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Can You Be Positive For An Entire Week?

Author: Lauren Coleman

I’m not saying I’m the world’s most negative person, in fact I’d say on the whole I’m pretty upbeat. I do believe in the power of positive thinking but it also frustrates me when it’s offered as a solution to a bad situation as sometimes it can be seen as quite dismissive.
Anyway, I was stood in the post office queue for quite some time the other day and the women in front of me seemed to be really sweating the small stuff. I’ll admit it I was eavesdropping but it’s a pretty confined space and they’d really got the volume turned up as they had a good old whinge about anyone and everything. Getting stuff off your chest can be a godsend, a problem shared is a problem halved and all that but they seemed to be missing the joy in EVERYTHING.

I find negativity toxic and really do believe one bad apple can upset the cart. After the post office joy-sapping incident, I did find they had really lowered my mood. I recently saw this pin on Pinterest that struck a chord hence the topic of this post.

So the general gist of the pin was actions to adjust your attitude in seven days. Admittedly the gals in the post office perhaps need this more than me but I thought it might be worth a try, especially if you find yourself getting in a bit of a head funk.

Day 1

Make a list of five things you should be thankful for.
Pretty straightforward. We can all do this can’t we?

Day 2

Go a full day without a single complaint.
I’m sure the team and my husband can’t wait for this. I think it might be a bit of an eye-opener as to how much I do complain without realising.

Day 3

Tell someone you care.
Insert smiley emoji here. What a lovely way to start the day.

Day 4

Spend 30 minutes doing something that makes you happy.
Half an hour?! Looking forward to that one. Can’t decide if I’ll carve out some time to just chill out or maybe go for a quick beauty treatment.

Day 5

Get active and get those endorphins pumping.
I do this most days anyway but okay then. Maybe I’ll head up to our local pool for a change.

Day 6

Give yourself a mirror pep-talk.
Hmm not sure about this one? Do folks do this? Maybe just a general ‘give yourself a good talking to’ might be sufficient.

Day 7

Be smiley and chatty to everyone you meet to lift your mood and theirs. I reckon my face will ache from doing this and don’t send me to the post office, but I whole heartedly agree this can lift your mood.

Thinks To Be Grateful For

So starting with Day one, here are my things to be grateful for. One and two are a double whammy of a combo.

  • 1 and 2) I ended up in the maternity unit last week after my little one decided to totally chill out for a day or two and stop his frequent wriggling. An absolute gem of a midwife looked after me and was so reassuring. I’m grateful that he’s doing okay and that there are some NHS superstars out there to look after us.
  • 3) I’ve just spent quality time with my family and friends filled with barbecues (only the second of the season!), bouncy castles and impromptu dinner plans.
  • 4) This one is me putting my positive pants on because I can’t be the only one who is struggling a bit with this heat?! However, I’m grateful that everything we’ve had planned this summer which has involved some form of outdoor pursuit; my Dad’s 70th birthday garden party, our UK based holiday, punting and picnicking for my best girl’s hen do, summer gigs and other celebrations, haven’t been rained off! 2018 has definitely been a summer for incredible memories and there’s still so much time left before the autumn creeps in.
  • 5) After receiving lots of comments and DMs after an insta I posted last week I’m grateful for the medical science that is helping and giving hope to so many.
  • I’ll report back at the end of the week on how realistic these points were and if they did anything to lift my mood. I also want to recognise that it’s absolutely okay not to be okay too. Like I said above I find people who tell you to think positively when you’re having a tough time dismissive especially when my mental health is suffering.

    But if anyone needs a light-hearted injection of positivity, feel free to share five things you’re grateful for at the moment.

    Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
    Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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    28 thoughts on “Can You Be Positive For An Entire Week?

    1. I’m all for embracing positivity but not at the expense of feeling your feelings. Often I think it’s not negativity as such but realism and what’s wrong with that.
      There’s such pressure these days to be happy all the time which is very unrealistic and, I think, damaging. Some may start to think there’s something wrong because they don’t feel happy all day every day.
      So, all for happiness but if you ain’t feeling it you ain’t feeling it – and that’s ok too!

