Unlock your Inner Optimist – Boosting positivity during a crisis
During this difficult and different ‘Covidean era’, it can be hugely challenging to remain upbeat. Lockdown, uncertainty and instability can leave us feeling worried and stressed. And this can lead to lowered moods and pessimism. Unlocking your inner optimist and staying positive is now more important than ever!
We all know that positive emotions can be an important buffer when things are not going well and we also know that positivity can help with our general sense of wellbeing.
But did you know that chronic psychological stress can actually lower your immunity? And that’s not something anyone needs during these unprecedented and unpredictable times. That’s why it’s well worth finding ways to lift your spirits by unlocking your inner optimist.
23MD’s Dr. Galy offers his 10 top positivity-boosting tips
1. Rejoice, laugh, and laugh a lot, even if you fake it:
- It’s as simple as that. We all feel happier when we laugh, but did you know that there is a physiological reason for that? The physical act of laughter signals to our bodies that it is safe to de-stress, and even helps us release gamma wave responses that keep us focused. The tie between laughter and wellbeing is so strong, that even just thinking about laughing can make us feel calmer, reduce anxiety levels, and ultimately keep cortisol levels on normal range to help balance your hormones .
2. Restore inner peace
- Meditation can give us the same effects as laughter. It makes us feel centred, grounded and calm: ready to tackle the day with a clear and relaxed mind. New studies show that meditation can help us feel more focused, reduce nxiety, depression and even reverse the effects of PTSD (Avvenuti 2020).
3. Reset mindset
Staying positive and grateful is easier said than done. That’s why it’s so important to consciously try to stay positive. One of the easiest ways to stay optimistic is by practicing mindfulness. Mindful living rids the body of negative emotions and counteracts the effects of trauma (Bjorkstrand 2015).
4. Re-boot Exercise regimes
- There are infinite benefits to daily movement. Most importantly, exercise releases endorphins that make us feel happy, satisfied and focused. Some say that it even helps us live longer! Resources are abundant with videos on Youtube, or even with virtual personal training – check out Joe Wicks for at home workouts, or Fly LDN’s free yoga classes on Instagram!
5. Rekindle hobbies
- It can be difficult to stay motivated and focused while social distancing, especially during a lockdown. Rekindling old hobbies or exploring new interests can add new purpose, challenges and achievements to our day. Try taking your mind off worry with one of these! Or what about all those DIY chores you never had time to do, nows the best time to get out that tool box and fix those shelves.
6. Remain Social
- Feeling lonely? You’re not alone! Reach out to a friend on Facetime, or use apps like Houseparty or Zoom and get creative with socialising! Pub quizzes, group board games and even try a digital brunch to stay connected.
7. Re-ignite your brain
- Boredom and lack of stimulation can be key contributors to low moods. Your brain is a muscle too – so train it like on! Grab an interesting book, challenge yourself to a tricky Sudoku or attempt a puzzle to keep your brain fit and healthy.
8. Re-skill: Lear a new skill
- Many on-line sites can help do this, even if you do not know what to do, look for inspiration on sites like SkillShare.com.
9. Ramble and Enjoy nature
- Being in nature is vital for our wellbeing. Spending time in green space can benefit both body and mind – Not to mention that daily exposure to sunshine can boost our vitamin D levels! So tie up your running shoes and head out for a daily jog or walk.
10. Recite your Mantra
- If you don’t have a mantra, then make one up – small sentences that repeat positivity and hopefulness can help your own positivity. Repeat it to yourself, over and over. Remember, the more optimistic, the better the outcome. And keep it simple
- Bob Marley –> “Everything little thing, is gonna be alright” or
- Maya Angilou –> “You alone are enough”