Sometimes your think positive attitude runs a little low. When there’s too much going on, too many competing priorities, the stress begins to build and you feel those negative thoughts creeping in around the edges. Before you know it, you’re feeling down and the demands on your attention are even more daunting.

First of all, don’t worry about it. Everyone feels like this from time to time. All you need is to know how to give yourself a boost; a think positive attitude injection. Try these exercises and find out which one works best for you.

Breathe Deeper
Have you ever paid attention to how you breathe? The chances are, the more stressed you are, the shallower you’re breathing. When we breathe shallowly, the chest and abdomen move very little and we only use the upper part of our lungs. This means that less oxygen is entering our bloodstream, and less oxygen means less energy.

First, just notice how you’re breathing. Try it now. Shallow or deep? Now, relax your chest and shoulders and take a deep breath, right in, down deep. As you breathe in, you’ll notice that your stomach moves outwards. This is because the volume of your lungs has increased. As you breathe out again, your stomach goes in. Try deliberately moving your stomach in and out as you breathe for a few breaths to feel the full effect. You should start to feel a lift as your oxygen levels rise. Just work on this for a minute or so – too long and you might start to feel dizzy. There’s no harm in that (unless you’re driving or operating machinery in which case don’t do this exercise!) it’s just not the effect we’re aiming for.

Take a moment and sit at your desk or kitchen table. Lean forward slightly and put your elbows on the surface (for just two minutes forget what your mother said about table manners). Now close your eyes and cover them with the palms of your hands. Don’t put any pressure on, just cover them.

As you sit there, let your posture change as it relaxes – you might feel your shoulders drop of their own accord, or you might want to uncross your legs. After a minute or two of this, take your hands away, sit up, take a deep breath and open your eyes. You will find that you are physically relaxed, mentally calmer and your vision is clearer.

Smooth Your Tension
Find a quiet place where you can sit for a couple of minutes. If it’s possible to lie down comfortably, that’s even better. Close your eyes and focus on your body. Examine it, bit by bit, looking for tension. Start with your head, does your scalp feel tight, your jaw taut? How about your neck, is it stiff? Are your shoulders lifted up slightly? Now your arms, are they tensed? Check your chest and stomach, can you breathe easily? What about your legs, do they feel bunched up?

Wherever you find the tension, imagine it melting away and gently tell that part of your body to relax. Pay particular attention to your hands and feet. If they are truly relaxed the rest of the body tends to follow suit. With practice, you will be able to release tension quickly and easily, leading to a more relaxed attitude. All three of these exercises follow the principle that by focussing on relaxing the body you automatically relax the mind.

So the next time you can feel your think positive attitude leaking away, nip the problem in the bud and try one of these quick fixes. Relax and keep optimism as your everyday reality.