It can often feel like only bad things happen, and that they always happen all at once. Of course this isn't true, but have one too many bad or sad experiences, and you're likely to have quite the negative outlook. When that's the case, it's 100 percent necessary to figure out ways to bring more positivity into your life.
Because it's totally normal to kind of give up, and start believing life is something that happens to you. So it can be quite the eye-opening moment when you realize you have more control than you think. And good thing, too, since positivity is so incredibly important. "Being positive impacts your life in many ways," says psychologist Nicole Martinez, Psy.D, LCPC, in an email to Bustle. "It helps you have better relationships, as people are drawn to be around happy people. [And] it improves your working relationships, as people are more open to collaborating with you, and considering your ideas."
A positive outlook is also good for your health. "Stress is responsible for at least 77 percent of sickness and disease. If you have a positive attitude, you have reduced stress levels, and therefore are typically physically healthier as well," Martinez says. So no matter how snarky, negative, or gloomy you feel, it's a really good idea to get on board for some positivity, and try to have a better outlook. Here are some ways to do just that.
1. Try To Find The Good In Bad Situations
As they say, sh*t happens — you miss the bus, get dumped, don't get the promotion (or all of the above). Of course these situations are all bad, to varying degrees. But it's up to you to put a positive spin, or at least try to find some good in the situation. As Martinez says, "No matter how bad something seems, there is a lesson to be learned, a skill to be improved on." See if you can find what that is, no matter what happens to you.
2. Post Inspirational Notes On Your Mirror
Where's the first place you go each morning? The fridge? The bathroom? Wherever it is, cover that spot in inspirational notes. "It is the first thing you see when you wake up and your mind is clear," said Tahyira Savanna on EliteDaily.com. "Whatever you take in at this point in the day will stick with you for the remainder of the day, so begin with something that will make you want to conquer the world."
3. Show More Appreciation
If you've been feeling all negative and cold and alone, it can help to show some more appreciation for the things people do for you. Did your coworker buy you coffee? Did your SO make you dinner? "Appreciate the little things that people do for you, and let them know you appreciate them," Martinez says. It's sort of like a verbal gratitude journal. Plus (helpful hint), expressing your appreciation might mean more coffee and dinners in the future.
4. Be All About Self-Improvement
Being positive often means taking control of your life, and accepting some responsibility. One easy way to do so is by focusing on some form of self improvement. "This can be taking a class ... reading books, or even joining a self-help group," said Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., on Psychology Today. You might also want to think about being more social, snagging a new hobby, or learning something new at work. Whatever it is, taking care of yourself will feel good, and that's definitely going to make you more positive.
5. Focus On Solutions (Not Problems)
I know, it sounds a bit like something a stuffy manager would say in a board meaning, but focusing on solutions can help you remain positive. When something goes wrong, it's the negative people who complain and don't fix things. Positive people do the opposite. As Martinez says, "Be solution-focused, not problem-focused ... This way, you feel control, and you feel hope for the future." And there's nothing more positive than that.
6. Make Some Simple Changes
Ever notice how making a small change, like getting a haircut, can seem to alter your entire worldview — not to mention the way people view you? "Large or small revisions help to welcome in new energy. So go ahead, get a haircut, change your route to work, make a conscious effort to recycle, or take ballroom dancing lessons and enjoy," said Debra Duneier on YourTango.com. It doesn't matter what it is; trying something new will definitely feel good.
7. Consider Volunteering
I'm all about volunteering, so trust me when I say that a little altruism is where it's at if you want to attract more positivity to your life. "I know it seems counterintuitive, but by doing something for somebody else, your mind will relax, open up, and allow you to gain clarity about your own issues," Goldsmith said. "It will also make you feel better about yourself." And, most importantly, it helps a person or issue in need. So basically, volunteering is win-win-win for everyone.
8. Avoid Negativity Online
If you're in the habit of flicking on the news the moment you wake up, or scrolling through nasty Youtube comments on your lunch break, then I suggest you stop it now. We all get a bit addicted to drama, but filling your head with constant negativity is only going to lead to more negativity. Instead, intentionally do something more positive with your free time. "Read books that inspire, encourage, and motivate you," suggested Henri Junttila on BecomingMinimalist.com." It doesn’t really matter if you already know what the book is all about. What matters is that you continually feed your mind with positive and inspirational material."
9. Smile More Often
This one may sound cheesy, especially if you're a life-long cynic. But believe me — smiling more often does all sorts of good things. You can start by smiling at your neighbors, or you barista, according to Dr. Danielle Dowling on MindBodyGreen.com, instead of trudging miserably past them. When they smile back, you'll see that moving a few facial muscles was totally worth it. Plus, smiling has been shown to improve the mood. So go ahead and get in the habit.
10. Dish Out Some Compliments
You can attract more positivity into your life by being a lovely person who is simply nice to be around. Think about doing favors for your SO, being the awesome coworker who always has snacks, or smiling more often (see above tip). Or, you can simply dish out the compliments. As Dowling said, "This is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I tell [people] I love their hair, or shoes, or the way they pulled themselves together. They usually light up with a smile and I’m so happy I helped to make their day a good one."
11. Take Better Care Of Yourself
It's very noble to try to be all things to all people. Occasionally, however, you have to focus more on yourself. As Daffnee Cohen said on HuffingtonPost.com, "It’s crucial to take care of not only your physical health, but your mental health as well ... Take care of your actions and how you live each day, and this will be reflected in your thoughts and emotional state of mind."
It really can be that easy to bring more positivity into your life. Take care of yourself, change your thoughts, and show some appreciation. And soon you'll be rolling in good vibes.
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