By Dr Shivannie Persaud
Positivity is a character trait, an attitude which sets the tone for our outlook in life. It is the single most valuable characteristic we possess as human beings in response to life’s nature of high and low sequences and while we know that our lives have not been smooth, especially with the pandemic, adopting a positive attitude helps us to build character, to cope, gives us strength and motivates us to keep going; to weather the storms and maintain enthusiasm, hope and light during our setbacks.
Positive people are more energetic, highly motivated, remain focused on their goals, they possess resilience and are able to manage stress more effectively.
We won’t ever have complete control of what takes place in our life, however, the attitude we opt for when facing life’s troubles is absolutely inside our control and so as Charles Brown sang, “I got my resolution made, gonna ride above the stars. I’ll be bringing in a brand new year”.
Let us enter 2021 with, smiles, a desire to assist others without expectation, contentment and above all, a positive mindset.
Here are a few ways in which we can learn to unlearn negative attitudes and embrace a positive one this year:
Filter: evaluate your thinking whether it’s how you feel about yourself, someone else, work, an illness or any situation, identify the negatives and put a positive spin on them. For example; I may be hypertensive but with modifying my lifestyle through diet, exercise and some medication to keep it controlled I will be able to live a full normal life, doing all the things I love to do and avoiding life-threatening complications.
Do not automatically blame yourself when something bad occurs, do not anticipate the worse and try not to see things as either good or bad.
Practice self-care and mindfulness: be kind and encouraging to yourself. When you experience negative thoughts, evaluate them rationally and respond in a positive way. Think about all your good traits, what makes you a good person and be thankful for your life.
Surround yourself with supportive people who you can depend on to give reassurance and positive advice.
Breathe: practice for approximately 3 minutes every day; taking long slow deep breaths, extending your exhales longer each time than your inhales. This helps you to relax and can reset your outlook in a different direction, especially during times of high stress and anxiety.
Be open to humour: smile, laugh and find humour in everyday happenings.
Practice positive thinking every day through self-talk, less self-criticism and self-acceptance.
Dr Shivannie Vanada Persaud is a bi-lingual, Cuba-trained Medical Doctor who recently started her very own clinical practice.