Keeping an optimistic outlook on life is great for you in so many ways. I know that sometimes life can suck, things come up that get you down. Staying positive can be hard work sometimes, but if you work at it, your life will be a lot easier.
Why Does Positivity Matter?
Besides just being emotionally and physically taxing, negative thoughts do a lot of different things to your brain. Negative emotions narrow your mind and focus your thoughts on whatever you’re thinking about at that moment. So if you’re having negative thoughts about your lack of progress at the gym, you’re more likely to obsess over the aspects of your workouts that you’re unhappy with. Or, if you’re having a conflict with someone, your anger and negative emotions are likely to take over your thoughts so that you can’t focus well on anything else. On the other hand, positive emotions broaden your thoughts.
How Do I Stay Positive?
It’s important to try to stay as positive as possible even when everything seems to suck. What’s the first step?
1. Fake it till ya make it!
You’ve heard the saying before in reference to confidence, but it applies here too. Slap a smile on your face and trick yourself into thinking that you’re having, or will be having, a great time with whatever you’re doing. The people around you will believe it, and before you know it, you will too!
2. Chase your dreams!
Set yourself a realistic goal. Now, break that goal into several small goals along the journey to the final accomplishment. Dr. Suzanne Segerstrom, professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, explains that pessimists tend to give up sooner which in turn leads them to achieve and experience more disappointment and negative emotions. This is why it’s extremely important to break your large goal into a handful of smaller ones; you’ll have more opportunities for success along the path to your large goal which will reinforce your positive ambitious attitude.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Here’s the thing, you are the best at being you. Everyone else is the best at being themselves. There is no point in trying to beat out someone at being who or how they are. If there is something that you don’t like about yourself, feel free to change it in a healthy manner, but make sure that you are truly changing for yourself instead of changing to be like someone else.
4. Surround Yourself with Positive Vibes
Misery loves company, but so does positivity! Constantly being around Debby Downers is unnecessarily exhausting. If you have people in your life who are determined to dwell on every negative aspect of any given situation, feel free to love them at a distance in order to keep your sanity and mental health in check. Find the people in your life who thrive on optimism and positive vibes, and drown yourself in those vibes. You’ll have a lot more fun focusing on the good in life instead of wasting time whining about anything less than perfect.
5. Choose How You React
It’s natural to get angry, or hurt, or upset over certain situations or events. It’s natural and it’s perfectly okay. What isn’t okay is dwelling on those negative emotions. If someone or something upsets you, stop and think: Is there something productive you can do to help the situation? If yes, then go ahead and do that. If not, move on. There is no use focusing on what you cannot change. Instead, change the way you deal with it. Harboring negative emotions will only hurt you, so address them and ship them out of your brain so you can get back to chilling with your positive vibes.
Negative things happen, after all, life isn’t always puppies and rainbows. However, the more positive you try to be, the easier it will be to deal with the not so great things that pop up in your life.
By: Kayla Harwick