      1. Absolutely nothing wrong with realism whatesever and like you say it’s not negativity. And sometimes you do need space to dwell don’t you? Like I said above too, I can find people telling you to think positively can be so dismissive when all you want to do is offload x

        1. Totally agree. I hate the expression ‘chin up’ – had that said many a time and feel it’s totally inappropriate x

    2. I agree with the poster above actually. I’m knackered, the kids are all sick, I’m sick but it’s school holidays so you just keep on going because it’s the work juggle bullshit. It’s not working for me right now and then (I realise this is a first world problem) the cleaner quit and I can’t find a replacement because they’re all busy servicing the real housewives of bloody Cheshire and right now I’ve had enough. See. I feel better already.

      I get the thinking positively and remembering how lucky you idea are but carving time out for yourself and getting physical only works when you have the bloody time.

      The only way I feel more positive is to feel more in control. To address the problem. Write a list and work my way through it. It’s just when the list grows quicker than I can cope with that I have a spiral.

    3. I completely get what you mean Lauren – whilst indeed it’s absolutely ok to not be ok (and often I am not), I do have to consciously take a breath and remind myself sometimes that whilst the day to day stuff can be hard work and make me feel really bogged down, having been through intense periods of grief and family health issues for example, sometimes I need to hold in mind that right now I am ok, my children are ok, my family is ok.

      That’s not to trivialise the day to day stuff as it can be so wearing and obviously we are all different but I have found that for my mental health, literally 5 seconds of breathing slowly and thinking of positive things has a real impact. Perhaps my toddler constantly singing ‘Let It Go’ is also helping (ha!).

      In all seriousness though it has taken an awful lot of time and money for me to get to point that I can manage my ruminations even though it doesn’t sound that complex.

      Happy to hear the little one is ok, reduced movement can be such a scare.

    4. Fionnula, I’m going to go back and make an edit, because what you say is so true. It is absolutely okay not to be okay and it’s so important to recognise that.
      I tried to start a gratitude journal when I was having IVF and have to say I wasn’t in the right head space to write in it. It seemed like such an effort but I’ve heard it works wonders for others. Deep breathing is such a great technique and I find getting out in the fresh air and getting my heart pumping is also really good for the soul.

    5. I think this is a lovely idea. Every time something really horrible happens like a family bereavement, I think that I must focus on the positives more and embrace life because it is so short but it only lasts a couple of days before I’m back to my usual complaining! I will give it a go 🙂
      Glad to hear your little boy is doing ok, it’s so terrifying when you don’t feel them moving normally for a bit isn’t it.

      1. Thanks Emma.I have to say I was super nervous about it all as my nausea practically went for the two days he was quiet. Now he’s turned gone back to his Harry Kane antics the nausea is back. I never thought I’d be so grateful to feel queasy! x

    6. I think this post is good. I can see a few posters above are saying it’s realism and fine not to be ok, which is true, but this post is probably aimed at people like me and not intended as advice for people struggling with mental health problems or difficult situations in life. I no longer have any kind of mental health problem but often get bogged down in a spiral of negativity. I overthink things and don’t always have much going on in my life, so I start to dwell. I beat myself up about things I’ve done, I feel angry at the world around me and I feel powerless to change anything. It stops me doing anything positive about a situation or just enjoying my life. I have to sort of mentally shake myself and intentionally change my focus. I feel that I have wasted so much time with my ridiculous internal thoughts which have achieved nothing. I can’t see me giving myself a mirror pep talk any time soon 😄 but I do like to think of the things I have to be glad about.

