We all know what it’s like to be surrounded by a negative person – no fun! But sometimes pessimism becomes so ingrained in our outlook on life it’s difficult to know how to change. The good news is that these positivity workouts from NLP master Phil Parker can help you look on the bright side and change your negative thinking patterns. Give them a go every day for two weeks and positivity will be your new default setting
#1 5-a-day gratitude
Gratitude exercises have been around for thousands of years, but in the last 30 years science has caught up with the power of thankfulness, and has shown it is really good for us.
Every morning write down 5 things you are looking forward to.
Every evening write down 5 things you are really grateful for.
After a week you’ll notice an improvement in your mood.
If you can’t think of five things you’re looking forward to, it’s just showing you haven’t got enough fun and inspiring things in your life, so spend a bit of time thinking about what you love doing and do more of it.
#2 Brilliant future
A major cause of stress and negativity is thinking about the future and predicting disaster. Instead, imagine your future as a line – as you do notice, what colour is that line? Which direction does it go in? To your left, your right, up, down?
Now cycle through all the possible colours, including metallic gold, bright neons and glittering diamonds and stardust – which one makes that future line feel the most attractive and inspiring?
Now change the direction in which the line goes: for most people having it head off in front of you, or going off to your right, will make it seem much more exciting – but you are the boss so try any combination that you want and see what feels the best for you.
Finally add some stardust and sparkle to that line, make it bright, and notice how intriguing is to find that your future now seems more exciting.
#3 The art of ambivalence
Events themselves are not what cause stress or negativity, it is our response to those events which causes the trouble. It can be easy to get too caught up in events that are happening or going to happen, but it is just as easy to the detach yourself from the emotions of those situations. To do this practise the art of ambivalence; think about something you don’t really care about very much, that might be football results, how long your friends fingers are, the exact number of cartons of milk in your local supermarket. Notice how that feels – pretty tedious and unimportant? Now simply imagine you have a hose pipe and you are pouring those ambivalent feelings into the situations that have been bothering you up until now, notice how that fades all the colour out of those situations, leaving them washed-out and makes them feel irrelevant.
#4 Being present
Being able to be present is one of the most important skills whch separates those who are positive and those who aren’t. We spend so much of the time worrying, thinking and planning the future or going over the past, when all that exists in this moment is right here and right now, and we should celebrate and immerse ourselves in it and enjoy it.
Decide to focus on the moment. Choose to recognise what is great about being here right now. You may find you disappear from the present again but just kindly and compassionately remind yourself to be here in the now.
About the author
Phil Parker is a speaker and author of 4 books, including Get the Life You Love Now (£12.99 Hay House). He is a certified Master Trainer NLP and specialises in the psychology of health, happiness and genius.