I have a confession to make. I can be, absolutely, ridiculously, positively, down-right negative. This has been a long-standing problem, and one that I struggle with everyday. I know that’s not something one usually talks about on their blog, but I feel as though it’s important to be honest and forthcoming, especially if one ever wants to recover and change.
It’s not that I’m not gracious or thankful for the things I have. In fact, I consistently think about how lucky I am to have enough food, or a great job, or something as simple as clean water. No, the problem lies in the fact that I always want more. And the worst part is that it starts to snowball, what starts off as wanting a new dress for date night suddenly spirals into me being a big failure.
I don’t think I’m alone in this, I think there are a lot of people who have wonderful lives, but feel unsatisfied with their jobs, cars, homes, clothing, looks, etc. I certainly get caught up in this, believing that I “have nothing to wear,” or that if I lost those last few pounds I’d certainly be healthier, or that if I got a promotion at work, suddenly everything would be different. But it’s not true.
Instead, one must search for the good within. Practice being gracious and thankful. Practice kindness and patience. Focus on all the wonderful things we have, the opportunities that may be awaiting us, and living in the present moment. Here are a few of my favorite articles to remind me of this:
- The Power of Everyday Kindness & Gratitude
- You Can Do That? Great. Go Ahead.
- The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment
- Being Happy: 17 Timeless Secrets of Happy People
- Top 5 Tips for Living a More Positive Life
After reading articles and books on positivity, I’ve started to collect my own series of thoughts, ideas, practices, and methods to work at becoming a more positive, happier, better me.
- Set goals. Every year around my birthday I set an appropriate number of goals for the coming year (generally the age I’m turning), and I review them every so often to make sure I’m staying on track. I try to diversify my goals with having a few fitness goals, a few educational goals, a few financial goals, and a few personal relationship goals. But most importantly, don’t stress if you don’t reach all of these goals, the idea is to keep having things to strive for, not finding more to feel like you failed at!
- Exercise. I cannot stress this enough, but exercising keeps me sane. It doesn’t matter what I feel like, going to the gym or going for a run and moving my body allows me to forget about everything else around me and reflect on me.
- Learn. Visit a museum, read a book, watch a documentary. Yes, sometimes these things can be depressing, but they can also be inspiring.
- Travel. Meeting people from different walks of life, exploring new cultures, and getting out of your comfort zones are amazing ways to continue the positivity process. You will find yourself so thankful for your experiences and your life will be enriched
- Get outside. I remember when my college boyfriend and I broke up. I was devastated, and was having a really difficult time getting over it. My mom took me out kayaking in Glacier National Park and I remember sitting in the middle of the lake thinking “with all this beauty in the world how could I be this upset over a guy?” Nature is therapeutic.
- Laugh. When all else fails and you’re feeling negative, find something funny. It can be so hard once you’re in a negative rut, but the simplest laugh can kick start you back on a road to positivity.
So what do you think? Do you ever struggle with being positive? What do you do to stay strong even when things seem down?