      1. I think my husband would think I’d lost the plot if he saw me talking to myself in the mirror 😉

    7. Great post Lauren, perfectly timed as today I officially start maternity leave with an overdue baby and in desperate need of a kick up the bum for being a right old misery guts about it and in need of some perspective. I realise I get so many well meaning sympathetic comments from folk about how hard it must be to be pregnant in this weather that I’ve started to forget how fortunate I am. Its amazing how one negative idea can really cloud your head and take over. Finding the positives and focusing on them does really do your mind the world of good. Yesterday I was feeling incredibly sorry for myself because it was ‘far too hot’ while I my parents took me and the children out and treated us to lunch. Then while we sat eating ice creams in the beautiful gardens at Chatsworth I got a text from my husband who had spent the majority of the day putting out fires in the craziest amount of layers of fire kit and going from job to job had meant their lunch was sitting back at the station uneaten. After getting in after a 13 hour shift with no breaks he still came straight up to help me with the kids bed time and then did jobs round the house without complaining about his day. I was so ashamed I’d been feeling so ‘poor me’.
      So… 5 things…1. I may not have had the energy to fill the summer holidays with day trips to fun places and can’t be as active as usual, but am so grateful that my children are being completely understanding and finding plenty of things to do at home… even helping out with ironing and hoovering.
      2. My wriggly baby. He’s obviously quite happy right where he is for now and I’m incredibly grateful for another healthy pregnancy.
      3. More time to get some diy done. I may not be able to squeeze between the bath and the radiator to finish off the painting I’ve started but a few days of mat leave to spend time on some things I’ve not had time to do has been great.
      4. Flat peaches. Is it me or do they just taste extra amazing at the moment? I keep picking them up for a bargain of 49p from Tesco and Aldi and am on an at least 3 a day habit at the moment and would happily live on them, and iced coffee.
      5. My gem of a husband. He’s already back to putting out another fire in a factory and grabbing a sec to text to check I’m ok… while I peruse the online sales and have my son bringing me my cornflakes in bed!

      1. I actually had a bit of a meltdown about the heat yesterday Amanda, there was just no air! It helped me to write down why I had been so grateful for a lovely summer.
        Hope your little one arrives safely very soon x

    8. I totally agree with Amanda. That one negative thought that gets into your head can just bring you down about everything, and I so feel that. Im a small biz owner, and it’s so easy to look at the accounts and go into a spin about it (uh, that’d be me, then), and then everything be omes stressful. I actually woke up this morning and felt my heart rate increase at the thought of Yet. Another. Day. Of. It. So, thank you for being just what I needed today, because things are really not that bad! I hope you dont mind or think I’m smug when I list my five things to be thankful for – this is my self-care for today:
      1. My lovely husband, sleeping the sleep of the truthful man when I’m awake stressing out!
      2. Our home, which although is a complete project, is also mortgage-free and therefore secure, and has a beautiful garden.
      3. Health and strength to renovate said home.
      4. The fact that we are masters of our own destiny and no longer having to deal with horrible bosses or someone else’s agenda.
      5. Living in beautiful Somerset and at the moment, it being just as I remember from childhood holidays here, when the sun was hot and the lemonade was cold (just substitute gin now, obvs)

      Thank you for ths reminder, Lauren. Right, now – big girl pants on and get on with it! Have a beautiful day, all! X

      1. Love your list Denise and totally agree that one negative thought can bring down everything. Have a lovely day too x

    9. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in a negative spiral. I would add to your weeks list to tell yourself you’ve done something well or recognise that you’ve finished something or put effort in.

      So easy to not recognise what you’ve done/achieved and only see the things still to be done.

      1. Excellent point Jenny. My to do list is so long at the moment that I can only see what’s left to do. Sometimes you need a change in perspective to realise how much you have done.

    10. I can be a bit moany to my other half about chores and if he doesn’t do them my way, but in general I am such a positive person. If anything, I am known for seeing the good in everyone and a colleague has picked up that I often say ‘to be fair’ before reasoning why someone has done something!

      ‘To be fair’, I’ve not had to deal with any tragedy near to me, but I have taken a big step back from my family, because it was stressing me out. I’m a big believer in the mantra ‘the only person who is responsible for your happiness is you’. I’m also much better at actions, making lists and resolving issues.

