Most of us have been told to just “be more positive” on rough days by coworkers or friends who mean well. But being a “positive” person isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers and deciding you’re going to make the change. Oftentimes, cultivating optimism takes work. But some of that work can be a matter of engaging in daily practices that will make you a more positive person over time.
Practicing positivity can definitely make you a more enjoyable person to be around, but the benefits of it go beyond your social circle. Being optimistic plays an important role in your health and wellness. “The mechanism for the connection between health and positivity remains murky, but researchers suspect that people who are more positive may be better protected against the inflammatory damage of stress,” according to John Hopkins Medicine’s website. “Another possibility is that hope and positivity help people make better health and life decisions, and focus more on long-term goals. [...] What is clear, however, is that there is definitely a strong link between ‘positivity’ and health.”
It’s not always easy to be positive, and no one person is perfect at it 100 percent of the time. However, making small changes to spark joy in your life (as Marie Kondo would say) is totally worth the effort. Here are 11 things you can do on a daily basis to stay positive, according to science.