Think Positively

by Tiffany Young

Depression is often termed the “common cold” of mental illness, because it is so prevalent in our lives and can seem somewhat “contagious.” Though depression itself may not be contagious, your everyday interactions with others and mood can have a great emotional influence on others.

Energy is only transferred and never spent. Having positive energy and surrounding yourself with positive motivators in your daily life will not only help with the side effects of depression, but it will encourage others to live life fully and wholly. One positive thought has the power to blossom into a beautiful outcome.

Here are a few tips for keeping an upbeat, active mental attitude in 2015!

1. Smile/laugh. Smiling IS CONTAGIOUS!  In 1989, psychologist Robert Zajonc published studies related to the emotional effect of producing a smile. Smiling at someone may cause them to be cheerful, and offer you a simple booster as well! Laughing helps to relieve stress. Spend a few minutes a day watching funny videos or buy a book of jokes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

2. Surround yourself with positive people. When you’re trapped in a negative spiral, call a friend or family member that can provide sound advice and constructive feedback. You will feel relieved and enlightened and gain an outside perspective from someone who genuinely cares.

3. Meditate or do yoga. This will help to clear your mind of any daily stresses that may be impeding your ability to think logically. Yoga is also helpful in cleansing and stretching your body.

4. Set achievable goals. Make a list of small accomplishments for this year. Set milestones that are realistic, yet rewarding, and challenge yourself. This will keep you focused and active, but allow opportunity to celebrate and give yourself a pat on the back.

5. Read positive quotes. Find websites or organizations that you find positive and impactful. Set out to read a touching story once a day or a few times a week. Remember the value in the lessons you learn and keep a note diary of any positive stories or quotes you find memorable.

6. Help Others. To many, this is the most rewarding gift you can give yourself. To help another is a selfless act that is rewarding in and of itself. By knowing your act of kindness changed someone’s life, you can smile knowing the positive energy is within and surrounding you.

7. Think Positively. It is often said, “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” Work on changing any negative thoughts to positive ones, and looking for the “silver lining” in situations.

For more tips on positive thinking visit the following resources:
1. http://www.rncentral.com/nursing-library/careplans/100_positive_thinking_exercises_to_incorporate_into_your_life
2. http://psychology.about.com/od/PositivePsychology/a/think-positive.htm
3. http://www.wethechange.com/7-effective-ways-to-implement-positive-thinking/

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