>Being positive takes effort

>I write often about positive psychology and the very practical applications it offers to help people realise and understand how they can act differently if they wish to lead more ‘happier’ lives. Now, ‘happier’ is always a subjective term, and no-one can dictate to you, how happy you should be, this is a judgement you need to make for yourself. But, if you do wish to be happier, there are some very easy, very practical things you can go.

Before I launch into the different kinds of activity you should think about, let me stress this. This isn’t a one trick pony. In order to achieve a more positive state of mind, or be happier, it takes concerted effort, and you need a strong support network. Be that friends, family, work colleagues, or professional help, someone needs to help you on this journey. Without a support network this will be a truly difficult task.

Additionally, extensive research has been carried out into the tangible effects of acting in the ways listed below. The research shows positive changes in a person’s own sense of positivity over a period of time, how positive they are about others, and whether or not, the practices hold a lasting effect. I’ll not cite the various pieces of research as I’m in a rush. But, and I will hold my name to this, I would not be suggesting the things below, if I didn’t believe it.

I’ve written before about writing 3 good things at the end of the day. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see I try to do this, and you’ll also see how infrequently I do it. It’s a very easy thing to do for a short while. As a continued effort though, it does take practice before you remember to do it regularly. In honesty, I think about my #3goodthings most nights, I just don’t write it down. And that’s the hey part, because you’re articulating it rather than thinking it.

A gratitude visit is a very powerful way to raise your sense of positivity. This essentially entails you taking the time to visit one person and let them know why you’re thankful they’re part of your life. This doesn’t have to be a regular weekly or monthly activity, but it does need to happen at least once or twice over a long period of time. What this helps to do is raise your confidence in being able to appreciate those in your life, and expressing it in a way which is meaningful to both you and the receiver.

Act in small ways which are unselfish. It doesn’t take a lot to give someone the time of day, or to help answer a query. But in this busy world we fool ourselves into thinking that someone else will do it. Yes, maybe they will. But should that stop you from doing it too? No. There are few people I know who truly act without expectation of the same for them. And for that I will always hold them in high regard.

One of the most powerful ways to help you and others around you feel good, is by smiling. So much is associated with a genuine smile. This is pretty self-explanatory, but if you’re not one for doing this, have a look at those around you who do, and consider how much of an impact they have on those around them.

And that’s where I stop. Four things you can do to help raise your level of positivity and how you think about being happy.