Positivity makes everything better. Sometimes, when you’re down, you just have to trick yourself into being positive.
Even if your initial positive thoughts are fake or forced, they will eventually become genuine. Optimism and positivity are so important to an entrepreneur’s daily life, yet they are so easy to overlook.
When you’re struggling to figure out what to do, when you’re struggling to make money, it’s easy to get down. But, just like I wrote about with productivity last week, once you’re down, it’s harder get stuff done. Not doing anything makes you more depressed, which in turn makes it even harder to do things. That cold bitch of procrastination rides again.
So, we must focus on positivity and focus on being optimistic. It creates a domino or snowball effect in which being positive and happy makes you enthusiastic and inspired to do more. Doing more, being productive, and having something to show for the time you’ve put into something – this all makes us even happier.
It’s a fantastic cycle – one that’s in stark contrast to the procrastination cycle – but one that can be tough to get the ball rolling on.
Here are some things I do to get myself positive when I’m feeling a little down.
The first thing I do if I’m a little bummed is smile. I may be feeling down, sad, or unhappy, but I put (force) a smile on my face. Try it right now.
I think it’s impossible to smile without starting to feel some joy. Using the smile muscles actually does release some endorphins, so it’s not even fake – you’re feeling true joy when you smile because of the smile.
Smiling even creates a feedback loop. The smile releases endorphins which make you happy. When you’re happy, you smile. Then it releases even more endorphins! I love it!
Call me goofy if you want, but this shit works. I will stand in front of a mirror, get into my best superhero pose, and say something to myself along these lines:
“You’re fucking rad, Peej. You got this. Life is good and you’re going to be alright. Everything is cool!”
Saying positive, affirming statements out loud while holding a strong physical pose does wonders. This isn’t for anyone to see but you, so make yourself as big and powerful as you can! Holding a badass posture makes you feel stronger.
Ever hear that saying, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” To me, it’s a similar idea. You’re making your body be in a strong posture, something somebody successful may be in, and it’s making your brain think you’re a badass, too.
I wrote about this, as well, as a way to boost productivity and it’s part of my Miracle Morning. If I’m a little low, I try not to dwell on it, but instead think about a few things that make me happy and that I’m thankful for.
Maybe I’ll re-read the things I wrote that morning or maybe I’ll think of a couple new things. Either way, it gets me going in the right direction – positivity.
It could be something as silly as ice cream. It doesn’t matter! If something makes you happy, use it! Getting your mind right is what it’s all about.
I’ll do some pushups, sit-ups, or jumping jacks. Anything physical that I can just do for a minute or two does the trick.
Getting your blood flowing and some endorphins rushing around is a sure-fire way to boost positivity and productivity in the immediate short term. It’ll also help in the long run because, if you’re getting more exercise, you’re going to feel better, look better, and feel better because you look better.
Win. Win. Win.
Hug my dog
Yeah, you know Meag and I are obsessed with our pug, Walter. Working from home allows me to go and have a “smush break” whenever I want, and it automatically makes me feel better.
Don’t work from home or don’t have an animal of your own? Take 3 minutes to look at cute animal pictures on the Internet. Seriously, just Google koalas and hit the “images” button.
Thank me later.
Kittens, pugs, or whatever animal you’re into all work just as well.
Reach out to someone
I like to take a few minutes and write a quick email to someone. Usually it’s someone I haven’t talked to in a while, but it doesn’t have to be.
I say email because it’s generally less immediate than a text. You don’t want to get involved in a long conversation if you’re trying to work, so email generally has less of that urgent feeling to respond.
Shoot a quick note to someone saying, “Hey, I’ve been thinking of you and hope you’re doing well.” And then tell them something fun that’s going on in your life and ask what’s up with them. Or just tell them you’re thankful to have them as a friend, parent, or relative.
It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s genuine. You’ll feel good for keeping in contact with someone and maintaining your relationships, and you’ll feel even better when you get a response.
Just like the power pose, you’ll probably prefer to do this one with no one watching. Find a song you like and just cut loose. Don’t try to be good, just jump around the house and have fun!
What’s that? You’d like to know three of my favorite tunes to turn up loud and dance to?
Here you go:
Toto – Africa (This song probably makes me happier than any other song in the world. I can’t get more than 4 seconds in to that drum beat intro without smiling and jumping out of my chair.)
Paula Abdul – Straight Up (Come on, with that synth trumpet and killer groove, how can you not love it?)
The Avett Brothers – Talk on Indolence (Especially the Live Vol. 3 version or pretty much any live version on YouTube. You just gotta jump and sing along at the top of your lungs for this one!)
Don’t you dare judge me (for Paula, really 😉 ). I defy you to turn on one of those songs and not sing along and dance. You can’t do it. You just can’t.
I hope these simple yet often overlooked or forgotten about tips for keeping the positivity flowing help you out in some way. These are just a few of my personal choices, but I’d love to hear any that you’ve got in the comments below!