How to remain positive during the winter

by | Dec 9, 2022 | Arts & Life

With the days getting shorter and the temperatures dropping, everything can start to seem like you’re looking at the world through a pair of dark coloured lenses — gloomy and depressing. Growing up in Edmonton, I certainly start to feel the winter blues every time November hits. Plus every day, bad news fills our news feed. From heated political dialogue, to inflation, to wars, the world seems to always have some negativity on the go and it can be overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel like the light is too far gone, but that’s not true. With the right mindset, we can put ourselves in a better frame of mind that ultimately will pull us out of that depressive state.

Here are five ways you can be more positive daily.

Start small  

We often take for granted the many blessings we already have in our lives. It’s sunny outside, you have a warm bed at night, you are alive, you have people that love you. We often forget how blessed we are. Reminding yourself daily what you’re grateful for, even if it’s small, can help you realize the good in your life. Or as crazy as it sounds, I’ll look in the mirror and stare at my reflection and tell myself affirmations to help reframe my mindset. Saying things such as “I love you,” “you are beautiful,” “everything will be better than expected,” has really helped pull me out of the negative talk happening inside my head. What you focus on grows, so by focusing on the positive in your life, more good things will start happening.

Listen to good music

Listening to good music is underrated. I can’t count the amount of times that simply putting on a good song has shifted my mood entirely. I could be having the worst day ever, and after the right song, my mood has completely changed. I like listening to deep house with minimal lyrics. Sometimes I find that listening to songs with lyrics, especially if they are negative or derogatory, can reprogram your subconscious mind to think those thoughts. But that doesn’t happen with songs without lyrics. Sometimes when I’m having a bad day, I just put on my headphones and listen to my music and lay on my bed and breathe. I visualize my dream life and force myself to smile until I start to feel happy. By listening to good music, you are literally forcing your body to vibrate at a higher frequency which in turn is bound to put anyone in a good mood. So, pick your favourite song and blast it to the max!

Write it down or talk it out

I find when I’m having a panic attack or a bad anxiety day, writing down how I feel has helped me release negative emotions.You can also use a notes app on your phone, which is also great for people that have messy handwriting like I do. The notes on your phone can be just as effective, and it’s great for people that have messy handwriting like me. When I’m done writing, I like to read what I wrote out loud. It allows you to reflect on what’s bothering you and sometimes you find that it’s not that serious. If you don’t feel like writing, talking to a friend can help. Find someone that you can trust, and vent away. I find when I’m going through a hard time, talking it out with a positive friend really helps– hearing their perspective can reframe your mindset. 

Move your body

Literally, put on your running shoes and go. Even if it’s for a brisk walk outside, a quick workout or even going to the steam room, movement can help your mood greatly. If you can, find a place close to nature. It’s the first place I go to as it’s more grounding. Moreover, there’s no better way to shift your mood than by moving your body. Even if I don’t feel like it and it’s the last thing I want to do, I can say, moving my body has helped me get out of that negative mindset. Because working out stimulates brain chemicals that literally make you feel happy. Sometimes, working out can help release the emotions in a physical way too. I’ve definitely cried while running before and it was liberating. Just maybe not to the people that were watching me.

Be in the present with good friends

Honestly, this is my favourite one to do. I love to go for dinner with a good friend. Good food and good laughter are the key to happiness. If you can’t see a friend physically then even a phone call can help. Surround yourself with friends that make you laugh or keep things positive. Laughing so hard until I cry has healed me many times. When you laugh, you’re almost in this state of meditation. The only thing to focus on is the laughing and feeling good – it’s a great way to focus on the present. Being in the present, as my spiritual Dad has taught me, is the key to being truly happy. As my dad say: “If you focus on the past, you live with regret or guilt. If you focus on the future, you live in fear and anxiety. Only when you live in the present, can you learn from the past, create plans and dreams for your future, and fully enjoy the experience of being alive.” I highly recommend reading the book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, as it talks more about this concept. This book has helped me tremendously to realize how important being in the present moment is. 

I get it. Winter sucks. But living in Edmonton, we’ve got to push through. And when the sun is glistening over the fresh snow, it can honestly look quite beautiful. The tiny snowflakes look like diamond crystals that make me stop in admiration. The beauty of every season is in knowing that the next season is around the corner. And with the world being in shambles, just as the old saying goes, “you can’t have a rainbow without any rain.”

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