Do you find it difficult to stay positive? When life gets hard, looking for a silver lining is often the last thing we want to do.
With a little time, you’ll find that the results of adopting an optimistic mindset are worth the effort. Some of the benefits include higher energy levels, better stress management and coping skills, and a longer life span!
Ready to be more positive? Here are six tips to get you started!
1. Start your day off right.
Nothing can ruin a day quite like a bad morning. You can’t control how each hour will go, but it helps to establish a morning routine involving something you enjoy.
You could listen to music while brushing your teeth or making breakfast, or maybe you can find an especially tasty treat to enjoy. Whatever you choose, it will give you something to look forward to and will quickly make your day a little brighter.
2. Practice positive self-talk.
We’re all hard on ourselves sometimes, but thinking too negatively can turn into a habit… which then turns into what we believe. It can be tough to ignore that negative voice in your head, but learning not to let it control you will boost your self-esteem, improve your ability to regulate your emotions, and help you handle stress better.
The next time your brain tells you, “I’m a failure; I never do anything right,” take a moment to breathe. Recognize that not all thoughts and feelings are true. Then counter your inner critic with something like, “This one moment doesn’t make me a failure. It means I made a mistake like everyone does. I can and will learn from my mistakes because I am resilient and capable.”
Challenging your negative thoughts may feel strange at first. It can even feel like lying to yourself, but that’s perfectly normal. Changing our thought patterns takes time, and it will become more natural with practice.
3. Be present.
When life gets chaotic, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by negative, anxious thoughts. One way to get back into a better mindset is to practice grounding techniques. Doing so will help you get out of your head when it’s filled with spiraling thoughts and bring you back to the here and now.
One grounding technique involves listing the things around you: five you can see, four you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste. You may find it helpful to include why these things make you happy. For example, “I see my spouse whom I love.”
4. Practice daily affirmations.
Like positive self-talk, this practice is all about changing the way you think about yourself. Write down three to five affirmations and say them — out loud — to yourself every day. This can feel silly at first, but when we tell ourselves something enough, we begin to believe it. Remember, consistency is key.
Have trouble remembering to recite them? Write them down in a notebook, on a sticky note, on the fridge, or anywhere else you’ll easily see them.
5. Keep a journal.
When you’re used to focusing on all the bad things that happen in the world, it can be difficult to notice all the good things. To become more aware of all the positives in your life, get into the habit of writing down at least one enjoyable moment every day. It can be as simple as, “I had a great snack with lunch.”
It can also be helpful to write down something you’re grateful for. That way, you will be reminded of what you have even when it’s difficult to think of a positive.
6. Talk with a therapist, counselor, or other health practitioner.
If you feel as though negativity is taking over your life, speaking with a professional such as a therapist may be beneficial. Scheduling an appointment can be an intimidating step, but just like we need to see a doctor for our physical health, sometimes we need to seek help for our mental health, too.
It may seem daunting, but being more positive is possible. It just takes some time, effort, and encouragement!
Start practicing these tips today, and share them with a friend who may need them.
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