One aspect of being mindful is finding balance in your life, including a balance between positivity and negativity. It's easy to be bombarded with negative thoughts and feelings in today's world, and unfortunately, we have an evolutionary predisposition to attend to negative reactions more than to positive ones (i.e., better safe than sorry!). How can we guarantee that a sufficient quantity of positivity enters our lives? Here are just a few ideas.
1. Spend a portion of every day doing something that brings out positive emotions or reactions. Donate money to charity, perform volunteer work, help a neighbor carry in the groceries, give another driver the right-of-way. In other words, do something for someone else.
2. Recognize that you can take a positive and loving approach to friends and family members who seem negative or engage in problematic, difficult behaviors. Reassure people you care about that you love them. Love and joy are two positive emotions that you can experience together.
3. Watch movies or television shows that make you laugh. There is plenty of negativity on TV (just think of the evening news), so make sure to balance that with humor or light-heartedness.
4. Read an enjoyable book or article, something that lifts your spirits.
5. Listen to your favorite music. Music and mood go hand-in-hand. If your favorite music happens to be mournful or rather subdued, try something bouncier that you can dance to.
6. Spend less time with people who are pessimistic and complaining. It's hard to be upbeat when the people around you bring you down. You are in control of how much "half-empty" thinking you want others to bring into your life. And remember, complaining without a constructive approach to problem-solving seldom accomplishes anything.
7. Spend time each day in nature. Its beauty is inspiring and generates positive emotions.
8. Smile every day. Science has demonstrated that the mere act of smiling causes us to feel happier. Take advantage of it!