In our weekly Wellbeing column, Jane looks towards the positive things in life.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the negativity of life, to let the black stuff weigh you down. As storm after storm hits us during winter, the dark skies and rain can compound a sense of greyness, of a lack of light. During times like this it can be good to have something positive to reflect on.

A couple of suggestions, regarding joy notes. Not my original ideas, but ones that clicked when suggested to me. First up, a joy jar. Any container, any material that works for you. I have a medium sized pretty pink jar with a handle in my study. Mine has a simple label on, but embellish to your heart’s content. And if that means adding a photo of Kevin Costner, go for it.

My friend Franny suggested this one to me. You take slips of paper and write on them anything you’ve achieved, however big or small. Pop them in the jar. Forget about them. Then when you have one of those soul crushing days when you feel there is no blue to be seen in the skies again, you get them out and read them. Reminding yourself of the good stuff that’s happened along the year.

The notes don’t have to be exclusively yours. They could be a child’s scribbled note or drawing that makes you smile. They don’t even need to be notes – I’ve taken to dropping tiny pieces of sea glass in mine from beach walks. They can be anything you want them to be.

What type of things are in mine? I passed a big appraisal first week of the year which kickstarted it brilliantly. But there were quieter moments. Going to my first art class as an adult. Reconnecting with an old friend. Getting my boots on and walking in the sun after a month of poor health. Turning a terrible anniversary into a day of celebration for the people I’ve lost.

You don’t need to keep the joy jar idea for just yourself. You can pass it onto others. If you know someone having a hard time, get in touch with others who know them. Ask them to write a positive memory or funny story about that person. Take a jar – or a large mug – and fill it with those stories. Add chocolate and give it to them, a spot of gladness and appreciation that costs very little other than good thoughts and a little time.

Do you have any tricks or suggestions for bringing little slivers of positivity into your life? Something you can pick up to remind you of something you, or someone you love, has achieved.

Please feel free to share these in the comments, or just stop by for a natter. What’s bringing you joy at the minute? I’m loving the bright cold mornings here on the east coast, the blackbirds getting territorial in my yard.

I picked up the idea for the joy mug from the brilliant Jenny, who writes the World of Crap blog. Go check out her stuff. Especially her Bungles. They really do bring joy.

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