How to be more Positive: try this strategy 3 times daily

A woman enjoying a meal.

Learning how to be more positive is not just a nice thing to have — it’s essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being.

One of the most effective yet underappreciated methods to foster positivity is through the recognition and celebration of ‘glimmers.’

When you can just be aware of a moment of joy, safety, and comfort you can significantly alter your perception of your daily life and improve your overall mood.

Understanding Glimmers

Glimmers are brief experiences or interactions that generate feelings of happiness or contentment. They might be as simple as a pleasant exchange with a stranger, the unexpected beauty of nature, or a moment of quiet solitude.

In the realm of polyvagal theory, these glimmers play an important role. Recognising these moments, activates the parasympathetic nervous system — our body’s natural calm response—and signals safety to our brains, encouraging a state of relaxation and peace.

Positivity: The Science

Polyvagal theory explains how our nervous system responds to the world around us and can be harnessed to cultivate a more positive state of mind.

Polyvagal Theory, by Dr. Stephen Porges, delves into how our nervous system responds to stress and helps us manage our emotions. It’s main focus is on the role of the vagus nerve. This nerve affects our physical state and our ability to connect socially. It is also a big player in managing our heart rate, digestion, and mood. It helps us relax and feel safe.

According to the theory, our bodies have three ways of dealing with stress:

  • Social Engagement: When we feel safe, the vagus nerve helps us relax and engage socially.
  • Fight or Flight: When we’re threatened, our body gears up to either confront the danger or run away.
  • Freeze: In extreme danger, sometimes our body just shuts down, playing dead until the danger passes.

Our bodies are constantly scanning for signals of safety or danger, which dictates how we react. Feeling connected and supported can activate the calming effects of the vagus nerve.

Basically, Polyvagal Theory helps us understand why feeling safe and connected is so key to managing stress and healing from trauma.

By consistently acknowledging and reflecting on glimmers, we train our brain to focus more on positive stimuli, thereby naturally enhancing our mood and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. This enhances our ability to engage socially, which helps us be more positive.

Be More Positive Through Awareness

Increasing your awareness of these daily glimmers is something you will need to practice consciously, to begin with.

Start by setting a daily goal to identify three positive moments. Doing this can gently and gradually shift your focus from what’s going wrong to what’s going right, a fundamental step in learning to be more positive.

Incorporating Glimmers into Everyday Life

To effectively incorporate glimmers into your daily routine, try to create environments that encourage these positive interactions.

  • Arrange your workspace to include elements you love.
  • Spend more time in nature.
  • Bulid relationships that make you feel safe and valued.
  • Go for a run
  • Take part in sport
  • Play a fun game.

Journaling: A Tool to Enhance Positivity

While capturing glimmers can be mentally rewarding, writing them down in any journal. My ‘Daily Glimmers Journal‘ is one option, but some just write it on their calendar, or in a diary.

It’s good to have a specific place that is separate from your other journaling activities so that these don’t get lost in the rants and stresses that you may explore in that book.

Journaling about these moments not only helps in retaining them but also in reflecting more on the positive aspects of your life. It acts as a tangible reminder of the good surrounding you. Over time you are bound to become more optimistic.

The Daily Glimmers Journal – Robert Sanders

Whatever you are experiencing in life, there can be moments that stand out as special. When you pay attention, and notice these ‘powerful micro-moments of pleasant awareness’ you increase your sense of connection, presence and well-being.

This journal provides daily pages to record your moments. The aim being to record several each day.
The pages are undated, to make the most of the space, and they are interspersed with relevant quotes from experts in various fields.

Lighten Up and Find Joy in Small Things

Remember, the point of it is to enjoy yourself and have fun with it. Encourage yourself to find humor and delight in everyday occurrences.

Maybe it’s the way your pet mischievously interrupts your workout or the laughter of children playing outside. Let these moments warm your heart and lighten your spirit.

Start Your Journey to Positivity Today

Change begins with a single step—or in this case, a single glimmer.

What is a moment that you have experienced today that you could savour and even recreate in the future.

Be more positive, one glimmer at a time.

Robert Sanders is a therapist and life coach, supporting people in their present and helping them create their future.