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“Think Positive!” How Many Times Have We Heard This?
We cannot always control what happens in life, but we can control how we choose to react.
In a world where there is so much going on right now, it becomes hard to see the bright side of things or find that light at the end of the tunnel. There is a saying I read that had an impact on me some time back and I think it stands true: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Makes sense, why would you want to be stuck in hell? Keep going till things get better.
Having a positive mindset requires some serious, conscious effort at times.
Here are some ways you can change your mindset or mood to be more positive:
1. Practice Gratitude; Notice Good Things, Look for Them, and Appreciate Them
There are so many things in life we take for granted. Simple things like being alive, being healthy, having clean water and food, a roof over our heads, family, and friends, if you think about it there is so much more. Whenever I think of being grateful, I am always reminded of the lyrics of one of my favorite songs “each day is a gift and not a given right”. Life is short and sure we have our problems but it is important to be thankful for all that you have. I read in the book “The Secret”, which is a book about laws of attraction, where a method of practicing gratitude is mentioned. Find yourself a flat pebble, something that is small and smooth that you can always keep with you. Whenever you find yourself down or just as you start the day or before you go to bed, grab your “Gratitude Rock” and start thinking of the things you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude not only helps you feel good mentally, but it also has effects on your body physically. Grateful, happier people have healthier hearts!
2. Positive Personal Affirmations; Say Them out Loud to Yourself
They can help you to challenge and overcome negative thoughts. I remember once a long time ago, a colleague of mine at the time came and stuck an affirmation on my monitor. It read “Never doubt yourself, never change who you are. A few bad days, a few bad experiences, and what people say doesn’t define who you are”. My work was stressful at the time, as it always involved dealing with people’s problems and sometimes it could get overwhelming. Reading those lines at times like that, really helped me stay calm and remain positive. Words are powerful and they sometimes have a significant positive impact on us when we least expect it. Another example I can think of is how my Mum gave me a wall hanging when I was going through a really rough time, which read “When she looked ahead she smiled, because she knew the best was yet to come”. I have that wall hanging to date on my wall at home, which acts as a constant reminder that the best things in life are yet to come.
3. Practice Mindfulness; Being Mindful for Just a Few Minutes in a Day Makes a Big Difference
A friend of mine who is always so busy with so many things in the day would always tell me: I need 5 minutes to myself just to recharge and I’ll handle whatever after that. It's true! Try to find some time to yourself in your day to just sit in peace and quiet to let yourself have a calm state of mind. For some that could mean meditation, where you close your eyes and sit in silence, or for some, it could be sitting by the ocean listening to the waves and enjoying a cup of tea. Whatever it may be, find a few moments of Zen in your day.
4. Listening to Music Can Help You Stay Positive (This Is a Personal Favorite)
Different songs, the music, and the lyrics impact you differently in the way they make you feel. The key is to listen to the lyrics of the songs and remember the ones that make you feel good. I listen to all kinds of genres of music but there are ones that have really stuck with me, which I keep going back to depending on how I want to feel. Nickelback is one of my favorite bands and their song “If today was your last day” always puts me in a better place, as it gets me thinking of how life is short, and we should live it to the fullest. There is a reason that it’s called feel-good music because it does exactly that. There are times when I just want to sit quietly with my thoughts but want some music playing in the background. In such cases I listen to Yanni, just the sound of the piano, and his songs set a very peaceful mood for me. You need to find music that you can connect with.
5. Random Acts of Kindness
Making someone else feel good, is one that will in turn make you feel good and maintain positivity. Whether it may be calling a friend to check on them, having a heart to heart conversation with family, hugging a loved one, making dinner for a tired spouse, making a video filled with memories or photographs for someone’s birthday or just because. There are so many random acts of kindness we can do, and trust me when you do nice things for people when they least expect it, they value it, cherish it and you feel good that you were able to make them happy.
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6. Surround Yourself With Positive People
It isn't always possible but when you have the choice, choose to be around people that make you feel special or loved. When you are around such people, they encourage you to be the best that you can be and make you laugh, all things that promote you in a positive way. You develop a sense of comfort with them and realize you can be yourself without having to try. Being around negative or toxic people can really affect your thoughts and the rest of your day. There is a reason that being around children or pets keep you happy, it’s because there is an innocence that comes with them that you tend to just be yourself.
No one can control the thoughts in your head or your moods, you are the only person that can bring yourself to a positive place. Try the things that work for you, as only you can ensure that your mental health is taken care of. Whenever things seem down, just remember if you have a little faith, hope, and love in your life, the best is yet to come.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Mitchelle Peter (author) from Dubai, U.A.E on April 26, 2020:
Thanks Margaret! You're right, positivity helps to keep us going :)
Margaret Pan from Athens on April 26, 2020:
A positive attitude is always necessary, especially in these times of madness. It's what keeps us going. Great article!
Mitchelle Peter (author) from Dubai, U.A.E on April 24, 2020:
Thanks Mitara, we need to stay positive as much as possible!
Mitara N from South Africa on April 24, 2020:
A truly remarkable article, with very insightful tips especially during this period where we should all be practicing much more frequently, refreshes the body and mind to keep moving forward.
Thank you for sharing the positivity
Mitchelle Peter (author) from Dubai, U.A.E on April 23, 2020:
Very true Rajan especially at times like this. Stay safe!
Mitchelle Peter (author) from Dubai, U.A.E on April 23, 2020:
Thank you Lora. I love dogs, you cant help but feel happy around them.
Lora Hollings on April 23, 2020:
A very good article, Mitchelle. We do need to practice gratitude and keep our focus on the good in our lives. We also need to practice random acts of kindness as giving is a good way to feel better about ourselves! I never heard of the band, Nickelback. But after your recommendation, I will now have to listen to their music. My pets always make me feel better because they love us unconditionally and petting them does actually release endorphins in our brains- hormones in the brain which can alleviate stress. Thanks for sharing.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 22, 2020:
Thanks for sharing this positivity. It's easier said than done but the first step is always a step forward to keep moving in that direction.
Mitchelle Peter (author) from Dubai, U.A.E on April 22, 2020:
Thanks Eric. Stay safe!
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 22, 2020:
Interesting notions. Seems right for situational depression thoughts. Maybe not so much for clinically depressed.