Helloooo!! I hope 2018 is treating you well so far. But if it’s not, you’re not most definitely not alone. Although I love the fresh start that the new year brings, I can’t help but notice how these bleak, cloudy days affect my mood. I always start to itch for warmth and green again around this time each year. For those of us living in colder climates, it makes it that much harder for us to stay motivated and continue to work toward those goals we set for us just weeks ago.
This year, I’ve been working extra hard to be more positive so I’m more able to stay on top of my goals. I get it, it’s difficult not to let the weather and life in general impact your mood. And I haven’t been perfect about all of this, but I’ve found that these small lifestyle changes have been a massive help in improving my mood. Here’s how you, too can have a more positive 2018.
I know I can get preachy about the power of gratitude but that’s because I know how life changing it is. I did a whole blog post about gratitude and how much of a difference it has made in my life. Being satisfied with what you already have is one of the best ways to manifest the things you desire. By focusing on lack, you invite it into your life. On the other hand, by focusing on being grateful for what you have, you are automatically attracting abundance into your life, which translates into more positive feelings and emotions.
View Yourself as Part of a Greater Whole
I like the way Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains this concept in The Book of Joy :
“What the Dalai Lama and I are offering,” the Archbishop added, “is a way of handling your worries: thinking about others. You can think about others who are in a similar situation or perhaps even in a worse situation, but who have survived, even thrived. It does help quite a lot to see yourself as part of a greater whole.” Once again, the path of joy was connection and the path of sorrow was separation. When we see others as separate, they become a threat. When we see others as part of us, as connected, as interdependent, then there is no challenge we cannot face—together.”
In essence, viewing each and every individual with a sense of connection and compassion will automatically make you feel more positive. At surface level, we’re all very similar. In western society, we tend to grow up very individualistically minded, often forgetting that we are, in fact, all part of one team; humanity. If you think of yourself as connected to everyone else instead of dividing yourself based on your differences, you’re more likely to practice compassion and other positive thought patterns.
Take Time to Do The Things You Love
This seems SO obvious, but how many of us actually do this? It’s easy to put our hobbies and passions on the backburner when we have 400 other things going on but taking time to do the things you love will replenish your mind and soul so you can actually get those 400 tasks done in addition to making you feel more positive. There’s no reason in the world to feel guilty for taking time to do something you enjoy, despite what your brain or society makes you think.
Seek Joy, Not Happiness
Joy and happiness seem pretty interchangeable, though philosophically, are quite different. Happiness is often thought of as a result of a certain event happening. It’s a good feeling, but usually short-lived. Joy, on the other hand, is enduring. Joy sticks with you, even if there’s nothing in that specific moment that’s making you feel that way. It’s the result of gratitude, kindness, and love instead of something such as a physical object. Expensive clothes and nice cars might make you happy, but your connection to people and compassion for others will bring you joy.
This goes back to the last point. I like to think that a huge part of kindness is compassion. By thinking of others from an angle of compassion, you’ll inherently want to treat them with kindness. Another huge part of kindness is letting go. It’s a lot more pleasant to let feelings of anger and frustration go instead of harboring them in your heart.
I hope these little tips can help in small, but meaningful ways. We all have the power to make each year a good one and we all deserve to do so. Sending all the love and good energy ❤