5 simple steps to a more positive outlook
1. Acknowledge acts of kindness by others
‘Realising that there is good in others can increase your own sense of wellbeing,’ says Professor Dianne Vella-Brodrick, from the University of Melbourne’s Centre of Positive Psychology in Australia.
2. Try mindfulness
‘There’s no perfect way to practise mindfulness meditation and some people find it easier than others,’ says clinical psychologist, Dr Michelle Lim. She suggests starting small, with 10-20 seconds of mindfulness at first – such as bringing your attention to the present moment or focusing on your breathing – and building up from there.
3. Counter negative self-talk
‘When you catch yourself saying unhelpful things in your head, try to say several positive things in response,’ suggests Vella-Brodrick.
4. Go easy on yourself
‘People often think that being hard on ourselves makes us achieve more,’ say Dr Lim. ‘But research has shown the reverse to be true – the added pressure of expectation can create a barrier to achieving.’
5. Put things into perspective
‘When you stop, look around and reflect, you realise that most of us have all we need,’ says Dr Lim. ‘And that life is pretty good.’