Positivity Tricks

 I feel like a decent chunk of my year of 2018 had some negativity to it. I definitely had a lot of great moments and with those come great memories- but I'll admit to feeling like I was also chasing good moments only to have them be fleeting. Now it feels more like happy days and brighter moments are more constant and consistent. I've been doing my best to do better for myself and for my mind- making sure to stop my negative or anxious thoughts the moment they become too much. It doesn't just work to say to yourself positive things, you can't just tell yourself to be more positive and flip on a switch. All that ever really turns into is us guilting ourselves for not being positive enough. I had to do more than just talking about wanting to be positive. I had to actually take steps to make sure I was being positive, to literally keep me on a positive track.
 I started up a bullet journal- I'm going to use it every day to keep myself on track of what I need to get done. As well as keep track of some of the health improvements I want to make, the things I feel- like my mood and even a gratitude corner. The gratitude corner is actually the part that I want to talk about here though. I don't have a nightstand by my bed, I instead have a stool from my bar which my old apartment had. I can't have nightstands, unpractical I know, but I also leave them cluttered when I start to get depressed. Even now my little bar stool has a few envelopes that don't need to be there. But I do have two windowsills right next to my bed that I use as shelves. I keep journals on my bar stool, and the one on top is my bullet journal. Starting at the new year I am going to write in my bullet journal before I even get out of bed. I'll make a little list of three things that I am grateful for, it's what I need to remember especially with my depression only now slightly being handled. Whether I'm grateful that I cleaned the dishes yesterday and don't have to today or because I have a few extra seconds to enjoy my coffee this morning if I wake up early. I need to focus on the good and not let the bad effect me.
 I also learned that I need to say "yes" more. I started reading Shonda Rhimes' book, Year of Yes, recently and am already loving the idea of it. I had gotten it a while ago and when I heard about it on My Favourite Murder I knew I certainly had to get a jump on reading it. I added it to my list and started it up just recently. From what Karen said on the podcast, Shonda had spoken about how she never really did anything other than work. So when she got an invitation that said she would be picked up at a certain time and there was no way to say the word, no she started saying yes to more things. One of the things she did while saying yes to everything landed her at the Kennedy Center Honors in the same box as the Barak and Michelle Obama. I'm starting off the New Year by saying yes to my friends' New Year's Eve party down in OTR. I'll be starting off the new year clinking my champagne glass and kissing my super cute boyfriend. Something I'll write about in my gratitude journal in the morning.
 Another thing I've picked up is using a mantra during my meditation and yoga- as well as sometimes out and about when my anxiety gets high. If you constantly repeat and practice your favorite mantra, you will help your mindset shift towards positivity. It's really important to make positive thinking a top priority of your movement forward while practicing these tricks though. It can't be the only thing you do, but it's still something that you need to be doing. One line I have to repeat to myself like a mantra is "nothing ever happens to you but always for you". Similar to my boyfriend always reminding me that I'm never in control and that that isn't a bad thing, but I have to learn to go with the flow of what does happen. Even when bad things do happen, you still have to learn to find something positive from it or something positive to get past it. You have to remember during all of this to also be kind to yourself. Part of thinking positive should also be being positive to yourself. When you feel mad or sad, when you're feeling really down or alone, you need to allow yourself to feel it. You need to focus on what would make you feel better once you know what it is. What can you do to lift those feelings off of yourself? Maybe you need to seek out an answer in someone else like a call to a best friend after a stressful moment. Or maybe you need to sit down and cry for a good bit.
 Speaking of friends though- do a people audit. Put this with your time too though, figure out which people in your life probably shouldn't follow you into 2019. Figure that out with your time as well when you decide who to spend it with and where your priorities should be. I caught up with a few old friends recently and I'm starting to reach new people and make even more friends now too. I'm making sure to keep only good vibes and good friends in my circle for the next year, something I hope to carry out for a very long time. I hope to carry all of these practices with me for a very long time because I find it important to consistently keep yourself as positive as can be while realistically living life too. Here's to starting off the new year right with good intentions and good practices- and for many more to come.

*written Dec 23rd, 2018

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