Expand your comfort zone

I’m a big fan of doing the unusual thing. Sometimes in big ways. Often in small and daily ways to mix things up. Why? Because this habit is a simple and relatively easy way to… expand your comfort zone. And if you change your perspective on yourself from someone who sticks to the old and comfortable all the time to someone who likes to mix things up then it will feel more natural and easier to break out of your comfort zone when comes to bigger things too. Because this habit makes the inner resistance and the fear that may hold you back smaller.

20 Small Ways to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone and Create a Positive Change Starting Today – Henrik Edberg, Positivity Blog (undated, probably 18 June 2015)

Read the full piece though myself, I can only take a certain amount of positivity per day so I’m reading this 20-strong list over the next couple of weeks.

Twelve Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety

The Positivity Blog – seriously, could that name be any more Hallmark Card happy clappy? – spends its time being very cheerfully upbeat about everything but once in a while it does hit home with a smart piece. This time it has solutions to when your stomach is churning. We’re creative people, we churn for a living, so I reckon even if one or two of the dozen methods help us out, it’s worth looking into. Although one of the suggestions is to do a workout, so, you know, already it’s 11 Powerful Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety and 1 to Increase it.

1. Breathe.

Sit down, in a quiet place if possible. Breathe a little deeper than usual and do it with your belly and not with your chest. For just a minute or two focus on only the air going in and out of your nostrils. Nothing else.

This will calm your mind and body down. And it will bring your attention back to the present moment instead of it being lost in scary, future scenarios or bad memories from the past.

12 Powerful Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety – Henrik Edberg, Positivity Blog (8 April 2015)

This isn’t on my mind because as I’ve got three speaking engagements back to back now. I might just breathe out a little and go re-read the full piece. Mind you, advice number 2 begins “Get Good Knowledge” and that phrasing gives me pause.

Thank you! “Positivity is the Worst Response to a Problem”

Oh, it’s not that bad. You’re just too close to it, you can’t see the upside. Give it a day and you’ll see you were right all along. If you’ve heard things like that or if you’ve said things like that, it’s not helping. So says Fast Company writer Stephanie Vozza and she must be right because she’s saying what I think.

True, she’s saying it better than I am, but.

In math, multiplying a negative by a positive gives you a negative answer. Ever notice the same thing happens in life? When a coworker complains and you try to inject something positive, the outcome is usually more negativity.

“When we hear negativity, our instinct is to try and cheer up the other person,” says Peter Bregman, author of Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want. “But often it’s the worst thing you can do.”

That’s because listening to negative conversations makes us uncomfortable, and saying something positive in response only serves as a way to make the listener feel better, not the person who is complaining. This reaction doesn’t help the person who is venting because the listener’s comments are perceived as being argumentative.

“You are basically disagreeing with the other person’s feelings,” says Bregman. “You’re saying that they’re wrong; things really aren’t that terrible. This just makes them entrench more deeply in their perspective.”

Why Positivity Is The Worst Response To A Problem – Stephanie Vozza, Fast Company (19 March 2015)

Read the full piece. Mind you, I’m intrigued by the book she refers to, the Four Seconds one. The cynic in me is thinking it might take more than four seconds to read the book, but.

You’re okay, give yourself a break

I do normally run a mile from sites with names like the Positivity Blog you know when something is on your mind, you see it everywhere? This Positivity lot have a rather compelling article about how we should stop beating ourselves up.

I am not happy with my writing and I leave most events wishing I’d done them a lot better but these people say I should lighten up. I disagree with just one thing: they say you should watch half a sitcom every now and again. Do not do this. Watch the whole thing. It’s only 21-30 minutes, how dare we interrupt the narrative flow because of an alarm?

Ugh. Positivity. Double ugh: it might work

I’m British, a writer and a journalist: I recoil at words like positivity and happiness. Only the words, you understand. The actual things, fine, good, great, whatever. But people who go around saying positivity and happiness, I just want them to leave before they start asking for donations on 1-800-BITE-ME.


The Positivity Blog has a shortish piece about the opposite of happy-clappy positivity: it’s about doubt. I’m British, a writer and a journalist: I am all doubt.

All Doubt, All the Time. Henrik Edberg suggests doing this:

First, when your inner doubts bubble up, be quick. Don’t let them spin out of control or grow from a whisper to a stream of discouraging sentences. Instead, talk back to that doubtful part of yourself.

In your mind, say or shout something like: No, no, no, we are not going down that road again.

By doing so you can disrupt the thought pattern and stop that inner self-doubter from taking over.

3 Powerful Steps to Stop Self-Doubt from Holding You Back in Life – Henrik Edberg, Positivity Blog (undated but probably 22 October 2014)

Read the full piece for the other two and a half tips.

“It is usually pretty easy to become a happier person”

Is it bollocks. How’s that deadline coming along? Going to make your next mortgage payment, are we? Oh, let’s turn that frown into a smile!

But I wouldn’t point you at some happiness articles just to snipe about them. Not just to snipe. In among the less bearable parts of The Positivity Blogs feature on 7 Small Habits That Will Steal Your Happiness there is a near-gem:

It is usually pretty easy to become a happier person.

It is also quite easy to rob yourself of your own happiness. To make yourself more miserable and add a big bowl of suffering to your day. It is common thing, people do it every day all over the world.

So today I’d like to combine these two things. I’d like to share 7 happiness stealing habits that I have had quite a bit of trouble with in my own daily life (and I know from all the emails I get that many of you do too).

But I’d also like to add what you can do instead if you find yourself being stuck in one of these destructive habits.

7 Small Habits That Will Steal Your Happiness – Henrik Edberg, Positivity Blog (24 July 2014)

The seven habits are good – and I recognise far too many of them – plus Henrik does offer some solid advice about coping with each of them over on the full article.