“Hi, it’s me, how are you? Yes, I am fine. I wanted to tell you: last week, as part of my job of school nurse, I have taken part to a psychology training and I realised how important it is to talk about positive things. Really, we are such complainers! We don’t realise how much we mentally auto-pollute each other by talking so much about negative things. For example, at the moment it rains a lot and so what? Yes it is raining, but it doesn’t justify a half hour conversation about it when so many positive things happen in our everyday life. I have decided to pay more attention to my communication. This training is a real awakening! »
Talking positive, why?
This phone conversation stuck to my mind and I promised myself to write an article about this topic because it is scientifically proven that talking about positive things contributes to our well-being. Some neuroscience studies* show that positive conversations generate in our brains the production of a well-being hormone called ocytosine. This hormone enhance our communication, collaboration and confidence in others capacities. It is quickly synthesised in our organism, in shorter time than cortisol which is the stress hormone. However the effects of ocytosine are less pronounced and shorter lasting than the ones of cortisol. Therefore, it is important to have positive conversations regularly to contribute to our well-being on long term basis.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
The choice of positive in my life by talking positively
At the beginning, talking positively requires a conscious effort: opening our mind to the positive things surrounding us. Ass Gandhi expresses very well in the quote above, talking positive mainly requires a positive thinking. And this can reveal to be a challenge when we are constantly bombarded with negative news. Therefore it is very important to choose well our reads, our moments in front of the TV and our radio listening.
Recently, I changed my approach toward news. I banned the TV news from my daily life. I find it too subjective and sensationalist. I replaced it by reading the big titles of the newspaper Le Monde and the channel BBC on my phone, or by listening the flash news on the French radio France Inter. If I have a question or I find a topic interesting I look for some feature article on internet or in the newspapers, I listen or watch a documentary about it. And lately I discovered a group of journalists who created a new online newspaper taking in account the need for more sobriety in our flash news. It is called brief.me and it offers to its subscribers 2 minutes of news through a daily email in a zen approach of the news: facts and explanations without pictures or videos. By doing I became an agent of my own, information process, rather than being at the mercy of what I’m fed by the media.
Facebook is another way to get news. Thanks to the posts of my contacts I often discover some really good articles on blogs or alternative media. It is a virtuous circle: I post some interesting articles and I discover some from others.
Targeting positive information on internet is possible
Internet and more specifically facebook can even be tools to directly target positives information. Indeed, you can register yourself to the newsletters of positives blogs, websites. You can also follow inspiring facebook pages. By doing that, you can receive each day some positive news.
To inject a positive touch in my day, I like to read Upliftconnect which helps me to approach things in my life another way. I also follow the writer Elizabeth Gilbert for my “awareness moment of the day”. And on the news side it exists many websites such as Huffingtonpost Good News, Positive.News or Upworthy. These are just examples, you can find your own positive websites!
Finally the world of journalism is in mutation: more and more professionals are taking initiatives to communicate differently. A great example is the initiative Place to B, born at the occasion of the COP21 and which didn’t stop to develop since. Place to B will be present in Montreal, in the participatory newsroom of the World Social Forum this summer. It is also in Quebec that the internet TV channel GoodnessTV has been developed. You can register to their newsletter, so you will receive each Monday in your email box the “Positive Minute”, a short video reportage about a positive initiative.
Happiness lies in simple things
Most importantly, injecting positivity in our own life is not solely dependent on media. Our point of view on our daily life and surrounding is even more important. Often we don’t acknowledge the little things which are contributing positively to our daily life. This is why, every once in a while it is good to ask ourselves: “What made me happy today?”
Not so long ago, I started to write down every evening the 3 best moment of my day. Sometimes I forget and I noticed an influence on my sleep: the next day I wake up less energetic and relaxed than if I had taken the time to write. And the best part of this notebook is to be able to read it after few months . It feels like experiencing a second time all the good moments spent.