Practice Positivity: Thinking Happy Thoughts in 2020

Hi, I’m Cady Stokes, editor of AEA’s monthly newsletter.

It’s that time of year again—the holiday bliss has officially worn off, it’s beyond cold out, and it seems like we’re stuck inside until further notice. This makes it easy to get wrapped up in those ever-present winter blues. So, how do we combat these feelings of negativity and turn them into something positive? Here are two tips to get you thinking more positively this winter:

  • As the great Billy Joel says, “Slow down, you’re doing fine.”

Long hours at the office can be taxing, both mentally and physically. Your laundry-list of chores and errands may suffer, because who wants to venture out into a winter tundra on their day off or after a long day at work? It’s easy to find yourself stressing out over even the smallest of things. The thing to remember is that it’s okay to feel that way. It’s also important to remember you’re doing your best; Be kind to yourself. Things will get done exactly the way they’re supposed to. It’s not the end of the world to take time to relax and rejuvenate your mind. Taking the time to slow down, prioritize, and set yourself up to succeed in all aspects of life is the first step toward a positive mindset.

  • Positive thoughts manifest a positive environment.

The way you think can truly impact the course of your entire day. If you view your daily interactions and situations in a negative light, you can’t expect anything aside from a negative outcome or experience. The thing to remember is that you are the one in control of your own thoughts. Sure, maybe you aren’t the one that canceled plans, added on extra work to your pile, or made a snarky comment. But, you are the one who decides what to do with it. Is thirty seconds of unpleasantness worth sacrificing your entire day over? No way. Take things in stride and brush off the things that won’t matter in an hour. If you’re able to let that bad moment be just that, a moment, you’ll be amazed at how your entire mentally will change. Project the positivity you want to see, and it will happen.

Remember, your own thoughts manifest in your environment. Spread the good energy around your friend group, office, or even amongst strangers and you will see just how much happier these chilly winter months can be.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 thoughts on “Practice Positivity: Thinking Happy Thoughts in 2020”

  1. Thank you for this excellent reading! I am a firm believer in positivity and good energy, but with our 7 months of winter, I definitely relate to it being difficult. Making time for self-care and prioritizing is incredibly important! I have spent a lot of time looking into growth mindset and neuroplasticity and find these topics incredibly interesting (winter or not). These are great concepts that can be learned at all ages (I teach grade 3) and can be practiced as a lifelong skill!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Melissa VanToever

    Hi Cady,

    I have been introduced to AEA365 through a course I’m doing for a Masters Degree in Education. I came across your article and immediately connected to it. My to-do list is seemingly never ending with work, children, coursework (and a large renovation that I’ve undertaken for some reason). Your point about making sure to prioritize down time being the first step to success in attaining a positive mindset was really on point. I do take that time, to exercise, be creative, and spend time with my friends because I realize how important it is, but having external validation is sometimes what it takes to really drive it home…when a back log of deadlines hit and you feel that you definitely should not have gone out for that dinner with friends, or spent time on that painting, or walked the dog a little longer because winter is finally letting go…re-framing that and thinking about how much more able to cope with pressures I am because of those breaks, is becoming easier. It is not procrastination if it is “manifesting a positive environment,” it is prioritizing a healthy lifestyle! I said to a friend recently that living a successful life might just be the ability to always be committed to getting back on track after setbacks because there are always setbacks. This comes back around for me in regards to your statement that things will get done the way they’re supposed to. When there is an effort made to feel more hope and positivity it definitely makes it easier to manifest that in our environments. Thank you so much for sharing these ideas and spreading the good energy, finding this today was exactly what I needed!

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