Life can be stressful. We have so many demands on our time and are often pulled in many directions. We want to work hard and be successful, but we also want to spend time with family and friends. This can lead to feelings of unhappiness and make it hard to stay positive. Continued stress can cause us to start having health issues, which just adds to the problem.
Steps to stay positive
How do we stay positive in this environment? Eliminating stress seems like the obvious solution, but sometimes that is easier said than done. So how do people do it?
I started asking people that were happy and positive how they managed to stay positive. The common theme I have found when talking to positive successful people is that they practice positivity daily. What that means is they:
Focus on the positive
When you look for the positive and think positive thoughts you train your mind to focus on positivity. This gives you less time to be negative. When you are more positive your body is more at ease and less stressed so you are aiding your health.
Once you start focusing on positive you start acting more positive and others will notice the difference. You are sending out energy which will attract more positive situations/people to you. This will make your life happier and thus reinforce the positive thoughts. Repetition is key.
When you wake up in the morning immediately think of a positive thought. If you have time to meditate, that is even better. Just start the day with a positive thought. It can be about you, your family, the day ahead or whatever pops in your mind. You are training your mind to stay positive and you are putting your body at ease. I think about anything that makes me happy like meeting a friend for lunch, finishing a project, playing with your pet, doing something creative etc. Just focus on that happy positive thought to get your day started right.
Control how you react
When something stressful happens the immediate reaction may be to get angry or yell. This will increase your stress level and put a strain on your health.
Instead, take a deep breath and think about the situation objectively. If it is too overwhelming, go outside. Spending time in nature away from people often has a calming effect. Once you feel better, then think it through. If it helps, write down what the problem is and possible solutions. This will help you feel in control of the situation.
Once you have a plan for handling the situation think about it more deeply. Why did it happen? Is it really as negative as it appears or is it a sign for you? Sometimes we go down a path and everything is going great. Then we get a bump in the road and don’t understand why. The why may be that you need a course correction and the tough situation may really be helping you to move in a different, more positive direction.
The main point is to look at each situation objectively and see if there is more to it. Many people believe in guides or guardian angels. Sometimes they give us signs to help us grow and move forward in a positive manner.
Next time a difficult situation occurs take a breath. Think about the immediate solution but also think of the bigger picture. Did this happen for a reason? Am I going in the right direction? Am I overlooking something? Asking yourself these kinds of questions may help you find important answers about your path. This may help you to make changes in order to stay positive and focused.
This is a very important point. When we are grateful and show appreciation for good things in our lives we are sending positive energy out to the universe. If you give out positive energy it will return to you.
I have heard of people making a gratitude jar. It is a jar they keep in their home and each time something makes them happy they write it down on a small piece of paper and put it in the gratitude jar. At the end of the year, they take the jar out and read through all the slips of paper. It is a wonderful way to reflect on your year and see how blessed you are.
We get so caught up in the day to day that we forget the little things that bring us joy. Keeping track of happy moments and showing appreciation for them is a good way to stay positive.
Each night before you go to bed reflect on the day and find something that made you happy or brought you joy. It could be something as little as your co-worker giving you a compliment or your child drawing you a picture. When you are in a quiet room think about the positive thought and say out loud. “I am grateful for (insert your reason)” and genuinely feel the peace and joy in the moment. You are signaling the universe that you appreciate the assistance and you would like more good things like that to come your way.
Compassion is something really lacking in our world today. It is something we need so much more of, but many people do not practice it. We live in a society that is very ego driven and self-focused. Our society would be so much more positive if we all took time to be more selfless and think about how our actions affect others.
Start doing little things that are compassionate. You would be surprised how the smallest gesture can affect someone’s day. A smile to a stranger on the bus. Holding the door for a mom who has her hands full with kids and packages. Helping a neighbor by watching their house. All of these gestures are kind and show compassion. Everyone is so stressed and rushed that even little signs of compassion stand out. It makes people feel less alone in a harsh world. Your actions are saying to that person: you matter to me, I understand you are having a hard time let me help, you are not alone.
Once you start practicing kindness and compassion daily it will be easier to do more. You will be sending positive energy to the universe, to the people you help and ultimately back to yourself. It is a win all around!
Next time you are out in public try to be aware of the people around you. Is someone struggling with something you could easily help with? Does someone look like they need help but are too afraid to ask? Is there an animal in distress? When you see these situations take a moment to calm yourself and think: What could I do to help? Your inner voice or your angel or whatever you believe will give you a sign. You just have to be open enough/calm enough to hear it. And by the way, when you help someone that great feeling you get is something you can write down in your gratitude jar.
It is so important for all of us to love ourselves. I don’t mean in an egotistical manner. I mean to have confidence in yourself, feel good about yourself and do good things for yourself. That is self-love. Respect yourself enough to keep positive and live a life of compassion and gratitude. You deserve to be happy! You are good enough!
We have to be able to love ourselves first before we can truly love others. Love is such a deep and all-encompassing emotion. We have all kinds of love from love for family and spouse, love of the planet and animals, spiritual love but the one that many people ignore is self-love.
It is important to respect yourself and love yourself in order to live a positive life. It is also important to be loving towards others. That includes people, plants, animals etc. When you are open and willing to give love to others you will receive so much in return. Being compassionate and kind to others is a great way to show love. Helping those that need it but don’t know how to ask is a very loving action. There are so many ways you can show love to others and to yourself.
Another important topic is forgiveness. Forgiving yourself and letting go of any guilt you carry is a wonderful way to love yourself. Forgiving others, even if they don’t acknowledge it, is a great way to release negativity and move forward on a positive path. It is like a weight is lifted off of your shoulders and you can move forward on your journey.
When you are alone in a quiet room focus on your chest area and imagine a bright loving white light coming out. Feel happy positive loving thoughts while you picture it. Remember that feeling and when you are out in crowds or at work and you feel the situation is getting stressful, send out those positive loving vibes to everyone. That has a calming effect on people and will make everyone happier. If you don’t like that idea, find another way that you can picture sending love to others and just keep that image in your mind when you are around someone who needs it.
Keep at It
This is critical. You may start off with good intentions but then a few negative things happen, you get discouraged and no longer stay positive. This just leads to a downward spiral of negative thinking. When you feel yourself doing this stop what you are doing and go somewhere peaceful. You can go outside or to a quiet room. If you meditate that is good or just sit still and clear your mind. Think about the positive things happening in your life and find that feeling of love we discussed.
Picture yourself surrounded by a white loving light and say to yourself:
“I am going to be ok, I am loved and I love others, I am grateful for the positive in my life.”
If you have a favorite affirmation say that instead. The important thing is you stop the negative thoughts, calm down and get yourself back on a positive track.
Tips to stay positive
- Celebrate the positive things that happen each day
- Make a gratitude jar so you can look back on the entire year and see how blessed you are
- Meditation or yoga both help calm the mind and body
- Write in a journal so you can keep track of your positive progress
- Each morning start the day with a positive thought and picture a white loving light surrounding you
- Say positive affirmations each day
- Each evening say out loud what you are grateful for and then picture yourself surrounded by a white loving light
- Show compassion, kindness, and love to others and yourself
Remember all that positive energy you are giving out will come back to you.