Every day we are bombarded with a seemingly endless stream of bad news courtesy of the 24-hour news cycle. So, how to stay more positive?
Let’s be real: staying positive can be incredibly difficult in this day and age.
Constantly hearing about tragedies, political unrest, or the impending doom of climate change can be downright exhausting. Fortunately, there are plenty of tried and true methods for taking control of your own life and exuding an infectious positivity that will have you and everyone around you smiling.
1. Get an exercise routine
One of the most common self-care recommendations you’re likely to hear is that you need to exercise more. Well, we hate to break it to you — because we’re sure you’re sick of hearing it — but it is absolutely true.
First and foremost, there is plenty of evidence that regular exercise can help in the fight against many common mental health ailments like depression and anxiety. Exercise can even help to fend off ailments that come with aging.
While physical activity alone is good for your physical and mental health, making it a routine that you keep up can also be an incredibly beneficial way to be more positive.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is so much more than the self-care buzzword that you see popping up in articles left and right or plastered across self-help books in your local bookstore. The truth is, practicing mindfulness is one of the most powerful methods of managing stress and reducing anxiety out there.
In reality, practicing mindfulness is as simple as paying attention to how you are feeling, what you are thinking, and considering why, at that moment, you are feeling the way you feel and thinking those particular thoughts.
Once you’re a pro at living in the moment, you’ll find that it helps you stay grounded and in-the-moment, keeping you from worrying about things that are out of your control.
3. Find the Funny
Humor is a powerful tool for becoming more positive. Also, learning to find the funny in your life can help to improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and battle depression.
Let us explain what we mean when we talk about finding the funny. Finding the funny doesn’t mean going out to your local comedy club every week (though the comedians would certainly appreciate it) or actively seeking out funny things. It’s actually about being able to find the humor in every aspect of your life, especially during the more challenging and difficult times.
Being able to find the funny in everyday situations will also help you make those around you more relaxed and positive, spreading the good vibes far and wide.
Meditation is another tried and true method on how to be more positive and reduce stress and anxiety in your life. While meditation was once seemingly relegated to hippy-dippy types, it has officially hit the mainstream, helping a lot of people and, realistically, anyone who has access to YouTube and a desire to practice meditation.
Meditation has been stripped of the mysticism that used to surround it, and with the mysticism went much of the wariness and negative connotations. Meditation is simply the practice of focusing the mind through various exercises to achieve mental and emotional clarity while training attention and awareness.
When you practice meditation, you are really just investing in yourself, taking the time to purposefully look in on what makes you tick and why you think and feel the way you do.
5. Surround yourself with positive people
This one is pretty simple. Cutting out toxic people from your life and instead surrounding yourself with other happy and positive people has a compounding effect. When people around you complain less, you tend to complain less, too. When people laugh, you laugh. Happiness begets happiness!
Another great reason to surround yourself with positive people is that you can learn a lot from them. Seeing how other positive people react to hardships and negativity can give you something to emulate and aspire to.
Also, it’s just generally nice to be around friends that will gas you up and help keep you positive! No one likes a Negative Nancy or a Downer Derek.
6. Shove off Invasive Thoughts
Everyone is their own harshest critic, but they certainly don’t have to be. Negative thoughts can be pervasive, and it can be difficult to regulate them or shake them off as simply a passing thought.
However, if you learn to recognize when you’re having negative thoughts and are able to see that they aren’t helping you achieve anything, it can make dealing with them much easier. Telling yourself that you aren’t good enough doesn’t help the situation, either, so why let that thought in at all?
When you’re able to better regulate invasive negative thoughts, you can narrow your focus onto positive, helpful thoughts that actually work to propel you forward instead of holding you back. This is one of the harder things to master, but doing so will possibly make the greatest impact on your outlook.
7. Maintain a Balanced Diet
The key to increasing positivity through your diet is to try and break away from fad diets that promise fast results and instead focus on eating a balanced diet that will keep you healthy. While many fad diets do in fact help with rapid weight loss, they only do so by putting your body through some dangerous things.
Dehydration, the development of poor eating habits, yo-yoing weight loss, and malnutrition can all come as side effects of fad or crash diets. Developing healthy eating and nutrition habits can also help you to lose a ton of weight and feel great doing it.
A properly balanced diet focuses on the best, most important foods first that will help you maintain your physical and mental health.
8. Let Nature Be Your Guide
One of the best tips on how to be more positive is to head out into the great outdoors. The constant stress and noise of living in urban spaces can take a serious toll on your mental health, and heading out for a weekend camping trip or even a short hike in the woods can help you reconnect with nature.
Spending time outdoors can refresh your perspective and give you a much-needed break which, in turn, helps you remain positive in the face of adversity.
If you live somewhere where getting out into nature is not really a possibility, you can still reap the benefits of the outdoors by immersing yourself in a green space, like visiting a park in your city for a couple of hours. Pro-tip: walking barefoot on grass is amazing. When was the last time you did it?
9. Take up a New Hobby
Starting up a new hobby can seem like a daunting task. There is so much to learn when first starting out with a hobby — however, that is, in fact, what makes it so great for improving positive thinking!
Learning should be a lifelong experience and outside of college and university, hobbies are one of the best ways to continue learning and experiencing personal growth. Not all hobbies have to be expensive, either, which makes it ideal for self-improvement.
Stargazing, bird watching, calligraphy, gardening, exploring your city, and discovering new art and music are all inexpensive (or free) ways to keep things fresh in your life and expand your mind.
10. Practice Dealing with Rejection
Rejection can be harsh. Getting shut down, whether in social situations, romantic situations, or while looking for a job can put a damper on your mood for weeks after the initial rejection.
The key to how to be more positive and being able to deal with rejection appropriately is to actively think about and practice how you’ll react. It costs nothing and works wonders to dampen the blow.
If you receive a rejection letter for a job, send back a letter thanking them for their time and consideration. If rejected romantically or socially, remaining positive and seeing the upside will make you look like the bigger person and even do wonders for your self-esteem.
You can create a pattern of habits with all these activities to keep yourself positive through these trying times. Just hold your head up high and keep going.