Keep a gratitude journal.This is similar to the above in terms of being mindful of what you appreciate in your life. But the act of writing things down sets some powerful changes in motion and is a wonderful tool for training yourself to become a more grateful person: Research shows that people who keep daily or weekly gratitude journals for three weeks or more reported feeling better physically, having a more optimistic outlook on life, exercising more and even sleeping better. These are the same traits and characteristics that grateful people report having.
Use constructive self-language. In a word, watch your inner dialogue. If you’re the queen or king of the negative pep rally (I can’t believe how cluttered my closet is. I’m such a slob. I’ll never get out from under. No wonder I didn’t get that promotion….), you must stop. You are literally setting yourself up for a downward mood spiral.
There’s even the science to prove it. Barbara L. Frederickson, PhD, author of "Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive," studied just this and found that for every negative event or thought we have, there needs to be a minimum of 2.9 positive events to get ourselves back on the road to feeling good.
Summed up simply, negative thoughts lead to a negative state of mind. Positive thoughts equal feeling positive. It’s not rocket science, and yet it’s amazing how many of us still fall into the negative thought trap.
Keep your distance from Debbie and David Downer. People who gossip and complain incessantly are sources of negative energy. “Instead, aim to surround yourself with good energy and people who have the outlook and vitality that you are seeking,” says Jonathan H. Ellerby, PhD, spiritual program director at the Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, and author of "Return to the Sacred: Ancient Pathways to Spiritual Awakening."
Take time to smell the roses and freshly cut grass. Smell is one of our strongest senses and can evoke pleasure and satisfaction. Feeling a bit tense? Break out the lawn mower. A new study found that breathing in the air from a freshly mown lawn releases chemicals in the brain that help relieve tension. Urban dweller? There are scented oils, perfumes, candles and even cleaning products made from the scent of grass. It’s not clear whether they’ll have the same effect as breathing in the real thing, but it can’t hurt to try. The scents of citrus, eucalyptus, mint and pine can also brighten your mood.
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