22 June 2019

All You Need Is Positivity

Girlfriends - All You Need Is Positivity by Maggie May
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Before you ask, no, I didn't see the Spice Girls live on tour and yes, I am upset about it.

Having gone to see Hugh Jackman a couple of weeks ago on his international tour {he was uh-mazing}, and what with tickets booked to see Westlife this month, I couldn't really justify a third music concert... So I'll have to make do with blaring out the Spice Girls Greatest Hits album whilst doing the washing up instead!

Their lyrics however have rung true with me this week {for those of you who aren't au fait with the 90's hit Spice Up Your Life, the words are: "When you're feeling sad and low; we will take you where you gotta go; smiling, dancing, everything is free; all you need is positivity" - hence the post title}.

I've long been inspired by the simple actions of goddesses Emma Mitchell {@silverpebble on Twitter} and Little Miss Katy {@MissKatyEnglish} with their tweets about good things that have happened at the end of a day, or things that have cheered them up and made them smile. I know a fair few people who follow this practice regularly, and with the recent influx of gratitude journals and happiness jotters on the high street - I've linked a few of my favourite ones below - I appreciate that I am making a bit of a song and dance about something which lots of you probably do, or at least are aware of, already.
But how many of you actually give this some thought regularly? That is, what has made you happy today? What are you grateful for today? Some days, you can fill a page easily. Other days, it's a struggle to think of even one thing. And yet it can be small, like being able to read a few pages of a good book, or congratulating yourself on the smallest of victories {one of mine the other day was that I didn't get embarrassed or annoyed at myself when I stalled the car - I just smiled apologetically at the driver waiting for me at the junction and continued my journey without a second thought. A massive victory for over-analyser me!}

Get yourself some sort of journal to jot in from time to time - I have a pocket notebook and pen on my bedside table so I can scribble some thoughts before I go to sleep, but even if it's on the Notes section of your phone, the act of writing and putting words to your daily experiences will have a positive effect on your mental attitude.

I've found that in the few days I've been sticking to this routine {Yes! Just a few days!}, I've been able to get to sleep quicker without lying awake for ages, replaying the negative events of my day. Instead of purely focusing on the bad things which happened - which, let's face it, a lot of the time are actually trivial and forgotten the next day - and trying to be an optimistic, glass-half-full kind of thinker, I feel much more at ease with myself.

There are so many great resources out there at the moment which fall into the 'happiness' bracket - messages, mantras and mottos which encourage us to make happiness our main goal, and instil that sense of inner peace and prioritisation of what truly matters. It can seem like a bit of a trend - a fad which all the millennials {eurgh, I hate that term} are trying and chatting about over their avocado toast and coconut flat whites. But do you know what? If jumping on the bandwagon means that my end result is increased happiness and positivity in my life, who cares? Besides, I happen to really love avocado. And flat whites.

If you want to get a boost of happy talk and inspiration, I really recommend listening to the Deliciously Ella podcast with Helen Russell from a few weeks' ago - I listened to it whilst on public transport, and just sat there grinning and nodding enthusiastically like an insane woman. But the stuff that Helen talked about was so flipping inspiring and motivating that I just couldn't help it - it's well worth a listen.

Fearne Cotton's book Happy is an excellent thing to have in your life; I particularly love the exercise where you identify a colour that matches your current mental health - it's something that I often use to monitor how I'm doing. It's less than a fiver on Amazon at the moment, so for the price of one of those beloved coconut flat whites, it's definitely worth it. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway is another read I'd recommend - they're both books that I dip in and out of, but are great for ideas and pointers on how you can gently introduce more positivity into your life.

You may find that books and journals just aren't for you - maybe podcasts or soothing Spotify playlists are what you need to connect to your inner Joy {I've capitalised this because I am of course referring to Joy from the Disney hit Inside Out - I often like to think of a little crew running about inside my brain, until I remember Bing-Bong and then I'm at risk of shedding a few tears}. Or perhaps you just need to squawk along to Spice Girls songs at the top of your voice to feel happy. Whatever it is, go and do it. We all deserve to be happy!


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