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The Power of Positivity

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — May 29, 2020 — 3 min read
We are not going to tell you to “just think positive thoughts” or to “look on the bright side.” When you’re hurting, and especially when you have a mental illness, positivity is not that simple.

Positivity can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s about smiling and faking it till you make it. For others, positivity is about recognizing the steps you’ve taken in your mental health journey.

At Cardinal Innovations, positivity is about being aware of your thought process and focusing on what you can control. Below we discuss the ways in which you can experience the power of positivity.

Meditation, Noting, and Awareness of Thoughts

When it comes to generating more positive thoughts, the first step is recognizing the thoughts you already have. Meditation is linked to better mental health and improved happiness. The simplest way to meditate is to sit in one place, breathe slowly, and count your breaths in your head. If you find it hard to focus, that’s okay! Just take note of the distraction.

Taking note of distractions, or noting, is when you pause and recognize a thought or feeling during meditation. It helps you bring awareness to yourself and your thoughts. Here are examples of noting:
  • You hear a car engine revving outside —Think: Hearing
  • You start to think about the lunch you had earlier — Think: Tasting
  • You remember something that makes you angry — Think: Feeling
You can also note your feelings in non-meditation situations. If you find yourself struggling with an emotion, take a breath and try to identify the thought or feeling without judgment. This means you don’t categorize it as bad or good; you just recognize that it’s there. This will help you take a step toward being conscious of your thought patterns.

Self-Care

Real self-care can be difficult, and it looks different for everyone. However, here are a few important steps you can take to better your mood.

Take care of your body—sleep, diet, and exercise.
This means sleeping 8-9 hours a night for adults and 9-10 hours for teenagers. You should also do your best to limit noises and lights that could wake you during the night.

Limit your processed foods. Try your best to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods full of probiotics (like yogurt, sourdough bread, and cottage cheese).

Try to get your heart pumping at least once a day by going for a walk, gardening, jogging, or doing yoga inside your home. Exercise releases those feel-good chemicals called endorphins.

Keep positive posture.
What does this mean? Basically, positive or confident posture is good posture. Keeping your back straight and your chin held high may help ease depression and improve your mood.

See a therapist.
While therapy is not accessible to everyone, there are a few online and affordable options out there like BetterHelp. You can also call Cardinal Innovations’ mental health crisis line — **ASK (star-star-2-7-5) — to get immediate, non-medical-emergency help. If none of these options are right for you, consider just talking about your feelings with someone you trust.

Journal.
While it may seem simple, journaling your thoughts, feelings, and dreams can help you get a better perspective. That’s what the power of positivity is all about — changing your perspective.

Gratitude and Mental Health

Finally, it’s important to remember how positive thinking patterns start — do positive people wake up and choose to feel happy? Not exactly. Positivity comes from recognizing the good even when everything seems bad. A great way to do this is to start your day with gratitude. Try writing down one or two things that you are grateful for each morning. Studies have shown that gratitude can help improve overall happiness.
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