I get this question a lot: how do you stay so positive even when life isn’t going well? We all know that life isn’t always going to be in our favor or go as we would hope it would. We all face difficult times but we can’t always let that determine our mindset or our attitude. You CAN be a positive person and here is a handful of helpful tips for starters!
Surround yourself with positive people.
There is that saying, “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” The people we surround ourselves with play a huge part in who we are and who we will be. If you surround yourself with people who are always negative, complaining, gossiping, and that never seems to be content with where they are – you will become like that. I’m not saying that the people you hang around can’t ever complain or say something negative, but it’s more about their normal. I challenge you to start hanging out around people who are encouraging, who see the good in others, who can find the light at the end of the tunnel when their circumstances aren’t perfect, and who make you feel refreshed when you spend time with them as opposed to leaving you exhausted.
Know the difference between joy and happiness.
Positivity doesn’t come from being happy. Happiness is an emotion based on your circumstances. So if your circumstances aren’t going well, it’s really hard to be happy. However, joy is a choice. Joy is something that doesn’t depend on your circumstances. Even if your circumstances aren’t going great, you can still have joy in the midst of it. This takes the pressure off because you don’t have to worry about what situations you will be put in because you can always choose joy. Happiness is a situational, emotional reaction. Joy is a choice and it’s a lifestyle. I call myself a joy seeker, find situations to seek joy. Make finding joy in your life a priority and you will be so shocked and how you respond to certain things that happen in your life.
Celebrate others well.
This one may sound strange but I promise you it works. It is really hard to focus in on the hard things going on in your own life when you are celebrating those around you. What do I mean by celebrate? Be genuinely excited for them. When they have an exciting announcement, make a big deal about it. If they did something that you think is admirable, point it out and encourage them. Be your loved ones and your friend’s biggest cheerleader. When we shift the focus off of ourselves, we become a force to be reckoned with. When we get out of the mindset of “she has this and I don’t” or “why do all these good things keep happening to them?” and we choose to celebrate with them instead, we end up reaping what we sowed. We end up finding ourselves in more celebration-worthy situations and it becomes second nature to be more positive not just for ourselves but also for the people around us. Here is my challenge to you: celebrate at least one person every single day for a week and see how your mindset shifts.
Take time to disconnect.
I truly believe that social media can be such a positive place. However, no matter how positive it can be, we can all fall into the comparison trap or the negativity trap if we forget to take a break. Social media is the highlight reel, but it becomes easy to forget that. It’s even more difficult to remember when you’re going through something less than highlight worthy. Make it a priority to schedule in time to disconnect from social media, especially if you are going through a hard time. I recently took a break for a month or so and it was so refreshing.
Change your vocabulary.
Our words are powerful and what we speak over ourselves is where we are telling ourselves to go. Change the words you use when talking about yourself as well as others. One of the ways to do this is to start doing affirmations. What is an affirmation? An affirmation is a positive, “I am” statement. For example: “I am a great friend” or “I am a best selling author”. When we speak these truths over ourselves in the present tense, we are giving ourselves permission to be those things in real life and believing that we actually can be.
Take care of yourself.
It’s easier to be positive when you’re healthy, both emotionally and physically. Drink more water. Exercise and eat healthy, whatever that looks like for you. Treat yourself, get your nails done or get a massage. Do things that bring you joy! Taking care of yourself mentally is just as important as taking care of yourself physically. Go to therapy or prioritize coffee dates with your accountability partner. You can’t have an emotionally stable life on your own, it takes a support system whatever that looks like to you.
Own your growth.
Throughout this time, you are going to make strides and you’re going to take steps back. That’s normal but don’t forget to own your growth. Own your progress! When you feel like you’re falling behind, remind yourself of the progress you have already made. See your strides as motivation to keep pushing through the harder times. Be proud of yourself. You’re doing the best you can with what you have, be your biggest cheerleader not your biggest critic!
As many of you know, this past year has not been easy for Brad and myself. It has been an unexpected transition after another. It has been heartbreak. It has been exhaustion. It has been a test for both of us. Although it’s been difficult, we have learned so much and grown closer to one another. Throughout this journey, I have learned the importance of all the things listed above. I wouldn’t be sharing these tips if they didn’t change something for me. Everything from changing the way I speak about myself and the people around me to drinking more water and being a healthier me has promoted positivity in my life. Which tip stood out the most to you? What is something that helps you stay more positive? Share them in the comments.