The groundhog saw his shadow late last week, and we still have six more weeks of winter ahead. Do you need some cheering up? Today we’re going to put ourselves in a positive mindset. We’re talking about the power of positive thinking. I’m going to share some ideas to help you add some cheer to your day.

The Mayo Clinic posted an article on this topic last February. It seems mid-winter is the season to focus on positive thinking! It makes sense to me; the fun of the holidays is over, and it’s too far away from warm weather to get excited just yet. The article is available here: Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stressThe Mayo Clinic Staff lists potential health benefits of positive thinking, which I will share below:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

 

It’s important to mention that these benefits are not iron-clad guarantees. While science is working hard to research positive psychology, we can do our part by working to see the good in difficult situations. Staying positive is a pretty useful coping mechanism for caregivers! Here are some ways that I work to stay positive:

1. Read books.

Choose to read a book that will help you be positive. It can be science-based, spirituality-based, psychology-based, or religion-based. You are the one in control of your life, you make the call on what type of book will be most beneficial to you. If you aren’t sure what type of book to get, go to your local library and read the first chapter. If it doesn’t light you up, put it back and try something else. Alternatively, if you don’t want to or are unable to leave your house to make a trip to the library, you can look up books on Amazon and read the reviews. Some books even let you read an excerpt!

2. Exercise is an excellent mood booster!

The key is finding an exercise that you won’t dread doing. Are you the type of person who loves to get out of the house and be social? Taking a class at a local gym would be perfect for you. Do you prefer to workout at home (raising hand over here!)? Then what can you do at your house that will keep you interested? Workout videos? A walk around your neighborhood?

3. Get those thoughts out of your head!

If you are stewing about something, journal all your thoughts on the left hand side of your journal. Get everything out. Don’t worry about what you are writing. Just get it all out. When you’ve finished, read through what you wrote. Can you find a silver lining? On the right hand side of your journal, write down any revelations you have. (In the example below, I wrote like I was talking to a friend). Here’s an example from my life, yesterday:

LEFT:

I am so angry that my opt-in for my subscribers didn’t work! I am trying to reach caregivers and provide something of value to them! How awful is it that my link didn’t work?! It looks so unprofessional!

RIGHT:

Okay, it really stinks that so many caregivers tried to sign up and the opt-in didn’t work. I’m glad that you received a response from the support team today. You put a message on Instagram apologizing for the delay and thanking people for their patience. They get it, they’re caregivers! When you show people that you are simply human, it makes you relatable. I don’t know about you, Katie, but I do NOT want to take advice from a caregiver who has all her **** together. Because that woman doesn’t have the ability to understand me. My life is gloriously hectic. There is always so much going on in our sweet home. This hiccup helps you attract the right people that you want to help: women who are in the f-ing trenches and are STILL determined to succeed. They have a strong desire to reach for their dreams no matter how many phone calls to the dentist or tech support they have to make. They are working on their dreams while they are waiting for tech support to get back to them, just like you. The people who you want to reach are interested in you because not for your computer knowledge (ha!), but for your experience as a caregiver, and your desire to show others how you do the balancing act.

What your journal might look like

 

So there you have it! Three ways you can improve your positive thinking AND your personal development at the same time! If you want three quick-and-easy ways:

4. Smell something nice.

Like many women who are on Pinterest, I have an essential oil diffuser and oils that I enjoy using in my home. I love a nice-smelling house. It puts me in a great mood. (I don’t sell them, I buy my stuff from an independent company). If you don’t have essential oils at your house, maybe you could whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies? Yum!

5. Laugh.

Watch a favorite movie. You’ll focus on the movie and distract yourself for a while.

6. Make one small change.

Clean a small corner of a room (or closet floor). Buy a bouquet of fresh flowers for your kitchen table. Paint your toenails a fun color that you haven’t used in a while (break out your summer colors). Buy a new pen. Organize a bookshelf or kitchen drawer. One small change can feel great.

Wishing you a cheery day!

Love and positive vibes,

Katie