Staying Positive in Tough Times
We all go through periods when it feels as though all is against us & life is at its worst. Learn how to keep your chin up through the struggles.
Find a few positive things to write down each week. It may seem like a cheesy thing to do, but writing down what you’re grateful for has a big impact on your level of positivity. Just putting a few of your blessings into words once a week will keep positive thoughts fresh in your mind. When you’re feeling weighed down by negativity, you can turn to your list of blessings to help you feel better.
Slow down to savor the good parts of life. There are bound to be a few things in your life that bring you comfort or peace. Whether it’s drinking that first cup of coffee in the morning, walking to work in the sunshine or taking your ten-minute smoke break, savor the moment. Give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy the good things in life. You’ll develop a healthy reserve of positive thoughts you can draw upon when things get bad.
Go easy on yourself. If you feel like your life sucks, chances are you’re really hard on yourself. Maybe you feel that what’s happening is your fault, or you don’t think you’ve been handling it well. Getting rid of self-critical thoughts is essential to staying positive. If you don’t think you’re capable of dealing with your problems, they’ll seem that much bigger and more impossible to conquer. From now on, focus on your strengths and don’t dwell on mistakes you’ve made.
Figure out what life means to you. People who feel that life has a purpose tend to be happier than those who think it’s meaningless. Have you ever taken time to think about the meaning of life? No one can truly know the answer to this universal question. However, you can decide what life means to you. Finding the meaning in your life will help you keep getting out of bed everyday, even when things are at their worst.
Distance yourself from negative thoughts. You can practice a form of self-therapy by teaching yourself to separate from negative thoughts. Try to isolate the thoughts and view them objectively, rather than letting them cycle through your brain on a loop. Distancing yourself from your thoughts allows you to have greater control over your mindset.
Set a time to worry, then move on to other things. It’s pretty much impossible to stop having negative thoughts altogether. In fact, that wouldn’t be very healthy, since in order to function you need a balance of the positive and the negative. Still, you can keep negativity from taking over your mind by giving it a certain amount of space, and no more. Tell yourself you can worry for half an hour, then free your mind to move on to other things.
Take care of yourself as you would a friend. If a friend came to you and said “my life sucks,” you would probably go out of your way to help the person feel better. When life is awful, taking care of yourself the same way you’d care for a good friend is more important than ever. Treat yourself kindly to make it easier to get through the hard times, rather than making life even worse for yourself.
Connect with other people. When we’re isolated, we find it much more difficult to stay positive. You’re human, and you need contact with other people, even if you’re a major introvert. Maybe you’re used to being on your own and you’re out of practice keeping up your relationships. Since you’re trying to stay positive, now’s the time to rekindle old friendships and strengthen your bonds with your family.
Be helpful to others. Studies show that when we share our skills, time and energy with other people, it makes us feel good. Even doing something as seemingly insignificant as carrying someone’s groceries will give you a boost of positivity. Exerting more effort through volunteering will give you even better results. Figure out what you have to give, and share it generously as often as possible.