Life as a traveller is not always just happy shiny world. Travelling can be very soothing and beneficial, but sometimes it can become draining, exhausting and energy consuming. Do you know that feeling? Do you sometimes get dragged into low-spiritedly thoughts? Do you sometimes cannot see the beauty of the world anymore? Or do the travel-limitations due to the worldwide pandemic make you suffer a bit? Not being able to fulfil a desire can be difficult and challenging and might even lead to a low-spiritedly mood. This is why today I would like to present the „positive travel diary“ as a strategy to get out of negative thoughts and to find your way back to happiness and can be used no matter whether you are travelling at the moment or not.
Note: These strategy is great for people that are in a gloomy mood and not for people with depression.
And when it rains, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.J. Chin
Characteristics of low-spiritedly thoughts
It is typical for negative thoughts that they focus on the negative things in life. Circumstances that don’t go well are perceived particularly quick by the mind when feeling down. Thoughts often stick to these things as if they were magnets. The thoughts freeze onto that negativity instead of moving on. In the same way, positive things are hardly noticed, as if they were less important.
The focus on the negative things means that at the end of the day, the day itself is rated as “bad” and “unworthy”. The mood worsens and the self-confidence drops. The perception of negativity gets a little more intense from day to day, more and more bad things are automatically perceived in the surrounding and also in your inner-self.
When being people can find it very difficult to change this focus. The memory turns negative and so does the perception of the present moment. You seem to be stuck in the circle of depression. This automatism must be interrupted – and this can be done, for example, with the following exercise.
Most things can be good or bad. It is your own perception that decides the point of view.
How to change the focus towards positive thoughts
Since attention is automatically directed to the negative things at the moment, a change of focus must be practiced regularly. This is why I will introduce the “positive diary” to you. With a bit of practice, you can learn how to shift the focus from the negative towards the positive side in life again. At the beginning, it probably will not happen automatically. It takes at least a week, most often even more, to notice the first patterns changing. After three weeks (21 days) of daily practice, behaviour has usually become a habit – so the focus will automatically shift more often towards the positive things in life if practiced frequently.
Your mind is a garden. Thoughts are the seeds. Grow flowers.
How to start a positive travel diary
The positive diary is an exercise to redirect your perception and your thoughts. The task is to write down at least one positive thing that happened to you every day for seven days in a row. No day can be left out here. This can be a real challenge for dejected people. Every day at least one positive thing has to be found. It can be something tiny, a simple situation, the observation of a flying bird in the sky, an experience, something you spotted on your way. Ask yourself; “What was particularly nice today?”, “What was I happy about today?”, “What did I enjoy?” It can be such a tiny thing as a chirping bird, a scone of ice-cream or the fleeting smile of a stranger. You might have to open your eyes when going for a walk to find something to write down into your positive travel diary. You might want to find a good place to see the sunset after a long, frustrating and exhausting day, just so you can write down at least one thing. No matter what you write down, no matter what you do to get there: it has to be at least one positive thing each single day.
The positive diary can either be written on a folded sheet of paper (A4) and carried in your wallet. Or you take a small calendar (no matter whether desk or book calendar) and enter your positive experiences there instead of appointments. You can also write notes on your mobile phone, an alarm clock can also help here to remind you to write down the positive experiences every day. With the notes, I think it is important that you quickly get a general overview of the recorded positive things.
After one week, the notes are re-viewed again. What did you write down into your journal? Take some time and have a look. Do any memories of the situation come back while reading them? What was nice about the situation, what was particularly positive?
The small – beautiful – things in life are often taken for granted and are no longer considered. We tend to spend more time thinking about the unpleasant experiences than the good ones. By writing down positive things only, these patterns are consciously changed.
Positive diary to strengthen self-confidence
The positive diary can be varied depending on where the focus should be shifted to. For example, if you have a particularly critical view of yourself and often have thoughts about your own inability, you can focus on things that you did well and list them every day into your positive diary. The rules are going to be the same. You have to find at least one thing you did well and you are kinda proud of. This exercise consciously directs perception to personal strengths. At the end of the week take a look at your notes again and read through them in peace. See what you’ve done well over the week. This exercise not only strengthens the eye for the positive, but also your own self-confidence.
Of course, the different types of positive diaries can also be combined. It is important to practice that task for longer period of time and if possible daily, so that consciously focusing on the positive can become a habit. That way theses exercise can become an automatic process and will help you to switch your focus and get out of your bad mood and you find back to your happy shiny travel world as soon as possible.