A Day Without Laughter Is a Day Wasted

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” –Henry Ford

Have you heard the saying ‘Like attracts Like’? What type of energy you put out into the universe attracts the same result, that is, positive or negative.

Based on the Law of Attraction, when you have a positive outlook, you attract positive people, positive events and positive circumstances.

Let go of past mistakes and bad choices, forgive yourself, free yourself of negativity and do not let the past affect your thoughts or your future.

If you tend to see the glass as half-empty (pessimistic) rather than half-full (optimistic), you may need to improve your thinking patterns and your perception of reality. People with a positive outlook and positive thoughts have stronger resistance to illness, better coping skills during tough times and less stress.

Positive thinking isn’t always a natural ability, but you can build it over time. Learn how to develop the strength of thinking positively and open up a whole new outlook on life.

Just as negativity can spread, so can positivity. Surround yourself with like-minded people as being around others who have a positive outlook on life can impact your own outlook as well.

Establish relationships in your life that make you feel good about yourself, that challenge you to grow and improve and that encourage you toward positive lifestyle choices.

When you are more physically active, it generates endorphins that leave you feeling relaxed and more content. Regular physical activity builds self-confidence, resistance to illness and disease and also controls weight, which can have a significant impact on your outlook and life experiences.

Getting enough sleep can also drastically influence your optimism. Improve your ability to relax by having a winding-down period before bedtime that includes soothing activities like listening to soft music, reading or having a hot bath.

When we experience negative thoughts and feelings, we may turn to alcohol to numb them. Alcohol is a depressant, though, which may increase negative feelings, so it’s not a good idea to consume alcohol when we’re already upset, angry or disappointed.

The first step toward overcoming negative thinking is being self-aware and realising when you’re doing it (this usually goes hand in hand with negative self-talk). Once you become aware of your tendency to think negatively, you should work to counteract your negative thinking.

Becoming a more positive thinker won’t happen overnight – but it will happen. If you practice positive self-talk each day, you can develop a healthier, more positive mindset over time.

It’s important not to compare yourself or your life with others. Measuring yourself against others will certainly make you feel negative as there will always be someone in the world who is better at something than you, so you are setting yourself up for failure every time. Don’t compare your life with others on social media as people usually only post the ‘happy moments’, the ‘incredible holidays’ and the ‘good-news stories’. But this is only on the surface. What else is going on in their lives that you’re not seeing? Basically, on social media, you’re only seeing the ‘show reel’, not the full story, so don’t compare this to your life as it’s not a true reflection of theirs.

Turn your ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) into PETS (Performance-Enhancing Thoughts). Change the way you view situations. For example, if someone driving next to you speeds up and cuts you off, instead of automatically thinking nasty things about the driver of that vehicle, think, ‘Gee, they must be in a hurry, I’m glad they’ve overtaken me and are nowhere near me now… I’m safe’. As another example, instead of thinking, ‘That would be right, I’m late for work and now I have to stop and get petrol’, turn this around to ‘Oh, I need petrol, good, when I’m paying I might buy myself a little treat’.

Foster a ‘Growth Mindset’ (where you believe that the brain is a muscle that can be continually developed as other muscles can) rather than a ‘Fixed Mindset’ (where you believe that you are the way you are and accept this without trying to challenge it).

You have to continue to move forward and evolve. You will become more resilient and hungrier for success in your chosen goal (whatever that may be for you).

If you don’t believe in yourself, who can you believe in? Only YOU can bring about change in your own life. Decide whether you want to be your own worst enemy or your best advocate. If you were asked, ‘What would you do today if you knew you couldn’t fail?’, what would that be? What would that look like? Whatever are you afraid of, go out and do it. You won’t fail if you don’t give up and you keep trying. If one way doesn’t work, try another. Keep trying, keep that vision and passion and work it out. Make it happen!

Don’t let your past dictate your future or define who you currently are. Take what you have learned from the ups and downs you have experienced, and appreciate the good things in your life and the beauty that surrounds you. Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t judge yourself based on a past event or events. After all, we all make mistakes.

Don’t chase money. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, physical or mental health, a longer life, respect or love. Find your true purpose (meaning) in life and chase success in your chosen field, whatever success looks like to you. Do what you want and leave your mark on this world using your unique gifts. Set a good example for your children and loved ones.

Embrace possibilities. When an opportunity presents itself don’t hesitate. Don’t wonder, ‘Can I do this? ‘Just grab the opportunity with both hands and work out how to do it as you go. Challenge yourself and move out of your comfort zone, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve. One day you will look back and be extremely proud of yourself. This will motivate you to do it again and again, and you will wonder why you didn’t try it earlier.

Dare to dream and create your destiny – your ultimate life. By going outside of your comfort zone, I’m not referring to dangerous, adrenaline-inducing activities. What I mean is, pursue your goals, your BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that you would normally not have the courage to pursue in case of failure. Or perhaps you don’t know where to start?

Decide the WHAT first. What do you want to achieve? Then figure out the HOW. How will you achieve this? It doesn’t matter where you start. Just start and figure it out and adjust as you go. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. If you don’t give up, you won’t fail.

Below is a list of positive mood-boosting strategies. Find three strategies below that resonate with you that you can implement in your daily life:

  • practicing gratitude/counting your blessings
  • practicing random acts of kindness
  • enjoying and savouring life’s joys
  • thanking someone who has helped you significantly
  • investing time and energy in your relationships with family and friends
  • taking care of your health and body
  • developing strategies for coping with hardship and disappointment

Challenge your story, your beliefs (whether they are your own or are ‘inherited’). Face your fears. Speaking from personal experience, I ‘inherited’ my mother’s fear of heights. In life, I ‘owned’ this fear until I decided to face it, to challenge it. While I was on holiday in Honolulu, I decided, as fearful as I was, to fly in a helicopter with no doors! I could not believe what I was about to do, nor could my family, but I decided to challenge my so-called fear of heights. I was scared for the first ten minutes, and then I started to trust it and madly took as many photographs as I could (while my iPhone was safely attached to a lanyard around my neck). Immediately after this experience that I viewed as a triumph, I went parasailing 800 feet up in the air. I felt the courage to push through this fear and was proud of what I had achieved earlier in the day. Because of this, I’m now thinking of climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge – something I never thought possible, something that I previously cringed at the thought of.

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