This is doing the stuff that feels good, having fun, letting your hair down, finding your joy.
More than this, it can include maximising good feelings like curiosity, appreciation, compassion and wonder.
Below you will find three common blocks (barriers and misconceptions) that can prevent us from moving towards positive emotion.
I’m overwhelmed, just feeling positive won’t help me!
Engaging positive emotions is not just about making us feel positive, it is about actively and regularly reflecting on positive experiences and feelings, which can improve overall wellbeing and reduce anxiety. When we allow our mind to take a ‘rest’ from worry then we can work more productively.
I don’t have time to make big changes in my life at the moment
We don’t need a lot of time to start generating positive internal feelings. In fact we don’t even need to set aside time. We can simply start to look for small things that generate a positive feeling for us. And we can do this throughout the day.
I would feel positive if people around me were more positive
When those we interact with regularly do not have a positive outlook - it can be harder to generate good feelings in ourselves. It is important to remind ourselves that whilst we may not be able to control other people’s actions and feelings – we can control our own. We can also consider getting some help from a counsellor or a trusted support person to work on the practical aspects of our life and our relationships.
Below are three things you can do to boost success.
Allowing ourselves the time and space to be in the moment, paying attention in a specific and different way to what is happening in any given moment has been proven to have multiple benefits. See the links below on how to start a mindfulness practice.
Count your blessings
This is looking every day for things we are grateful for or feel have gone well. Some days it can be hard – but perhaps try buddying up with a friend and send each other your ‘gratefuls’ to help you generate ideas. Your first grateful might be having them as a friend. Other ideas could be an achievement, a health positive, the weather, or that we enjoyed a particular class or lecture.
What brings you joy
Take time to make a list of big things and small things that bring us joy. An example of a big thing could be a holiday or a special treat and small things may be walking on the beach, reading a book, sitting in the sun or calling a friend. Having big things to look forward to occasionally is important but we also get value out of lots of small things too. A tip here is to look at things that have a creative element and that have meaning for us.