It can be hard to stay positive, especially during times when things feel out of your control, but looking on the bright side doesn’t mean you have to pretend like you’re living inside of a Disney movie.
Being positive is more of an attitude that takes a slow pace to develop. Positive thinking isn’t magical and it won’t make all of your problems disappear.
What it will do is make problems seem more manageable and help you approach hardships in a more positive and productive way.
Here are a few ways that could help you be more positive in your day-to-day life.
Look for the silver lining in every situation.
Challenging situations and obstacles are a part of life. Whenever you find yourself stuck in a bad situation, try hard to look for the smallest positive bit in it.
Ask yourself what it is teaching you and what you can take back from it. It can be extremely hard, but also the most useful.
Whining over what is at hand will do you no good. You will only overthink it and subconsciously trick yourself into believing that things are actually worse.
Shut off your negative mind.
Negative thoughts can be pervasive, and it can be difficult to regulate them or shake them off as simply a passing thought.
However, if you learn to recognize when you’re having negative thoughts and are able to see that they aren’t helping you achieve anything, it can make dealing with them much easier.
When you’re able to better control negative thoughts, you can narrow your focus onto positive, helpful thoughts that actually work to propel you forward instead of holding you back.
This is one of the harder things to master, but doing so will possibly make the greatest impact on your outlook.
Maintain a gratitude journal.
Studies have found that writing down the things you’re grateful for can improve your optimism and sense of well-being.
Keeping a gratitude journal is as easy as taking a few minutes every night to write down three things that happened that day that you are grateful for.
Not only will this practice encourage you to appreciate the positive moments in your life, but you’ll also start to look out for all those things you’re grateful for throughout the day.
You can do this by writing in a gratitude journal every day, or jotting down a list of things you’re grateful for on days you’re having a hard time. Be true to yourself and enlist points that actually matter to you or make a difference to you.
Practicing mindfulness is as simple as paying attention to how you are feeling, what you are thinking, and considering why, at that moment, you are feeling the way you feel and thinking those particular thoughts.
Once you’ve mastered living in the moment, you’ll find that it helps you stay grounded and ‘in the moment’, keeping you from worrying about things that are out of your control.
Meditation is another tried and true method on how to be more positive and reduce stress and anxiety in your life.
It is simply the practice of focusing the mind through various exercises to achieve mental and emotional clarity while training attention and awareness.
When you practice meditation, you are really just investing in yourself, taking the time to purposefully look in on what makes you tick and why you think and feel the way you do.
Surround yourself with positive people.
Negativity and positivity have been shown to be contagious. When people around you complain more, you tend to complain more, too. When people laugh, you laugh.
Being around positive people has been shown to improve self-esteem and increase your chances of reaching goals.
Hence, it’s important to surround yourself with people who will lift you up and help you see the bright side.
Exercise, eat right, and get enough sleep.
This is one of the most common self-care recommendations you’re likely to hear.
First and foremost, there is plenty of evidence that regular exercise can help in the fight against many common mental health ailments like depression and anxiety.
A properly balanced diet focuses on the best, most important foods first that will help you maintain your physical and mental health.
And lastly, a good night’s sleep helps you recharge and convert your energy for the next day.
Practice positive self-talk.
We tend to be the hardest on ourselves and be our own worst critic. Over time, this can cause you to form a negative opinion of yourself that can be hard to shake.
To stop this, you’ll need to be mindful of the voice in your head and respond with positive messages, also known as positive self-talk.
Even a small shift in the way you talk to yourself can influence your ability to regulate your feelings, thoughts, and behavior under stress.
For example, instead of thinking “I really messed that up,” try “I’ll try it again a different way.”