How to be more positive August 26, 2015

Some people seem to be happy all the time. They are really optimistic and positive. The negativity that often spreads around us does not seem to affect them and they seem more content with themselves and the world. So how do they do it? How can you too become a glass half full kind of person? I want to share eight tips with you on how to be more positive.

  1. Surround yourself with positive people

This is something that might be a bit controversial, but if you tend to negativity and get affected by other people’s mood easily, you might want to surround yourself with more positive people. If you are a positive, happy person, chances are other people’s moods do not affect you that much. But if you are prone to negativity to begin with, some people might drag you down with their mood. Yes, thinking critically is good, but being overly negative and have people that make you feel worse and more negative after you have met them, is not. Everyone has a bad mood every now and then, but friends that constantly criticize you and make you feel bad about yourself are a different story. In general, try not to let negativity affect you. If other people have a bad mood, or a bad attitude in general, that is not something that should overly concern you or make you feel bad in return. Just remember that moods are contagious. You should be there for your friends when they need you. If they feel sad, for instance, it is important to be there for them. But some people are always and constantly negative, gossiping about others or rude in general. If that is the case, just think about it. And surround yourself with people who have a good heart and like you just the way you are!

  1. Make a conscious effort to think more positively

We can choose to be more positive. We can try to see the good things around us, the good in people and situations and look for the bright side. In life a lot of things can go wrong, but a lot of things can go right too. Focus on the good things and try to not let negative events affect you too much. I know this is very difficult for a huge number of people. It always seems easier to find faults in events or even people, and complain about things than seeing the positive side. But in the end, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel does not only make things easier to bare that you cannot currently change, it also helps you to be more optimistic and confident. You still have to go through some things, but you can choose to stay positive and accepting.

Let me give you an absolutely hypothetical scenario: Something goes horribly wrong and you cannot do anything about it. So you have two options: you can beat yourself up about it, or accept things for what they are and make the best out of an admittedly crappy situation. What makes the situation even harder on you? Thinking negatively, beating yourself up about the past you have no influence over or, moving twenty steps ahead of your current situation to the future and believing that everything will certainly go wrong and everything is ruined already. Everything sucks and you screwed everything up. You just know it! Try to reflect about it. Do you know that for sure? No, you do not. The future is still undecided. Anything is possible. You will never know the future no matter how much you worry about something or plan everything out. You cannot possibly predict it. So my point is, if you think positively there will still be bad days. But I am convinced of the fact, that there is almost always a tiny bit of light in even the darkest of days. You need to look for it. You need to find your inner strength and train your brain to think positively and more optimistic. We are all human. Even the most positive and optimistic people have bad days and crappy moods. But you can at least try to think more positive thoughts.

  1. Notice your negative thinking patterns and turn them around

So how do you do that? You might wonder. How do I stop the negative thinking when I am? Work on it! Try taking small steps and when you catch yourself doing it, turn your thoughts around. I believe you can do that. It might sound strange first but whenever you think something negative, consciously disagree with yourself. Notice your negative thoughts and assumptions and and challenge them, turn them around to positive thoughts in your head. You can more or less consciously correct your thoughts by doing that. It might seem strange to do that, but it works to consciously think positive things, for instance about yourself. That is why a lot of people like to read or work with positive affirmations. You could also write positive thoughts or affirmations down on for example sticky notes or start a journal. If you make an effort to think more positively, it will get easier with time and you can actually become more positive, by choosing to adopt a positive attitude.

  1. Avoid the judging and generalizations

Try to avoid judging situations, past or present, and people. Get away from an all or nothing thinking, chances are you see things more extreme than they actually are. I do not want for you to give up having your own opinion and being critical is important. But when we have a mental attitude of all or nothing, and are really judgmental we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and others and our expectations can become very high and we can become very pessimistic in general in the process.

What do I mean with this? If you judge situations to the extreme, you tend to see things very negatively and talk bad about others and yourself. One example would be a statement like this, after you had a bad day you could say something like this:

Everything is just horrible, it all sucks, all the people there hate you, you will never achieve anything and you are a horrible loser because you always screw things up. Why does this always happen to you? What is wrong with you?

