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Staying positive each day

One of the best and simplest ways to feel positive each day is to think about what you’re grateful for.

‘But I’m not grateful for COVID-19 and isolation!’

Perhaps you’re only aware of feeling anxious or lonely during the COVID-19 restrictions and those feelings are making you want to gamble. But big negative emotions might be blinding you to the little, daily reasons you have to be grateful.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness.

Gratitude helps people:

  • feel more positive emotions
  • relish good experiences
  • improve their health
  • deal with tough times, and
  • build strong relationships.

Six steps to gratitude

The following exercise can help you cultivate gratitude and turn it into a daily habit.

At the end of each day, take a notebook and list the following:

  1. The best thing I saw today
  2. The best thing I ate today
  3. The best thing I received today
  4. The best thing I did for myself today
  5. The best thing I did for someone else today
  6. The funniest thing that happened today

You may find humour in the light-hearted lists you make.

  • How good that I left one biscuit in the pack to have with morning tea.
  • Every traffic light was green on the drive to the shops.

You may recognise that you have looked after yourself and others today.

  • I swept up the leaves and caught the sun.
  • I wanted to gamble but I kept myself busy and didn’t gamble.

And gratitude is catching. Small, daily expressions of care, compassion and thankfulness are a kindness extended to loved ones. You’ve passed on a good feeling and your loved ones might now pay it forward.

  • They might make a cuppa for someone else.
  • They might warmly greet someone.

Your gratitude has set off a chain of kindness.