I’m not sure if positive thinking is a learned behaviour…
or if it’s within our genetic make-up, maybe a bit of both. I’m lucky (I think) to be a natural optimist, but my parents did teach me to notice and focus on the beauty around me – from a stunning rainbow to a simple pattern of raindrops on a window pane, and I think that this appreciation of small things makes me more prone to positivity.
It does us all good to step back once in a while and have a think. An article on positive thinking in this year’s Dairy Diary says this:
‘A step towards positive thinking is to take time to appreciate life in general, and your own life in particular. Remember to stop and smell the roses – that may be a well-worn notion but it works.
‘Some people call it living in the moment, becoming aware of everything around you – sights, smells, sounds, tastes, your feelings, yourself. Focus on things as they are at that moment, accept them without judgement, and you will start to see things you have taken for granted in a new light.’
Here are 5 things that we can all do this week to help us feel more positive.
- Pay someone a compliment; if you think notice someone wearing a pretty dress, doing a good job or being kind, tell them, even if it’s a stranger. It will make them feel good and you feel good too.
- Look for beauty in nature; from the dew on a flower to an early misty morning or even birdsong, there’s always something you can find, notice and appreciate.
- Find somewhere quiet and concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes. Breathe in slowly, hold for a count of six, breathe out slowly. Feel the sensation of breathing.
- Sometimes we so used to being surrounded by negativity that we hardly notice it. Take a few days break from TV; the news, documentaries or even soaps can make us feel very downcast. Listen to some music that you love instead.
- Do a little good turn. Something simple like baking a cake for a friend or a neighbour. Why not try the Dairy Diary recipe below. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.
Raspberry & Macadamia Cake
Calories 368 per portion
Fat 25g (11g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing
- Macadamia nuts 125g (4½oz)
- Light brown sugar 50g (2oz)
- Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
- Unsalted butter 175g (6oz), softened
- Eggs 2
- Almond extract a few drops
- Self-raising flour 150g (5oz), sifted
- Raspberries 200g (7oz)
- Milk 2 tbsp
- Demerara sugar 1 heaped tbsp
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
- Whizz macadamia nuts in a food processor until finely ground.
- Beat together brown sugar, caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs and almond extract then fold in flour and nuts. When combined, gently fold in raspberries and milk.
- Pour cake mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes (you may need to cover with foil). Remove from oven, scatter with demerara sugar and return to oven for 5 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin.
A Dairy Diary recipe.