10 Steps on How to Get (and Stay) Positive

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
~Anais Nin

A place of positivity may seem like an unachievable dream, especially during hard times, but it’s not impossible. A positive mindset can be developed over time, and it is well worth the effort. For some it can mean the difference between life and death…

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
~Marcus Aurelius

 

  1. Open Your Mind

An open mind is essential to gaining a positive mindset. This has enabled me to view people, places, and things from different viewpoints. From there I’ve been more able to see the positive in a negative situation.

An opportunity may present itself if I take the time to look at something from a different perspective.

 

2. Cultivate Positive Influences

  • Who do I spend the most time with?
  • Are my friends upbeat and positive, or do they mope and complain?
  • Are the situations I find myself in inspiring and uplifting, or sad, dull, or mundane?
  • What kind of TV shows do I watch? What books do I read? What do I look at on the internet?
  • What can I do to change this?

Garbage in = Garbage out. What I feed my mind affects my mood. Just like eating healthy foods is important for a healthy body, what I feed your mind affects my soul. I deserve to treat myself right.

 

3. Remember “The Pause”

If things are moving too fast and getting stressful, I slow down, take a step back, and breathe deep. Stress leads to negativity and can also be detrimental to my health. I take care of myself first. It’s easier to think through a difficult situation when I’m calm. I take a moment to refocus.

 

4. Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Nothing cheers me up quite like doing something nice for someone else, especially when it’s unexpected. If I can add value to someone else’s life, my positivity expands tenfold! When I treat people the way I like to be treated, even if I’m not in the greatest mood myself that day, it comes back to me, and positivity is spread throughout the whole day. The seeds I plant are what I will reap.

 

5. Sleep and exercise

This comes back to self-care. If I’m tired and cranky I’m not taking care of myself and it will eventually manifest into a whirlwind of negativity. I try to set myself up for success every day, and taking care of my body is a big part of this daily routine.

 

6. Constructive Criticism is Good

I don’t take it personally when someone criticizes me. Unless they have some malicious intent (in which case that’s on them, not my problem), I take it in a healthy way with an open mind.

I ask myself:

Criticism can be a very good thing with the right mindset. It can open up new possibilities I may not have noticed before. It’s good to have an open line of communication and back-and-forth with someone else. It helps keep my ego in check.

 

7. Set the Tone for the Day in the Morning

I have a morning routine which includes meditation and gratitude. I actually begin my day the night before by making sure I get to bed in time to get enough sleep. Long gone are the days I burn the candle at both ends, and I will never go back to that. I like my life too much now to go back to that dark place.

Next I do a quick set of push-ups, squats, or if I have time, a quick walk or jog around the block. Just something to get my blood pumping. And coffee.

The gratitude list is what helps me the most. That is my number one way to start off my day. If I only have time for one thing, it’s the gratitude list.

 

8. Be Mindful Throughout the Day

I try not to focus on the past or future, but on the task at hand. When I catch my mind wandering into worry or regret, I quickly re-center and move on. It takes practice, but it make a big difference. Resentments, anger, and fear fuel negativity. I must be mindful when my thoughts drift in that direction.

 

9. Avoid Negative People

Not all negative people are avoidable, but I don’t have to engage with them. I won’t let them be in my head for too long, and I refuse to entertain them for long either. I move on as quickly as possible. I refuse to let them live rent free in my head.

 

10. Only Compare Myself to Who I Used to Be, Not to Other People

  • Have I improved my life over the last several years? Yes I have.
  • Is my life as good as my neighbors? Who cares?

A sure-fire way for me to fall into the vortex of negativity is to start comparing myself to other people. The only person I need to compare myself to is me. Worrying about trying to be as good as or better than others leads down the road to selfishness, anger, and self-hatred. The opposites of positivity.

 

Kindness matters. When I spread happiness and joy to others and it is returned to me. This is my experience.

Acceptance matters. When I choose acceptance over expectation I tend to stay more in the positive. This is my experience.

Gratitude matters. When I focus on what I have as opposed to what I don’t, my life gets better. This is my experience.

 

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.

~Henri Nouwen

 

 

~Thanks for reading,

LC

 

 

Resentments, Anger, and Fear

Resentments, anger, and fear are your will working in three different periods of time:  Past, present, and future.

These feelings are based on selfishness and self-centeredness.

  • Resentments represent your feeling based on something that happened in the past.
  • Anger represents your feeling on what’s happening now.
  • Fear represents the feeling you may not get your way in the future.

 

What can you do to put these bad feelings at ease?

  • Turn your will over to a power greater than yourself.
  • Practice gratitude. Be grateful for what you have. Don’t dwell on what you don’t have.
  • Practice the four absolutes: Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love.

I’ve found it’s impossible for me to feel resentful, angry, or fearful  when I’m practicing these principles.

Give it a try… you might like it…

 

~Thanks for reading,

LC