We get frustrated because we lose hope in situations that overwhelm us because of the high expectations we have for ourselves, we judge ourselves and we all are scared of failure and disappointments. We do not trust ourselves and do not want to fail on a professional level, personal level or any area of our lives. We want to be as happy and successful as possible and connect with others, and that is a lot of pressure we put on ourselves. Try not to judge yourself and accept things that do not go according to plan. Realize, that when other people react negatively towards you or are in a bad mood, that it is not always about you. Some people will not like you, no matter what you did or do. You will probably meet a couple of people too, that you do not click with. That is just life! Some things will not work out for you, which does not necessarily make you a bad person or bad at something in general. Try not to judge people and situations. And avoid jumping to conclusions. Just try to calm down and do not get carried away next time you are upset about something. Changes are the way you perceive things, and your assumptions are clouded by your mood and when we think negatively, we exaggerate events.

  1. Adapt an attitude of gratitude

Focus on all the things that are good in your life and be grateful for the little things. Most of the time, we get so caught up in a problem or stress that we do not appreciate the little things along the way or forget how lucky we are for the tings and people in our lives that are really amazing.

  1. Stay in the present moment

Like I mentioned earlier, try to focus on the present moment. Do not dwell on your past or worry about your future too much but try to stay in the moment with your thoughts. What can you do today, that makes you happy? What are your plans for the day? What is happening right now? Take a deep breath and enjoy today. There are probably some things to look forward to.

7. Distract yourself

Sometimes when you get too absorbed in negative thinking, distract yourself! Do things that make you happy and feel good. Even if you might not feel like it, chances are it will make you feel better. As I said, it doesn’t mean you should not confront your life or your problems. Self-critical moments are important for change,but do not get into a downward spiral in your thinking. When you exaggerate the negative aspects of life because of overly negative self- talk and pessimistic thinking you become too critical with yourself and your life. This is not helpful for anyone, you included. So if you catch yourself in a bad mood, try to make yourself feel better. Take some time for your hobbies and distract yourself from the negative thoughts. You deserve to feel better.

8. Spread kindness

Do something nice for someone else! If you help other people or do something nice for them, their happiness will affect you too. Happy momentsmake for positivity. And positive thinking also affects the way you see the people around you and yourself. You can cheer people up. As much as negativity spreads, kindness and positive thinking are also contagious. Smile at other people! Be nice and kind. The more positive you are, the more you will be met with positivity in return. Positive thinking makes you more confident and smiling at people makes them happy, too.You can choose to spread kindness, and be more positive. Just see for yourself what happens!
Life can be pretty tough. But being more positive and changing your perspective towards a more positive way of thinking can have a huge impact to your overall happiness. There are still ups and downs in life, but it is the way we see the world and ourselves that can make our life either happier or more challenging. We can focus on the good or bad things that are thrown our way. And we can actively choose to focus on life’s happy moments and be grateful for them. Maybe you will still not be as happy as you want to be, but you can be at least more content with your life, when you allow yourself to be more happy and positive. We all deserve to be happy.  And we can actively try not to think about all the negative things, but direct our thoughts towards more positivity. We should reflect on our mistakes, and change and grow as people by learning from our experiences. But we also need to treat ourselves and others with kindness. So do not dwell on grudges or missed chances. Think instead of all the possibilities life offers you on every single day. Even a bad day has usually something positive to offer. We just need to train ourselves to see it! Every day can be a game changer. So appreciate the good things and know that you can change your life. It is a longer process, it will not happen overnight, but you can actually train yourself to be more positive.
That does not mean you should take things as given or accept everything. I actually believe in the positive change every one of us can have on this world. We all matter. We all have an impact. We can change this world for the better, sometimes only in small acts of kindness, sometimes a single person has a tremendous positive effect on the entire world. Believe in yourself! You right there, reading this article, matter! Be kind and positive. Be a blessing to the people around you and do not believe anyone who tells you that you cannot do something. Positivity is something you can learn. Perspective matters. Your attitude matters. And it all starts with your own thoughts…

Photography by © Kaboompics / Pixabay

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