There is no question that it is easy to find negativity circulating all around us. It can be hard to stay positive with a barrage of sad and often hostile news stacking up on top of family, business, work or other stuff. It isn’t easy even for those who seem to have a natural upbeat-ness about them to remain hopeful all the time. Because it takes work to stay positive, remember these tips below to support your fight for optimism.
Be Aware of Negativity
It is human nature to lament and lean towards the negative. It is a survival tactic to question and be cynical and to forecast the potential negative consequences of an action. If this sounds like you… give yourself a break. This phenomenon, called negativity bias is in how we are hard wired. In fact, research has shown a greater sensitivity in the brain to negative stimuli than positive. This does not mean we don’t have the ability to stay positive most of the time. We all know that one person who seems to be able to stay positive even in the face of challenging times. The first step to be a beacon of light when it seems there is darkness around you is to recognize how you are reacting.
Stay Positive by Taking Ownership of Your Thoughts
Once you recognize when negativity has taken over your thinking, stay positive by owning that you can influence your thoughts. Once you have created a thought or come to a conclusion about something, naturally you are going to seek out information to reinforce that thought or conclusion. This is how we create “self-fulfilled prophecies”. When you have a negative thought or come to a conclusion based on fear, challenge that conclusion. Rather than looking for evidence to support your negative conclusion, look for information to support a contrary position. You may still make the same decision because the evidence you find is not compelling enough to change your response- but you will have at least given yourself alternative perspectives to consider and in the process will act from a more informed position.
Feed Your Mind Positivity
If you want to build muscle mass, you will need to train. If you want to learn a new skill, you will need to train. If you want to shift your mindset to be able to stay positive more often, you need to train. Seek out positive news, positive people and positive messaging and feed your mind. It has been said that it takes 5 positive experiences/acts/thoughts to outweigh the impact of one that is negative. As part of this training, stop yourself when you react to something negatively. For example, if you are facing an issue and don’t have a solution, instead of saying, “I will never be able to fix this”, say to yourself, “I haven’t discovered a solution yet.” And remember the power of the question. Rather than making a definitive statement, ask yourself a question to trigger your imagination. For example, instead of saying “I can’t afford it” ask yourself “How can I afford it?”.
Start Your Day with Positive Self Talk
No matter which side of the bed you wake up on, you can ensure you start your day with a positive mindset by practicing positive self talk and affirmations. Speak out loud what you are grateful for, what you are looking forward to doing and who you are looking forward to seeing during the day. Have a list next to your bed and before your feet hit the floor, review your list. Positive and negative thoughts cannot inhabit the mind at the same time. Stay positive by eliminating space in your mind for negativity.
The Take Away
Being positive does not happen automatically. You are dealing with situations and emotions on a daily basis that will further challenge the habit of positivity. However, there are actions you can take every day to reinforce the positive in your own life and to be a positive influence for those around you. Ultimately our happiness is up to us and the mindset we approach each day with is a game changer in how we create happiness.