Have you ever met someone and wondered how they're so positive all the time. They're always so happy and never complain. There are specific types of habits that positive people have that help maintain their happy demeanor. While it might seem hard to be positive all the time, there's a way to be more grateful and not take life so seriously. No one else can control your feelings besides you, so if you want to be more positive, you have to take the appropriate steps to get there.
"I've been counseling using Positive Psychology for many years. Positive, happy people do have an easier time in life, and bounce back from problems faster. There are always things you can do to increase your level of optimism, even if you can't change who you are. Whether you realize it or not, you are responsible for lifting your own feelings and no one else is responsible for making you feel better," says Tina B. Tessina, PhD, in an interview with Bustle over email.
If you feel like you have been a Debby Downer lately and want to change your life around, here are 17 habits you can copy from positive people to make you into a more positive person.
1. They Write Down Their Goals
Writing down your goals is a great habit to have when you want to live a more positive life. It means you have a clear vision of what you want and how you want to get there. "This programs your brain to help you find the positive steps you can take to meet your goals. It will alert your brain to notice things and events that are related to your goal. You will automatically be more aware of certain events, opportunities and people who can be helpful. You'll also be more clear about what you want, and this will sneak into your conversation and your general attitude, where others can pick up on it," says Tessina.
2. They're Always Kind To Others
If you decide to be kind to others, you will most likely feel more happy, which can make you feel more positive in general. Live a more positive life by treating others how you would want to be treated. "The easiest way to get what you want is to make a pleasant request, and deliver it with a big smile and a warm look. [Saying] "please" is very important, and so is a gracious smile, eye contact, and a warm thank you when the request is met. If you make requests confidently, as if you expect to get a 'yes,' it ups the odds that you'll get one. 'Please go to lunch with me.' works better than 'You wouldn’t want to go to lunch, would you?'" says Tessina.
3. They Respect Themselves
Positive people usually live a great life because they not only respect others, but respect themselves as well. They show pride in themselves, which allows others to respect them as well. "Dress as if you feel special, and act that way. The more you respect yourself, the more others will respect you. Make sure you present yourself well, dress and act the part," says Tessina.
4. They Review Their Positive Personal Qualities
Instead of comparing yourself to others, it's important to remind yourself why you're so great. You can learn to love yourself more, which in return, can make you feel more positive. "What do your friends like about you? What do you like about you? Your intelligence, sense of humor, style, conversation skills? Are you a kind and caring person? Reminding yourself of these qualities means you will enter the event radiating that positive energy," says Tessina.
5. They Don't Talk Negatively To Themselves
If you want to be more positive, don't talk negatively to yourself. You won't achieve anything if you believe the negative things you tell yourself. "Self-talk is the most powerful tool you have for turning your negative feelings to positive and your negative interactions with your partner to love. Your brain tends to repeat familiar things over and over, wearing the established neuronal pathways deeper and deeper. Repeating a mantra, an affirmation or a choice over and over creates new pathways." says Tessina.
6. They Make The Best Of Who They Are
"If you love silence, tend to be quiet, like quiet conversations and not big parties, this may be a genetic trait: your hearing, and nervous system may be more sensitive than someone else’s, and this trait will not go away. You can, however, make the most of it, and learn that creating plenty of quiet in your life will make you a happier person. Quiet moments with your partner will be especially meaningful to you, and make you happy," says Tessina. Positive people are usually aware of their personality traits and they make the most out of them. They usually try not to beat themselves up or question themselves if someone doesn't like them. They're happy with who they are and don't want to change.
7. They Take Charge Of Their Negative Thoughts
Don't let your negative thoughts control how you decide to run your life. While it's normal to have them every once in a while, how you choose to control them can determine how positive you want your life to be. "[Taking control of your thoughts is] totally in your control. Turn them around, argue with them, fight them off, [or] wrestle with them. Put energy into it. Let go of whatever you can't control such as other people, life's events, loss, [or] disappointment. Stop trying to change what won't change, accept what is, let it be and live life as it is. Yes, I know it's easier said than done, but once you get a handle on it, life itself is easier. Fretting about what you can't control is an endless, useless waste of energy you can use elsewhere," says Tessina.
