January and February can be two of the most difficult months for many people. The excitement of the holidays are over and now we find ourselves in the darkest and shortest days of the year. For some people, battling depression can become especially difficult during this season.
It may sound like a cliche to say “think positive,” but let me tell you, there is actual science behind the power of positivity and the brain. How can I practice being more positive? Here are some suggestions:
- Breathe! Slow down and stay centered
- Exercise! Even walking briskly helps those positive connections in the brain
- Hydrate! We are living creatures and we need to stay hydrated
- Rest! That means get your full 8 hours of sleep
Practice Daily Gratitude
Keep a journal and write in it daily if possible. Here is a fun acronym to guide you, called the GLAD daily reflection:
- Gratitude: What am I grateful for today?
- Learn: What did I learn today?
- Accomplish: What did I accomplish today? (This can be taking a nap or breathing!)
- Delight: What delighted me today? (Was it that chubby squirrel you caught out of the corner of your eye? The flowers beginning to bloom? Something funny a child said? Start noticing you’ll be surprised what you see!)
Notice and get curious about why you might be having negative thoughts. Increase your self awareness around your impact of positivity or negativity in the workplace. Sometimes when we are being negative, we simply need to ask ourselves “what do I need right now?” It may be as simple as to breathe, to take a bathroom break, to drink water.
- How Does Thinking Positive Thoughts Affect Neuroplasticity? is an article that outlines more about the neuroplasticity of the brain and how positivity impacts it. This is not only good information for us, but also for the youth we work with.
- 21st Century Wisdom from an Old West African Folktale by Paul Smith is a great read for perspective. It is one of my favorites, short and sweet and a great message!
For more information …
… on mindfulness, managing stress and the power of positivity, please feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 971.221.4630.