Positive thoughts will lead to positive action, if you just get out of the way. A few years ago I learned about a technique which adjusted my outlook on my situation. I laughed at it when I first heard about it and I was reluctant to even try it...but I did. Each day I wrote a note to myself at the end of the day and repeated this for fifteen days. Yeah, I thought it sounded silly too but hang in there and let me explain it.
Positive thoughts can influence positive action. By taking time to focus on the positive aspects of our daily life we can improve our overall outlook and well being. But we don't live in a world of positivity do we? We lead stressful lives with deadlines and maybe negative interactions. This can tend to bring us down emotionally. Sometimes this can even make us begin to look negatively at ourselves. Stress combined with negativity directed at ourselves can be harmful to our bodies. Under stress we release cortisol, which in some situations is very important to survival. This is one of the neurotransmitters released when we are in "fight or flight". It has very specific biological functions for survival. But a constant release of coritsol can have some negative health effects.
One way to combat cortisol levels is to exercise! Exercise produces endorphins which make you feel better. Exercise is wonderful; it builds up our bodies to resist the daily physical stress of life. But that is only part of the solution. What if negative thoughts are preventing us from starting an exercise program? For some, the act of going out and exercising can produce stress and well cortisol. Negative self image can be a stumbling block and here is where the writing exercise might be able to help. We sometimes hold a negative image about ourselves because we are blind to how much good we do in the world. I call this a "negativity filter", too often we shut down a positive reflection with something negative. How many times have your started to say something nice about yourself but closed it down with "but I could have done better..." That is your negativity filter kicking in and kicking your butt.
This writing exercise is designed to help you take off the blinders and see just how positive you are. You have a positive influence in the world! This time I said it for you but from now on you are going to say it at the end of each day. For the next 15 days I want you write a note to yourself about one positive "thing" you did that a day. I want you to do this in the moments before you go to sleep, I also want this to be a hand written note! Physically writing a note has a greater connection with your mind than simply typing a blog entry...so to quote a friend "get a pen and a piece of paper, because you are gonna' write this down!"
Step 1 - Commit And Don't Quit
In order for this to work you will have to follow the instructions. You have to say to yourself, I am not going to weasel out. I am going to do exactly what the exercise says to do! I promise you this is not a difficult exercise and it is not time consuming by any stretch! All you need is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
Step 2 - Create A Positivity Journal
For the next 15 days straight you need to take time to acknowledge you! That's right over the next 15 days you are going to focus on you and the positive elements in your daily life. This will serves as a means to jumpstart the positive reinforcement parts of your brain. You will be retraining your brain to break down the negativity filters your life has built up and build a better outlook on your life.
Step 3 - Understand The Method
The greatest impact is going to be gained through handwriting this exercise! There is substantial evidence to support that engaging in handwriting and the connection to the brain. Therefore, and remember Step 1, you have to commit to handwriting the journal entries. It will not matter if anyone else could read it, the focus is the connection created by engaging of the brain and the thought process behind it.
You might be saying to yourself, so if the handwriting doesn't matter then why am I going through the exercise? Why can't I just type it on my computer or tablet? Or can I just think about it?
First, go back and read Step 1! There is your answer... The answer is no. Seriously though, we want this to work and the change up might work but more likely than not you are setting it up for a failure. It is like asking a nutritionist if you can lose weight and get healthier by continuing to eat poorly and not exercising.
Step 4 - Forcing The Good Into The Light
Before we go further you have to get rid of the thought I never do anything right... that is simply not true! Your negativity filter keeping you from seeing it and this will help you see how wrong that filter is! You also have to abandon the thought that a "small" deed or experience is too small or insignificant to acknowledge. That is just not true! Acknowledge everything and count every victory. This will help you start off building up your self esteem. Soon you will find more and more things you are doing that are positive.
At the end of every day, write down something positive you did during the day in your Positivity Journal. Close each entry with "this was a positive influence on the world." As the days progress you may find you need to write down more than just one thing and then you know it is working! Continue to close it out with the mantra and soon you might see that nothing positive is insignificant!