Simple, but extremely effective. The way to create a positive mindset is to write down your personal highlights each day. Make this part of your evening routine – preferably writing on paper, for example a Gratitude Journal, and not a phone screen – or do it early in the morning, so you start the day on a positive note.
If you pause to think about positive things, you become calmer, happier and more sociable. In addition, people who write regularly in a gratitude journal have a stronger immune system, less high blood pressure, and fewer health issues. In itself, something to be grateful for.
This is how you create a positive mindset
Write down three things that you see as the highlights of your day. Be as detailed as possible, so don’t say: ”I had a good training session”, but instead: ”I was proud of the fact that I ran ten kilometers in an hour for the first time”. Robert Emmons, professor at the University of California, offers the following tips. Focus on people you are grateful for, not things. Research by his colleague Sonja Lyobomirsky has shown that gratitude for (acquiring) things does not really increase a positive mindset. Try to do a bit more, and spend a moment on what it would have meant to you if you had not experienced these highlights. And: focus on the surprising highlights. They stay with you for longer.
Focus on positivity
If you train yourself to do this, you will benefit at many levels. You learn to focus on the positive aspects of your life, which makes us, says Emmons, more present in it. Negative emotions are neutralized. And there’s more: expressing gratitude helps to counter feelings of depression, British research has shown. The University of Manchester established that gratitude is an important predictor of general well-being. Grateful people have more self-confidence, and can handle stress better. Emmons did his research on over a thousand people who kept a gratitude journal, and found that they had fewer health issues, less high blood pressure and took better care of themselves. They exercised more frequently and slept better. How exactly you write down your gratitude does not make much difference. You can opt for a diary, a digital journal – Day One is nice and user friendly – or a special Gratitude Book, like the one from Ernst-Jan Pfauth 34 , a ”journal for a satisfied life”.