Each new day brings the potential for change, even amid the routine of the daily grind. When people start the day with positive thoughts, it can affect how they behave and see themselves throughout the day, and may even benefit their overall health.
The Mayo Clinic says some studies suggest personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of a person’s health and well-being. Positive thinking that is pronounced in optimistic people is associated with effective stress management, which translates into many different health benefits.
Some people abide by the “Law of Attraction,” which states that what a person gives attention to and thinks about throughout the day is what will be predominant in their life. Whether this is true or not, many aspire to have more positive thoughts and be in a generally optimistic mindset. The following tips can put people on a positive path at the start of each day.
Begin the night before
Certain mental health experts suggest clearing the mind in the evening to reduce stressful thinking and create the mental capacity to wind down and relax. Keep a notepad handy and jot down any invasive thoughts or concerns. Removing these thoughts from the mind and putting them on paper can help you rest more readily. Being well-rested can improve mood.
Know your weaknesses
Recognize where you may need some help as you strive to be more optimistic. Map out the behaviors you want to change, and then be intentional about how you want your day to go and which actions will get you there. The Mayo Clinic suggests figuring out what you usually think negatively about (i.e., work, commuting, life changes) and then approach each aspect in a more positive way.
Take a technology pause
Do not check email or text messages right after opening your eyes. Similarly, avoid reading the news or watching news programs on television too early. Negative or scandalous stories often get the most clicks or views, and coming across upsetting information at the outset of the day can adversely affect your mood. Rather, spend time meditating, praying, reading, or just being in the moment until you are awake.
Recognize the good people are doing
When you open your eyes and focus on the positives, you’ll see all the good that other people are doing around you. Offering compliments or acknowledging others’ actions, whether large or small, puts positivity out there.
Focus on gratitude
Take a few moments at the start of each day to mentally list all the things you are grateful for. This may be that you have a cozy home or that you are healthy. Even stressful situations or people can be means for gratitude. Boisterous toddlers may be a handful, but you can be grateful for the ability to have had children when so many are not able.
Starting the day with a positive mindset is easier than one might think. It may take a little practice, but also can begin to pay positive dividends sooner than later.