8. They Celebrate Their Loved Ones
Your life will appear more positive if you share joyous moments with other people. Learn to celebrate other peoples' accomplishments to help bring more positivity back into your and your friends' life. "Reward yourself and your friends. Go out for ice cream, high five each other, toast with champagne or ginger ale in fancy glasses, take a day off for just the two of you, and party every chance you get," says Tessina.
9. They Laugh A Lot
"Find a way to laugh with your partner and others around you every day. Share jokes, funny memories, comedic movies and Internet jokes. It will lower your blood pressure, calm your pulse and generally help you release a lot of stress," says Tessina. Positive people usually tend to find the humor in everyday situations. They lighten moods by making jokes and not taking things so seriously all the time.
10. They Are Grateful
"Gratitude is something that always helps remind us that life is not all bad. Every day I see the positive effects of getting my clients to focus on gratitude. The things we feel good about are easily taken for granted, so making sure you spend some of your time noticing what you're grateful for gives you a chance to register the good things in your life, reduce your stress and anxiety, and feel better about yourself, your relationship, and your life. While stress and anxiety cause the body to release adrenalin and testosterone, focusing on gratitude floods you with oxytocin, acetylcholine and other calming, relaxing agents," says Tessina. Positive people tend to count their blessings more than others, especially when things aren't going well. Try to incorporate this habit into your life by writing in a journal about what your grateful for. It can make you appreciate life just a little bit more.
11. They Maintain Their Happiness
While you don't have to be ecstatic all the time to be considered a positive person, you do know ways to find happiness, whether that's through mediating, exercising, or hanging with friends. "[Do] what you can to bring as much happiness as possible to yourself and others. Being happy is undeniably good for you; the endorphins it releases reduce stress and pain, and boost your health and immune system. Happiness makes you glad to be alive and pleasant to be around," says Tessina.
12. They Don't Let Themselves Get Distracted By Difficulties
Being a positive person sometimes means you understand that you're going to face difficulties, but you usually know how to handle them without thinking the world is going to end. You don't let the tough times stop you from going after what you want. "Positive people do all they can to carry tasks and obligations assigned them through to completion, and don't let themselves get distracted by difficulties. If they run into a problem, they will do all they can to solve it before bringing it back to their manager or client. They also step back and assess what resources are needed before starting a project. A big part of being positive is being realistic and pro-active," says licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist Grace Landes in an interview with Bustle over email.
13. They Know What They Want Out Of Life
While everyone might have goals, positive people usually will go above and beyond to accomplish them. They don't make excuses or prevent themselves from going after what they want because they're afraid of making changes. "Positive people know what they want in life, and are willing to work tirelessly to get it. They make it a practice to focus on what they want, not what they don't want," says Landes.
14. They Recognize Opportunities
Most positive people usually try to view any situation as a possible opportunity. Even when things aren't going right, they take control of the situation to turn it into something positive. "Positive people recognize opportunities and indications of success that others miss," says Landes.
15. They Review Their Day
Before they go to bed, positive people usually review their day and figure out what went right and what went wrong. They tend to write accomplishments and failures in a journal so they can review their past actions. "Before going to sleep, review your day to find a few positive things you don't want to forget keeps you satisfied and energized," says Landes.
16. They Mentally Practice Their Actions
If you want to lead a more positive, successful life, you should try to visualize where you want to see yourself by mentally practicing your actions. "A positive person will tell themselves about how they have gotten through similar tough times in the past, and imagine as much concrete detail as possible, actually doing the things that will get them through this one. Mentally practicing actions that produce success leads people to behave successfully. It's important to mentally practice doing what it will take to cross the finish line, vs. just imagining crossing it. Practice the process!" says Landes.
17. They Practice Self-Care
When you take care of yourself, you feel good about yourself. If you want to feel more positive, you need to remember to put your well-being first. "Positive people meditate every day, and typically start off the day doing so. By building meditation into your morning routine, you begin each day with gratitude — a key component of feeling happy, right off the bat. Aside from feeling grateful, meditation is proven to increase your happiness and compassion as when [you] meditate, [you] release the love hormone, oxytocin, as well as serotonin, the feel good hormone," says certified meditation coach and co-founder of the OMG. I Can Meditate! app Lynne Goldberg in an interview with Bustle over email.
Being a positive person doesn't mean you have to be happy and cheery all the time. It's about recognizing opportunities, practicing self-care, and taking charge of your negative thoughts. Try to incorporate some of these habits into your daily routine to be a more positive person in your everyday life.