Having and maintaining a positive attitude towards life is not something that we do naturally. Events happening around us, as well as our own situations and circumstances, affect our daily outlook. This in turn impacts our attitude and how we respond to situations.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just take a break from life every now and then? If we could just switch from all the negativity and remain in the positive lane? News we read, comments we hear from people around us all have an impact on how much of a positive outlook we have.
Fortunately there are ways you can train your mind so that you can enjoy a positive outlook more often. If you find your mood dipping and your thoughts turning towards negativity for whatever reason, try these strategies.
Meditation is not just for gurus, spiritual folk, or shamans. Regular people like you and me can meditate and enjoy the benefits. Meditation helps you relax. It helps you clear your mind of negative thoughts, negative vibrations, and can help you you focus on the positive aspect of your life. All you need is a quiet space, and your imagination. If you are new to meditation you can use guided meditation apps to get you started.
2. Read or Watch Something Funny
I have a go-to list of books and videos that help me stay positive when life is feeling a bit wobbly. One of my favourite authors is Sophie Kinsella. Everything she writes makes me laugh. It’s a guaranteed win for me. I also have movies, video clips and comedy shows to watch when reading is not possible.
3. Write a List of Things You are Grateful For
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the most recommended ways of maintaining a positive attitude. I use mine to write down at least three things that I am grateful for.
Sometimes it’s hard to find anything to be grateful for, especially when you are sailing on rough seas. I have a simple but effective strategy to deal with this one. I keep a gratitude jar.
Each day, whenever something good or positive happens, I write it down on a piece of paper. I then fold the piece of paper and put it in my gratitude jar. On days when I don’t feel like writing down anything I’m grateful for, I read the notes in my gratitude jar. This strategy helps lift my mood instantly.
4. Pay Someone a Compliment
Intentionally paying somebody a compliment requires that you make an effort to look for something nice to say. This fact alone takes your attention away from yourself. By focusing on somebody else and specifically looking for something positive causes you to forget about the negativity in your own life.
Seeing the positive effect of your compliment on other people is enough to lift your own mood. If you make an effort to do this at least once a day, every single day you have guaranteed yourself 365 days of positivity in your life.
5. Do Something Nice for Someone
Doing something nice for someone else does not entail spending a lot of money. In fact most times there is no need to spend money at all. Here are some ideas of nice things you can do for someone else which they would really appreciate.
- Help them do chores around the house. Most people I know hate doing chores, so any help would be appreciated. Things like washing up, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, laundry and ironing, or weeding the garden, are simple but make a big difference. If you are not keen on doing any of these things then please don’t offer. Find something else to do.
- Run errands. Running errands can be time-consuming and exhausting. When you do this for somebody else they will be very grateful to you. A note of caution here is to try to incorporate their errands into your own so that you don’t go too much out of your own way. When you make the offer to help be clear about what you can and can’t do and also try to limit your offer to one or two things. Doing too much can sometimes lead to resentment.
- Prepare a meal. If you can take it has step further and prepare their favourite meal that would be even better.
- Offer to go for a walk with them. Walking takes you away from your normal home environment. It is a great form of exercise too. Studies have also shown that when you go for a walk you think better. When you go for a walk with somebody else, you gain an additional benefit of having a companion to talk to whilst exercising, and enjoying the outdoors.
- Listen to them talk. Be conscious not to talk too much or talk over them.Avoid expressing any negativity and let your input be one that is positive. As you hear yourself speaking positively, you will also start to feel more positive.
6. Surround Yourself with Positive People
Someone once said this:
The problem with negative people is that they have a problem for every solution.
Those are not the kind of people you want in your life. You want those who have solutions to problems, or can at least point you in the right direction. So, surround yourself with positive people.
- They will speak life into you when you feel like you can’t cope.
- They will help lift you up when you are down.
- They will remind you of how far you’ve come and the reason why you should maintain a positive attitude.
7. Change Your Perspective
It’s not what happens to you which causes you to become negative. It’s how you choise to view an event or situation. When you change your perspective, your feelings also change.
I agree that sometimes bad things happen, which would justify why we should be negative. However, this is not helpful. By all means acknowledge that the situation or event is bad, but then choose how you will respond to it.
Maintaining or choosing a positive attitude does not mean that you are saying the bad is good. No. It means that you choose to look for ways on how you can turn the situation around in your favour.
Some things and situations are completely outside of your control. I agree. There are people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. The positive ones reframed the whole situation and decided to see it as an opportunity to explore new opportunities or learn new skills. Some even started businesses that they have been thinking about.
I know an amazing woman who got married and had a dream to start a family. Life threw her a curveball when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not long after that she suffered from heart failure, and was eventually told that she would never be able to conceive.
With the support of her husband and family she became and intended parent through surrogacy. She is now the proud mother of one little girl and gorgeous boy triplets.
This amazing lady has now made it her mission to spread the word about intended parenting. She is helping women who are unable to conceive. Her life right now is so different to what she thought it would be. Given the option she probably would not have chosen this path but through her experience she has been able to help so many women.
- Read or Watch Something Funny
- Write a List of Things You are Grateful For
- Pay Someone a Compliment
- Do Something Nice for Someone
- Surround Yourself with Positive People
- Change Your Perspective
A positive mind wins more battles than a negative one.