“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.”
Are you a positive thinker or do you tend to focus more on the negative side of things? Your viewpoint on life can affect your physical and mental health as well as your emotions. It can also either raise or lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress levels. If you feel negative about everything, then things usually become more difficult. You can get sick easily, find it difficult to face adversities and hardships in life.
Thinking in a negative light makes it harder for you to enjoy the little things in life. Whether it’s by focusing only on the negative, or by blaming everything that goes wrong only on yourself, making things seem even worse than they actually are, or seeing things in only black and white. If you do one or any of the above, then you’re setting yourself up for failure even before you start.
But anyone can infuse positivity into their lives. The power of positive thinking may seem a bit cliché, but it really does wonders for your self-esteem, overall mood and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
Here are 10 ways to help you approach life with a more positive viewpoint.
1. Turn failures into lessons
Acknowledging that no one is perfect puts things into perspective. You’re going to make mistakes, but instead of focusing on your failure, break down what went wrong so you can learn from it, so you can use it to your advantage.
2. Find positive friends
Surrounding yourself with people who are grounded and upbeat helps you maintain a positive outlook. Positivity, as is negativity, is contagious. So, choose your friends wisely.
3. Be thankful
Each night before going to bed, write down 3 things you’re grateful for. It may be as small as a great cup of coffee or something bigger as getting your work done on time at work. Make it a habit and you’ll soon realize it’s become part of your daily routine.
4. Seek humour
Watching stand-up comedy routines or funny movies opens you up to laughter which signals the brain to release ‘feel good’ hormones. This reduces stress levels and allows you to see the silver lining, even in the most difficult of situations.
5. Assess what you’d like to change
This could be hard to do at first and may require several attempts, but it gets results and you’ll feel empowered. Maybe your job is ill-fitting and fills your life with negativity. You may want to do something else, but fear is holding you back. Maybe it’s your car, your apartment, the color of your walls – many things can be affecting the level of negativity in your life and once you put your finger on it, you can consciously change it for the better.
6. Start your day with positive affirmations
Begin your day on a high note by recognizing the good things that can happen throughout your day. Pessimists tend to start their day worrying and thinking about all that can go wrong. This makes you see everything in a negative light and causes a series of unfortunate events like a domino effect.
7. Stop the flow of negative thoughts
It might need lots of practice at first but be patient and make the effort. Observe your thought patterns. You can do this by taking down notes every time you focus on the negative. Each time you feel negative self-talk creeping up by being overly critical or judgmental, or focusing only on your failures, write down a positive affirmation to counter each negative thought.
8. Find something you love to do
Hobbies are something we don’t hear of too much these days since we’re all so busy. But taking the time to engage in something you’re good at and actually enjoy fills you with a sense of joy and fulfilment.
9. Live a healthy lifestyle
Eat right, exercise regularly and you’ll see a definite boost in your mood. Plus, you’ll feel more confident and this helps you see things in a brighter, more positive light.
10. Practice makes perfect
Reinforcing positive living requires practice. The more you do it, the better you’ll be at it. Then, one day when you’re in the midst of a crisis, you’ll find that the first thing that comes to your mind is not what can go wrong, but how can I use my strengths to overcome this adversity.
No one said life was easy and sometimes we get overwhelmed with what life throws our way. But it’s up to us to decide how we’ll come out the other end. You can decide whether you’ll have a positive perspective and make sweet, delicious lemonade, or you’ll be negative and be left with a batch of sour lemons.
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