ungrateful and the smallest things would set me off.
But committing to daily positivity trains your mind to focus on the good and be in the moment around you. So when I go to sleep, instead of wondering what the next few days/months/years will bring, I can focus on what’s happened during the day, and relive the amazing memories as I fall to sleep.
It takes practice and persistence, but I now find that I can allow myself to relax a lot more easily.
IT WILL HELP YOU DEAL WITH UNCERTAINTY
If I’m being completely honest, I’d say that a lot of the worry I have now comes from not being able to control certain situations. That’s why I hate flying or worry about getting really poorly - because I’d essentially have to surrender to the unknown.
From July 2014 to July 2015 - with moving to four different jobs, being very unhappy, not knowing what career I wanted and losing my Grandma to Alzheimer's - was emotional to say the least.
But my daily commitment kept me grounded. It forced me to trust in the knowledge that you can’t control everything that happens in life and yes, not every day will be a good day - but there are always good things that happen, no matter how sad you feel.
The day my Grandma died was a sad day - but one thing I was grateful for, was sitting by her side for an hour in the morning, just holding her hand.
That’s the thing - you can’t guarantee that every single day is going to be brilliant. If you did, you’d be spending so much energy on things you just aren’t able to control. Instead, you can focus on the things you do have control over and make a positive impact that way.
YOUR ACTION: Write down all the things you currently feel uncertain about, whether it’s a relationship, your job, or something bigger or smaller. Then think about what areas of these things you can control. This will help you gain more understanding and enable you to move further down your path.
YOU WILL LIVE A HAPPIER LIFE
Sounds obvious, right? If you’re an introvert like me, you’ll spend a lot of time in your head. I’m a person that wears their heart on their sleeve - I’m driven by my emotions and I feel everything. This means that one of my big characteristics is over-thinking.
Being positive and grateful on a daily basis, and getting those things onto paper in front of me has really helped me get out of my own head. It makes you realise that thoughts are just thoughts. You have the power to decide which ones you are going to pay the most attention to.
YOUR ACTION: Use the worksheet at the end of this post or your own journal to start writing down three things you’re grateful for and three things that have made you happy, every single day.
YOU WILL BE MORE FOCUSED
Being positive has also helped me in a completely different way, in terms of my productivity. Practising positivity and gratefulness has helped me improve my focus and be able to concentrate on what I know is important. I’ve been able to use social media in a way that’s inspiring, not distracting and create content I know that matters.
Bringing a more positive and grateful approach to how I work has made me become far more productive, create with a purpose and enjoy everything I do a lot more.
YOUR ACTION: Think about what hinders your productivity on a daily basis and decide how you can make some positive changes. If you get distracted by social media and come away from it feeling negative, create Twitter lists where you can check in with updates from the people that inspire you the most.
A FINAL NOTE
I’ve become a huge advocate of positivity and gratefulness and believe it is the best way for anyone to live an amazing life that they love. Plus, writing these things down every day gives you so much to look back on and helps you realise how great your life really is.
Do you try to be positive and grateful on a daily basis? How has this helped you? If not, would you consider giving this a go?