How to Stay Positive During Difficult Times

By  January 09, 2009

When times get tough, it’s hard to keep a positive attitude. Our emotions are heavily influenced by our environment, and often we can’t help but sympathize or side with how others around us are feeling. In these instances, you can choose a positive path for yourself and stay optimistic. A positive attitude makes us feel good and is a great way to weather tough times. Yet being mindful of your thoughts and actions take an enormous amount of time, effort, and commitment. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Hang on to positivity and things will turn around for the better. Here are a few tips to help you stay positive, strong, and happy.

Positive thinking starts within
The way we view ourselves affects everything we do. When you choose to think and act positively, you’ll often continue to feel that way as positive emotions build on themselves. Think about why you enjoy a certain person’s company. Often that person is kind, funny, cheerful, or upbeat—all positive feelings. A great attitude is infectious and an instant mood booster. The first step to a positive path is understanding what’s important to you and what makes you happy. What values do you treasure most? What can you let go? When you are emotionally, mentally, and spiritually well, you then have the energy to make a positive difference. Let positivity be the cornerstone of your intentions, values, and aspirations.

Look for the positive
When you’re stuck in a less than fortunate situation, make an effort to look for the positive side of things. Often it’s natural to feel anger, jealousy, and resentment. However, try to be mindful and make a conscious choice to act the way you’d like to feel. It helps to give yourself a moment to compose your feelings and focus on the right action and conduct. Keeping a positive outlook will broaden your mind and help you realize that change does happen.

Express gratitude
Feeling and expressing gratitude is a great way to turn your negative mood into a positive one. Writing a list of things you’re grateful for keeps your spirit up and your focus on the right things. Doing things that help others also brings feelings of joy and accomplishment. Volunteer to babysit your cousins, help out at a soup kitchen, or spend your time teaching art to kids. Making someone else feel good often makes us feel just as good.

Do something you love
There’s always something that makes you laugh, smile, and feel instantly happy. It could be a book, movie, person, or place. Find something that makes you feel good and keep it close. Focusing your attention on what you love helps keep your optimism and positivity alive. Passion cultivates joy and satisfaction—positive emotions that lead to happiness. To put it simply, the more time you spend doing things that produce positive emotions, the more positive you’ll feel.

Explore new places   
Who doesn’t love to travel? Leaving your comfort zone forces you to feel, learn, and experience new things. But you don’t have to go far to experience a new place. A nearby city or local park are attractions that don’t require a lot of time or money. By shaking up your normal routine, you give yourself a much-deserved break from daily life and an opportunity for your mind to explore new sights and sounds. Any chance to see and think about fresh, interesting things is a positive.

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