This week we'll learn to nurture positivity (defined as any positive feelings or attitudes you may want to cultivate, such as loving-kindness, compassion, gratitude, awe, appreciation of beauty, etc.) in order to increase the frequency, duration, and intensity of positive feelings/attitudes in daily life.
In this type of techniques, the set of instructions is different, so please read them carefully. I'd also like to highlight that after a while, the inputs used to nurture positivity may stop working, so it's necessary to renew them regularly in order to get the most out of these practices.
1. See Positive:
Visualize a positive mental image (e.g., a loved one, a pet, a hero, a lovely memory, a meaningful symbol) and/or look for positive external sights (e.g., nature, a beautiful object/shape/colour, a photograph, a video).
Find the positive feelings elicited by the visual input and/or generate positive feelings.
Split your attention between the positive feelings (e.g., 70%) and the visual input (e.g., 30%).
In the videos below, you can find images that many people find pleasant. If you like them, you may practice see positive with them. If you don't, please find the visual input that works for you.
One great tool that I like to use occasionally is a PowerPoint presentation with slides that advance automatically. It has two advantages: (a) you can include the images you like (and update them when appropriate); and (b) you can choose the total duration of your meditation by specifying the time spent per slide.
See the example below with images I selected to cultivate appreciation of beauty. Slides transition after five seconds. Total duration: 10 minutes.
2. Hear Positive:
Generate positive mental talk (e.g., nice thoughts, empowering affirmations, priming) and/or listen to positive sounds (e.g., music you like, a bird chirping, laughing meditation, singing bowls, etc.).
Find the positive feelings elicited by the auditory input and/or generate positive feelings.
Split your attention between the positive feelings (e.g., 70%) and the auditory input (e.g., 30%).
Examples of positive affirmations:
There is always something to be grateful for.
I am mindful.
I meditate everyday and I feel good.
I feel at peace.
Examples of priming:
Aware, Compassionate, Considerate, Cordial, Friendly, Gentle, Kind, Loving, Sympathetic, Thoughtful, Tolerant
The videos below are examples of positive sounds:
3. Feel Positive:
Generate pleasant body sensations (e.g., gentle stretches, the afterglow of EFT tapping, physically smile).
Find the positive feelings elicited by the body sensations and/or generate positive feelings.
Split your attention between the positive feelings (e.g., 70%) and the body sensations (e.g., 30%).
4. Immersion Positive: Activate see positive, hear positive, and feel positive simultaneously. If this is too challenging, try activating only two sensory modalities.
5. All Positive: let your attention fluctuate between see positive, hear positive, and feel positive.
6. Be Happy: Allow your awareness to fluctuate between “All Positive” and "All Rest". In this technique, you're not required to split your attention between positive feelings and a sensory modality. Simply enjoy.
Enjoy positivity already present in your current experience.
Enjoy positivity generated by yourself.
Enjoy restful states already present.
Enjoy restful states generated by yourself.
Enjoy lack of pain in different parts of the body.
It's important to highlight that if you're not feeling ok, you don't have to force yourself to nurture positivity if you don't want to. Be kind to yourself. It may be more useful to practice a previous lesson that you found effective or skip to the next lesson, and then return here when you feel better. I'm teaching you the techniques in a linear fashion, but you have to make them work for you, adapting them to your circumstances.
Formal practice in stillness: Choose your favorite technique and practice it for at least 20 minutes per day. You may want to practice the same technique several days, or alternate between different techniques. It's up to you. Just remember to update the positive inputs if necessary.
Formal practice in motion: Do walking meditation while practicing "be happy" for at least 10 minutes per day.
Informal practice: Choose between several micro-hits and background practice.
If you want the Certificate of Completion, send us an email with the completed Practice Log. Subject line: "UM week 6".
I really hope you managed to increase your well-being with the Nurture Positive family. If you didn't, don't worry. This is a long-time commitment. Keep on practicing! Let's move on to week 7.
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