5 Ways to Stay Positive When It Feels Impossible
Staying positive during these crazy times is not an easy thing to do. Our current world seems to be eerily similar to the start of every apocalyptic movie I've ever watched, and so it's difficult to fight negative thoughts, panic and fear. But I try not to let the negative things around me keep me in a dark place the way that it used to. I want to be happy in all that I do and so I try to be as positive as possible.
It has been a lifelong challenge for me to focus on the positive in any given moment. For some people, this comes easily, but I had to force-feed myself positive thoughts on a daily basis until it became a habit. I no longer think the worst in any given situation. I try to see the best in people and opportunities. When my mind starts down the ever-familiar road of negative thoughts, I steer it in a different direction.
I still find it a challenge at times, but I use these five easy to incorporate tasks when I feel myself falling back down the rabbit hole of self-doubt and negativity.
Start the day with a smile
Every morning when my alarm goes off, I wake up to Nina Simone's "Feeling Good," and I can't help but smile. Find something that makes you feel good as soon as you open your eyes. I have a routine in the morning when I get up (after dancing and singing a few lines along with Nina). The first thing I do is open the blinds and let the light in. It instantly brightens my room (and my mood) and I feel like I can take on the day (and on really great mornings, even the world!). If I'm struggling on a particular morning to feel great about the day, I do a quick yoga routine or meditation to get my mind in a good place. Getting in a positive mindset first thing in the morning sets the mood for the rest of your day.
Work it out
I use exercise to battle stress. Sure, it's a great way to stay in shape and get healthy. And yes, the added benefit of losing a few pounds makes me feel better about myself. But the number one reason why I workout on an almost daily basis now; stress relief. I am lucky to work from home, but I do, however, work long days. Whenever I am starting to feel overwhelmed with work and life, I hit an imaginary pause button and go workout instead. Sometimes my workout is simply walking away from my computer, turning on some music and dancing my heart out for awhile. The work is always there when I get back, but taking an hour to do some kind of activity helps me to keep a positive mindset and be more productive when I come back to my desk.
Collect things that make you smile
I believe that part of keeping a positive mindset is training your mind to think and believe positive things. I love reading and writing, so I read poetry and quotes that help keep my mind inspired. I keep a journal of simple notes and have an album of pictures and screenshots of things that make me smile. I use it daily to remind me what makes me happy, what I'm working towards and the things that I am grateful for.
Surround yourself with positive people
It's interesting how much the attitudes of those around you affect your own mindset. I didn't realize it until a few people were removed from my life that always encouraged negativity. If you want to be a more positive person or remain the positive person you currently are, it's important to surround yourself with people that feel the same way. You can help motivate each other to find new perspectives when you are starting to feel down. I truly believe it's important to have people in your life that support you and make you feel comfortable being yourself. It makes such a huge difference in how you feel about everything else in your life.
Start making notes of the little things you are thankful for. It helps to have these things written down so you can refer back to them whenever you're starting to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders or that everything is stacked against you. I jot little things down from my day as a note in my phone and take it out whenever I need a helpful reminder that I am surrounded by wonderfully amazing things every day. It's a great tool to have when someone throws a negative comment your way or something happens that threatens the positivity that you're working so hard to maintain.
Implementing these few, simple things has made such an incredible impact on my life and state of mind. Negative thoughts are going to happen. It's incredibly difficult to remain positive 100% of the time, but being aware of what makes you feel down gives you control over changing them. Using these tools has helped me completely transform how I think about and approach everything in life. You can start with one and add them slowly. Before long, it'll become natural to revert to positivity instead of actively choosing it.
And as always, I encourage everyone to