Now I am a bit of a cynic at heart, in fact my partner would say a big cynic.
Therefore, I struggle with soft concepts. Relaxation techniques rarely work, meditation is a closed book and you can forget about hypnosis. My mind and body are just not willing to play ball.
But I have been won over by one “fluffy” idea: the gratitude diary.
If you have never heard of it then check it out and see how it can change your mindset.
Just jotting down three things you are thankful for every day can really give you a brighter perspective on life. Emphasising the positive rather than the negative has the snowball effect and it is the little things that make a difference. My gratitude diary has included time with a friend, taking the dog for a walk, seeing apple blossom in full bloom and enjoying a family meal around the table.
It really is a kind of mindfulness that puts you back in touch with the simple things in life and simple pleasures. It helps you explore your feelings too and put them in perspective and even converts the bad into the good. For me that might be “I missed the bus and had to walk but it gave me a great cardio workout”.
Once you have said your “thank yous” you could try spreading the joy with your own acts of kindness, something that has hit the headlines this week.
Of course, kindness means something different to everyone, which is why the University of Sussex is inviting people to take an online survey to explore the concept further. Go to thekindnesstest.org to take part. Meanwhile get in touch with that friend you haven’t seen for a while, bake a cake for the neighbour or take some items down to the charity shop. Even more simple, hold the door open for the person behind you or give someone your place in the supermarket queue. It is scientifically proven that it makes you feel good to be good.
So, why not try a little positivity and you might surprise yourself and others around you. You will certainly find a calmer, more relaxed version of you.
Photo: Delphine Beausoleil