5 Ways to Integrate Positive Reinforcement into Your Lifestyle

Positive Reinforcement LifestyleI want to expand outside the world of dogs for a minute. Since I crossed over just about a year ago this month, I have learned how to use positive reinforcement with my dog, but also with the people around me. I find that I am a much happier person, in general, when I integrate positive reinforcement in to my lifestyle. Reinforcing the people I am surrounded by strengthens our relationship. Now, I also smile at strangers a lot more when I am checking out at a counter or when people ask me questions in class. Learning how to use positive reinforcement has taught me to look for the good in people, too, not just with dogs. Lets look at some ways you can incorporate positive reinforcement into your daily life.

  1. Reward Yourself! – Not only is it important to reinforce the behavior of others, but it is important to remember yourself! You can reinforce your own behavior with your favorite foods, activities, or even just a simple, mental “good job!”
  2. Give incentives to your employees – gift cards, a day off, or front parking spot for a week are great examples of reinforcing good behavior at work!
  3. Smile and say “Thank you” – not only does this make the other person feel good about helping you, but you will also be a happier person for doing so. I find that since I turned to positive reinforcement saying “thank you” is becoming a really good habit.
  4. Tip! – One of my favorite ways to reinforce good behavior in humans is to tip well. I always tip, but I tip more when I am satisfied with the service. I just assume the person is having a bad day if the service is not super friendly and hopefully I brightened their day a little bit.
  5. Volunteer – Doing things for others is a priceless gift. Nothing is better than knowing someone cares about you enough to give you their time and energy. Hopefully the effort will be reciprocated so that it is a win-win situation and everyone benefits.

However you choose to integrate positive reinforcement into your lifestyle, make sure you are genuine. Both people and dogs can sense when the true feeling of appreciation is not there and that can be more punishing than no thanks at all. Reinforcing the behavior in others really doesn’t take any time at all and once you get used to it, it becomes almost automatic.

Check out how to use positive reinforcement to improve your life: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Use_Positive_Reinforcement_To_Improve_Your_Life.html.

Hopefully, this article will inspire an act of kindness so be sure to share how you chose to use positive reinforcement in your life in the comments below!