Have you noticed you function better when you’re happy? Be it good news in the family, an achievement at work, a meditative start to the day, or simply cheerful weather, happiness can enhance our spirit and makes us do better than ever. It all boils down to how we think, feel, and perceive.
According to research, we think approximately 50,000 thoughts a day, out of which roughly 70% are negative. Our thoughts in turn affect our feelings and emotions on a subconscious and hormonal level. For instance, a bad day at work, a difficult task, or a fight with a loved one can induce stress hormones such as cortisol, which then hampers our mood and ongoing activities. On the flip side, positive thoughts about life improve functioning in the memory centre of the brain.
A study conducted at Oxford University has also shown that workers are 13% more productive when happy as they worked more efficiently. Therefore, in order to be our optimal self, we need to be happy and have a positive outlook on life. Weather conditions also play a significant role in our state of happiness. Meanwhile, a study conducted by the University of Michigan on how weather affects our mood found that people who spent at least 30 minutes outside in pleasant weather had happier moods. But given that change is the only constant and life situations often aren’t in our control – especially during a pandemic – is there really a way to foster positivity and in turn increase our productivity levels? Absolutely!
How Can You Maintain a Positive Attitude?
Tend to Your Thoughts
Our thoughts pave the way forward, therefore self-cultivation is vital. I often sit with my thoughts after an intense workday, assess areas where I could’ve handled things differently, accept my emotions as they are, and confide in myself. We can be very hard with ourselves sometimes, but all we really need to do is accept ourselves and focus on what can be done rather than what happened.
Spend Time with Like-Minded People
I cannot stress this enough. As we mature with age, we realise that having the right support can be very mentally rewarding. Being around people that ‘just get you’, understand your shortcomings, or simply accept you for who you are can be pivotal in uplifting our moods, our energy, and our productivity.
Invest Energy in Self-Care Activities
Self-care is often neglected, but with changing times, a lot of us have realised its importance. Self-care is no longer a luxury for a few, but a necessity for all. It’s self-preservation. I strongly believe that indulging in activities such as meditation and breathwork, offering gratitude, and creating a safe haven for yourself to thrive in can be very self-motivating.
Remember That Gratitude Is Key
No matter how far we go, we’re spirit, and our spirit guides us. The universe is also always guiding us. Being grateful means that despite life’s oddities, our inner mechanism and willpower will always remain grounded. Studies have shown the power of gratitude can deeply enhance our lifestyle and the way we perceive things. To quote reputed author Germany Kent: “It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”
Live Mindfully and Consciously
It is true that a conscious lifestyle in itself can be the biggest flex when it comes to enforcing positivity, vitality, and joy. Mindfulness has shown to be an excellent way of striking a balance in your life as well as living up to your full potential. When we are conscious and aware of our surroundings as well as our inner self, it reflects in our work, relationships, and overall well-being. Being mindful – not mind-full – is vital.
How Can You Boost Your Productivity?
Often, people who are desperate to make the most of their time might multitask by handling too many tasks at once or constantly switching between tasks. Multitasking is actually ‘false efficiency’, and studies have shown that it negatively affects our mind and keeps us away from optimal productivity. This is one of the reasons most people burn out or exhaust themselves too quickly. Rather than multitasking, one should focus on one goal at a time by paying undivided attention and having the right support/team to ensure productivity levels are in check.
Stick to a Schedule
Abiding by a set schedule can ensure efficiency and discipline. Oftentimes, work can get chaotic and exhausting. And in such moments, a set schedule can be your saving grace and keep you on track when sticking by commitments. Journaling, planning, and marking your calendars well in advance can ensure sticking to set goals, maintaining clarity, and ensuring tasks are carried out seamlessly.
Learn to Say ‘No’
This is a tough, yet mentally rewarding thing to do. Saying ‘no’ when you need to is a sign of self-satisfaction and self-care. Many times, we over-promise – especially at work where we want to put our best foot forward – but it can do more harm than good if those tasks are not achievable or done with efficiency. This can be achieved by positively changing your mindset, which is key to any productivity hack.
Give Yourself the Much-Needed Downtime
Investing in some ‘me-time’ throughout the day can highly benefit productivity levels. But the idea is to be smart about it, and that definitely doesn’t mean mindlessly scrolling on social media. Take up at least 10-15 minutes in the day to recharge and reload yourself by spending time on activities that are not taxing, but very relaxing. I often chant mantras/affirmations, take a power nap, or quickly do deep breathing to instantly get myself in the zone.
Eat Light and Get Grooving
Having a simple meal can help maintain concentration levels as well as energy and metabolism throughout the day. Personally, I feel sweating it out really fosters my happiness levels, and it makes me more optimistic and encouraged to tackle the day as it comes. So be it nature walks, gym class, or yoga flow once a day, find what it is that helps you get grooving and puts you in a good mood, which in turn affects your productivity levels drastically.
To learn more on how to live a healthier, happier, and more productive life, visit Illuminations Wellbeing Center to take charge of your personal growth.