Feeling positive

Tips for feeling positive – keep burnout at bay3 min read

by Dr Olivia Ong

Does it all sometimes just feel like hard work?

How about feeling positive? It’s not enough to wait for positive feelings about your accomplishments to show up on their own.

The importance of feeling positive

Feeling positive is so important. Not only does it feel great to have a positive outlook, but it also has a deeper resonance with us.

It influences our internal self-talk (more here) which can have a profound effect on our overall sense of well-being.

There is also a feedback loop involved with things. Have you ever met anyone who seems to have a permanently miserable outlook on life? In a large part, this will be to do with self-training.

Self-training – Memories are mutable.

Each time we recall something we are not recalling the exact memory that was initially formed. Our brain takes useful shortcuts and each time we recall something we are in fact recalling the subsequent times we accessed it, the most recent first (with the emotional context of that recall), built on the initial memory.

If we tend to recall things in a positive light (such as recalling when in a positive frame of mind), the memory is re-coded in part reflecting this.

This mutability of memory can be why people’s recollections of the same event can differ.

Back to the example of the person who seems to have a permanent negative outlook on life. We encode our memories. If our outlook is perenially negative, our reference to our own past experiences becomes coloured by this outlook. It’s a feedback loop… However, if our outlook is predominantly positive…

And this is another great reason for keeping a positive frame of mind about things.

Feeling ‘happy clappy’ positive

We all of course face issues, difficulties and challenges in our lives. Feeling positive is not about denying these feelings, they are all valid too. But it is useful to be able to recognise the positives and keep an overall positive disposition.

Top tips for feeling positive

The tips below will give you the perfect formula for feeling great,

It doesn’t have to feel like hard work… remember the old phrase “To fail to plan it to plan to fail”? It’s all in the setup….

  1. What positive feeling would you like to have today?

Pick one… It could be feeling proud, relieved, excited, at peace, grounded, balanced joyful etc…

  1. Take each task on your to-do list and attach a specific feeling from your list

Go through and identify specifically how you will feel when you’ve completed each task.

So for example:

Complete the proposal for (so-and-so): I will feel proud,
Finish doing my taxes: I will feel relieved

Setting yourself up in this way and attaching a specific positive feeling to the items on your to-do list programs your mind and body to actually feel those feeling at the appropriate time.

This is a huge step toward living a conscious and intentional life.

  1. Feel the feeling…

Imagine the completed task and getting a sense of the positive feeling in your body.

Your imagination is a powerful tool. Rehearse how you’re going to feel.

  1. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Take a moment when the task is done. There’s no need to be overly self-indulgent but you do deserve to feel good!

If you’ve set your to-do list up correctly, you’ll feel positive. Take a few moments to acknowledge and enjoy the feeling before moving on to the next task.

  1. Let it all snowball

By following this easy formula, you will arrive at genuinely positive feelings and start to really experience how to feel good all day.

Let it work, let the effects snowball. Before you know it the process will fade into the background and you’ll just wake up in the morning with positive expectations of getting stuff done and feeling good throughout the day.

When you anticipate what you have to do, you’ll see the positive feeling potential. You can then work from positive feeling to positive feeling all day long.


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If you have any questions or feedback regarding this article and any of the issues it raises, or if you’d like to get in touch to find out more about fulfilling your true potential I would love to hear from you.

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