More and more, thinking positively is your first and best response to modern life. As the pressures mount – whether in our work or our personal life – your state of mind, your attitude is crucial.

Friends
Your friends usually support your positive thinking. After all, you chose them, there must be something you like about them. When you need a boost, ‘phone a friend’. But… sometimes they let us down. Maybe they ask too much and give too little. Maybe they haven’t been in touch even though you needed help.

Think positive. Whatever they have done or not done, it’s just behaviour. They are not a ‘bad’ person, the worst you can say is that they have behaved ‘badly’. Tell yourself that there must be a good reason for it and proceed from that assumption. Talk to them; give them some space; whatever’s reasonable. Remember you’re their friend too.

Work
Is your work ever dull? Every job contains elements of routine. At times we find that comfortable but at at others it can take the fun out of the day.

Think positive. Ask yourself what scope there is for creativity in even the simplest task. Use your imagination and ask:
“How can I get the best out of this day for myself?”
It may only be starting at ‘Z’ instead of ‘A’ when you do the filing – a bit of silliness – or conducting a regular meeting in a café instead of the office. Any task can be livened up with a bit of creativity. If you’ve got to do something, you might as well do it with a smile instead of a frown.

Delays
Life is timetabled and scheduled: Calendars, ‘to do’ lists, reminders, everything is to be done according to deadline. But whether it’s an illness or a traffic jam or an Icelandic volcano, life is also full of delays and we can become obsessed and frustrated by those delays.

Think positive. Try re-framing the problem. What is the silver lining to the ashcloud? Maybe it’s the universe telling you to take a time-out? So, get a cappuccino, sit down and have a break. Reassess your priorities, think about something completely different, call a friend. Use this pause in proceedings to your benefit.

Hobbies & Interests
Almost by definition, a true hobby is ‘non-essential’. It doesn’t pay the bills or keep the roof over your head. It isn’t part of the expectations that society and other people have of us. A hobby is for personal pleasure and in a busy life, personal pleasure can feature low on the list of things to do.

Think positive. Try to see it from a different angle: a hobby is something that you do for yourself. In a way your hobbies define the real you. Your choice of hobby is not made from necessity but from personal preference. It doesn’t depend on competence but on enjoyment. So whether it’s yoga, knitting, coin collecting or watercolour painting, find time for your hobby. It’s you.