Finding Your Path for Positivity
After finishing my certification in Positive Psychology with Tal Ben-Shahar and the WholeBeing Institue in 2014, I was excited to start sharing the life-changing content I’d been learning. I was also trying to digest and implement all the great insights and strategies into my own life. It was a year later that I finally came up with a framework that made Positive Psychology easier for me to use and teach. I call it The Path for PositivityTM. It summarizes five key concepts that help me understand and implement my learnings.
- Understand why it’s hard to be positive when our survival instinct naturally focuses on problems and dangers
- Realize we can change our thinking and take advantage of our neuroplasticity
- Improve our ability to manage our thoughts and our saboteurs
- Practice tools to make it easier to shift our thinking
- Identify ways to remember we have a choice
Here’s a little more about each step in the path.
I believe that learning how our survival instinct works helps us understand why it’s so easy to get stuck in negative thinking. It’s a normal part of our biology and a universal struggle (although more for some people than others). Once we know this, we can acknowledge it and look for solutions.
It’s only been in the past 20 years or so that science has begun to more fully recognize the power of neuroplasticity. Our ability to physically and functionally change our brains provides real hope that we can get better at changing our thinking. Our capacity to see more of the good stuff in our work, our relationships, and our life can get easier.
The ultimate goal in all of this is to better manage our thoughts so we spend more time with thoughts that serve us instead of those that are working against us. It’s easy to get stuck focusing on past, present, and future stresses. Soon, we can find ourselves in a downward spiral that can steal our happiness, our health, and our life.
Now there are studies that have looked at different strategies and tools that can make this shift easier. Research supports the idea of spending time in gratitude, looking for three good things in your day, nurturing your social network, and many others. These tend to be simple things we can incorporate into our busy lives.
But we are so busy! How can we possibly remember to notice our thoughts? There are so many distractions and so much to do. That’s where the last step comes in. We need tips and tricks to remind us that we have a choice. Check out this post from eight years ago for some ideas.
Which step(s) in this path is the most helpful or interesting to you? You can search keywords here to find more related positivity tips.