The Positivity Cycle
Life happens in cycles and circles.
You’ve probably felt when you get caught up in a cycle or a circle because there’s momentum. No edges to stop you, and no reason to take pause or give a second look. You just keep moving. Sometimes those circles become spirals, going down or up (let’s hope up!) and you’re caught in a whirlwind.
There’s a bit of lack of control in that whirlwind, and sometimes that’s a good thing. If you’re movin’ and groovin’ and life feels awesome, then lack of control, that submission to life’s momentum, can be an extra push. But if life is tough, negative or sticky as it can be sometimes, that momentum and lack of control can leave you feeling beat up. Like you were swept up a spinning tornado, and you can’t leave its grasp until it stops completely.
Knowing that life happens in these cycles and circles and spirals and knowing that we’re going to get caught up in them for better or worse means we have to go into life knowing that we have a choice in our everyday interactions, thoughts and outlook. Here is where positivity is the only answer.
I know it sounds SO life coachy to say, “choose positivity.” (Yuck,) But one of the reasons that statement often comes off as trite is because we don’t really know what that means for our lives specifically.
Instead of spreading blanket positivity over your whole life (it will also come off as extremely inauthentic), know that every action has a reaction. And that each reaction will be positive or negative. When you put a mindful eye to what that reaction is, positive or negative, and see how that action’s reaction served you. You’ll quickly learn more about yourself in every aspect of your life.
I talk about this concept while working with clients all the time. It sounds simple, but we get caught up in life’s cycles so easily that it’s challenging to take the time to be mindful, to notice that what you’re doing to yourself and others feeds into the current cycle you’re in.
Start simple. After your next workout mindfully examine, how do you feel? You got yourself to class. Good job. Now what did the action of going to class inspire in your body? Do you feel light, energized, or strong? Good, now remember that feeling. That’s key. That’s the mindfulness. The next time you don’t feel like working out, remember the positivity you felt after you exercised previously. I bet you’ll want to work out a little bit more because you know what reaction your action will inspire.
Eat pizza four nights in a row and feel shitty four days in a row? That means something! Your body is talking to you and telling you that your action is garnering a negative reaction. Once you recognize this, especially if it’s a habitual action, I bet you’ll start to tap into how you feel more, realize what your body is saying to you, and in this instance you may reach for some veggies instead.
The examples above are small and simple, but when you’re caught in life’s cycle and it’s whipping you around with seemingly no mercy add in some mindfulness and reflection. Once you realize the positive actions and reactions, you’ll chase that positivity. And positivity brings happiness because everything just feels a lighter and brighter. Little by little you will see your life change for the better. It may not be drastic shifts, but you’ll feel more control in your day to day cycle and everything will be coming from a place of positivity. And because it feels oh so good, it’ll stay positive.