      Finally, I’m a recent convert to running, from nothing to 10k in 17 weeks with a local running club. The euphoria I feel from pushing myself makes me very positive. Although you know, in the interests of being real, I’m hangry when I get home and sometimes other half faces the brunt of that 🙂

    11. Love this Lauren!
      I actually think part of being a positive person is ALLOWING yourself to feel your pain and sadness without then feeling bad and guilty about it. Its okay to cry and scream and shout but just know you have the strength to come out the other side. Being positive doesn’t have to mean pretending.
      I am a very positive person which I am grateful for as its helps so much with adversity; but its healthy to have the days where you want to tell the world to F.Off!!!! Much love xxx

    12. I love this post! While I see the point of commenters saying that ‘it’s okay to not be okay’, as someone who has struggled with mental health clouds in the past I have to say that the techniques listed above were more often than not the lifelines that pulled me out of my past funks. Sometimes just switching your focus to what’s right in the world rather than constantly ruminating on what’s wrong can both make a bad situation more bearable and put the problem into perspective.

      A word about the talking to yourself in the mirror thing… Don’t dismiss it! I’ve never stood in front of a mirror doing this, but I will often ‘give myself a talking to’ in the car when I’m driving alone. I tried this out for the first time last year and the difference it makes to vocalise how you’re really feeling and work through your problems out loud in a secure, private space is HUGE. Speaking the words can help you connect dots you wouldn’t otherwise in your mind. I dare all of you to give it a go. (It also helps that we live in a world of handsfree phone calls, so your fellow drivers assume you’re talking to someone other than yourself! 😂)

      1. I’ve often been known to tell myself to get a grip Naomi but haven’t ever gone beyond saying that sentence out loud. Maybe that’s one I need to try this week!

    13. Now it’s lunchtime I’ve had time to thing abotu my five things:
      5 things to be grateful for

      1. Another lovely weekend with my boyfriend. I kissed a lot of frogs before he came along 18 months ago and I am so lucky and so happy to have found him. Even better he feels exactly the same.
      2. I am excited about a Monday double date for pizza and pub quiz
      3. My job is going well and I’ve felt a renewed level of excitement as I try to arrange a three month secondment to London. It took quite a bit of soul searching but it’s something I want to get out of my system before we marry and have bubbas. There are some factors which mean it might not happen this time but now I’ve got agreement in principle there is scope to find another opportunity.
      4. My Craft Gin Club membership – every month we have a special little date night where we enjoy trying the new unusual bottle of gin which is delivered and reading up on the background of the distillery. I love our Friday evenings round the kitchen table, the working week over, nibbles/gin/Fizz Friday and inevitably talking over our plans for the future. Who doesn’t love theorising about future house, holidays, babies?
      5. My health – I lost 4 stone, I’ve put 2.5 back on and whilst I am struggling to find anything to wear, I am also incredibly grateful I am healthy. As I mentioned above I took up running with a local club four months ago and last week I ran my first 10k. I’ve signed up to two official 10k races and can’t wait. So blooming proud of myself that I found the inner strength and willpower to go along that evening in March.

      1. Bunny this is an ace list. Good luck with the secondment. It seems like really exciting times are ahead for you x

    14. You know…. I’ve just had an absolutely s**t Monday! It’s been awash with things going wrong to the point at teamtime as my 10 month old smeared avacado into his t-shirt and crumbled babybel onto the floor I felt like the planets we’re aligning into a massive hand flipping me the middle finger! So as I read this… I need it and I’ll be doing it 🙂 and I am
      going to start it publicly on here…
      • My son, my beautiful, giggly, snuggly, observant baby boy (yes even covered in mashed avacado and covered in crumbs)
      • My wonderful, patient husband
      • My new adventure, my new business adventure that has seen me start drawing again, it has seen me start sewing again… all for my boy… my little FoXy RED
      • My ever supportive family and friends… they are pretty gorgeous to me!
      • My extended maternity leave… I’ve had an absolutely wonderful year with my boy and I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to extend my leave… one grateful lady sitting here right now!

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