Calling All Negative Nancys: Here's How to Be More Positive About Everything

The world is currently experiencing a positivity shortage. I'm certain of it. We've never been moanier, angrier, or less kind to everyone around us and ourselves. I mean, hell, we're so fed up that we've even set a day to memorialise our collective sadness—Blue Monday. Yes, I think it's safe to say we have a positivity problem.

That's not to say we're all at fault though. I mean, how could anyone blame us? Right now, we're up against political and economic unrest, a planet that is slowly crumbling around us because we're having a hard time going easy on the plastics and even the weather isn't looking too rosy. We have every reason to be down in the dumps.

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But wherever your negativity stems from, it can have some pretty serious effects on your overall outlook. "If we experience trauma or neglect, we develop negative core beliefs about ourselves and the world," explains Sheri Jacobson, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) expert and clinical director of Harley Therapy. "This can look like beliefs such as I am no good, the world is a dangerous place or you can't trust anyone, and these core beliefs hide in our unconscious mind and dictate the way we see the world unless we take time to discover and change them."

I don't know about you, but I'd quite like to turn this ship around, so I've decided that rather than chocolate, I'm giving up negativity for Lent. But that means I need some hard and fast tips and techniques on how to be more positive because just telling myself I'll ditch the negativity isn't enough.

And this is where CBT comes in. "CBT looks chiefly at the way out thoughts create our lives," reveals Jacobson. "If we work on our thoughts, we can change the ways we behave and the results we get. Our lives begin to change." Given that that's such a dreamy prospect, I asked Jacobson to recommend three easy CBT exercises that I (and you—we're in this together) can do at home to help brighten up my future outlook. Let's see if we can shake this negativity once and for all.