Why do you want more positivity? It’s simple — we want to be happier. And why not, don’t we deserve it?!
I believe there’s an internal struggle going on. How much are we allowed to be selfish before that guilt feeling of not doing enough for others.
It’s particularly highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, where some us are blessed with a job that allows working from home and the means to have grocery delivered. While others have run out of savings to pay for the essentials.
It’s ok to have a pursuit of happiness in the context of our social obligation. Here are some practical tips on how to be positive without compromising.
Real Advice to Overcome Selfishness
Tips on how to be selfless and selfish at the same time:
- Fundraise for a charity. I say who cares if you get recognition for donating. Recognition feeds your ego but it’s helping others, so go for it. Speaking of, I’m proud to fundraise for charity: water, who has been creating clean water for those. Please consider donating and joining the cause!
- Pay for the tab of the person behind you in the drive-thru. For example, at Starbucks, pay for the coffee behind you and pass along a smile.
- Gift someone a subscription box. These days, you can find a theme for almost anything. I’ve done Loot Crate (geek pop culture) but there’s all kinds of stuff, like crazy socks and loose leaf tea blends (just $6.50 for the first box).
“Results of four studies provide reliable evidence that individuals with higher childhood socioeconomic status are more likely to demonstrate altruistic behaviors when facing threats to their safety… experiments supported our hypotheses that participants from wealthier childhood backgrounds exhibited higher altruistic intentions and behaviors when they were manipulated to imagine a safety threat scenario, view pictures of disasters and experience an epidemic event.” — Selfish or Altruistic? 
How to Overcome Mental Blocks
I experienced the inability to focus awhile ago when my relationship broke-up. I was feeling so many raw emotions. I couldn’t focus on my work for the life of me. The great advice I got then was to give myself permission to just feel it. But then promise to myself that I’ll get back to work afterwards. Over time, I was able to focus for longer periods of time without breaking down, and eventually back to normal.
I understand that it’s impossible to be productive if our minds are preoccupied with stress. Maybe you’re feeling sad or angry. And that’s ok. Give yourself permission to feel that way, maybe write about it to get it out, and then go back to focusing.
Once things get better, you’ll feel productive again and the positivity will return.
These tips will help you craft habits that both deal with things and strengthen your health.
- Text a friend every morning what you’re thinking and what your goal is for the day.
- Follow someone positive or funny on Twitter. Some recommendations: @AnnaKendrick47 @DalaiLama @KevinHart4real @simonsinek
- Read before bed. Go grab a book and put by your nightstand right now.
- Reverse the Pomodoro technique. Goof off for 5–10 minutes with the promise that you’ll then hunker down and do work.
- Start a podcast. Everyone else has one, including me. Here’s a funny sketch from SNL.
If I Hear the Advice to “Slow Down” One More Time…
I’m going to make a bet with you. If you look up any article with tips on how to be more positive, one of them will be about meditating, mindfulness, or being present.
Obviously that many articles can’t be wrong because research does back up that advice. Yet, we hear it SO MUCH that it’s falling on deaf ears. So today, I’m going to offer my own twist on it, in hopes that it resonates and is certified fresh.
Here’s my twist on the advice to stay present. I ask myself the below questions when making a lot of decisions. By answering these questions, I bring into focus what is important right now and why.
- What’s more important, A or B? In other words, compare the choice of doing that thing you are contemplating to not doing it. Would you regret doing it or not doing it? When you imagine both options, which one makes you feel more positive?
- What’s the penalty if you don’t do it? Once you think you’ve made your decision, how do you feel about it? If you feel good with no remorse, that’s great! But, if you feel a tinge of anything, you may want to understand why.
Lastly, know who you are and grade yourself on a curve. If you’re someone who is constantly busy, then maybe you’re being too hard on yourself if you want to chill for a bit. But if you’re someone who usually don’t get what you wanted done, then chances are you need to hunker down and indulge less.
Achieve Influencer Status From Home
Like you, my Instagram feed has pics of amazing homes with gorgeous views and clean kitchen lines. It has influencers who travel the world taking posed pictures and advertising this could be your life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating at all!
In fact, I want those things too. The only reason why you and I don’t is.. I can’t afford that lifestyle! In the real world, we have a day job that pays the bills, maybe kids or parents to take care of, and we can’t that much risk.
I offer some tips on how to feel some of that excitement ourselves, but in the real world.
Can’t afford a thrilling adventure? Try this:
- Open up Google Maps and search for a “walking paths near me” or “biking trail near me.” Make a plan to go there sometime soon, and enjoy the excitement of something new.
- Camp in your backyard. Nothing heightens the senses like sleeping outdoors and you’ll better appreciate running water. If you don’t have camping gear, I bet you know someone who does.
Can’t afford to remodel your entire house? Try this:
- Clean out a room in your house, rearrange the furniture, take down old decor and put up new ones.
- Better yet, repurpose that room to something more useful.
Can’t get off the couch? No problem, travel the world with Netflix!
- The Mountain — Stunning views at jaw-dropping heights.
- Street Food: Asia — So realistic you might be able to imagine the taste.
- 7 Tactics For Instant Productivity And Positivity by Jodie Cook
- Baking in a little positivity
- 5 Ways to Tap the Power of Positivity in Troubled Times by Dr. Bradley Nelson
- Need a New Solo Activity? Try Gardening — It Could Even Boost Body Positivity by Elizabeth Millard
- Body Image Benefits of Allotment Gardening by Viren Swami
- Don’t fall for the positivity propaganda by Corinne Williams, SVP, Leader Services at Organisation Solutions
- 10 Tips to Cultivate Calm + Positivity Now by Caren Osten
- Data for: Selfish or Altruistic? Responses When Safety is Threatened Depend on Childhood Socioeconomic Status, Published: 12 Mar 2018, Haihong Li, Yi Song, Xiaofei Xie