In this article, I'm going to share with you 5 simple and effective ways to become more positive – now. In today's world, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by negativity and pessimism. However, cultivating a positive mindset can help you overcome challenges, achieve your goals, and live a more fulfilling life. The good news is that becoming more positive doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming.
If you're ready to turn your negative mindset into a more positive one, then keep reading because I'm going to share with you five practical and proven strategies that you can start implementing right away to improve your mood, mindset, and overall well-being. Whether you're looking to overcome negative thinking patterns, reduce stress, or simply become a happier person, this article is for you.
Have You Ever Wondered?
- How do you stay positive, even when the world around you seems to be falling apart?
- Why is it that some people manage to keep a positive attitude in a negative world?
- What is the difference between positive and negative people?
Making the Most of Our Time
It was the summer of 2016 when my dog Buddy was diagnosed with cancer and the vet told us that he had just a few months left to live. However, if we would begin giving him steroids, then those next few months wouldn't be so bad for him. So, we followed the doctor's orders and Buddy was blessed with 2 beautiful months of symptom-free cancer.
In order to make the most of the time we had together, I decided to stay positive throughout the process. As a result, I managed to enjoy my limited time with him and make the most of every moment.
The fact is, being positive is not who you are. Rather, being positive is something you do. In addition, it is a series of skills that you practice every day.
Was I completely positive and void of any negativity during those 2 months?
The truth is, there were plenty of times when I would just look at him, breakdown, and cry. All emotions are natural and healthy, assuming they are expressed appropriately. I did however refuse to stay in those emotions. I also refused to waste time complaining that my time with him was cut short.
"Refuse to waste time complaining that you don't have enough time and JUST start making the most of the time you have." - Robert Louis Sims
5 Simple Ways to Stay Positive
1. Ask Positive Questions
Being positive or negative is all a matter of focus. And the best way to control your focus is to ask the right questions.
A negative focus is created by asking limiting questions. In other words, questions that lead you to focus on what's missing or not right in your life.
For instance, look at the question why?
In one way, this Is a great question, such as when we are trying to learn how things work. On the other hand, it's not so great when we are analyzing our experiences in life.
For instance, listen to how quickly it can lead our thinking in a negative direction when we question why things happen. Such as "Why me?" or "Why did this have to happen to me?"
In this case, the answers we come up with are almost always going to end up having us focus on what's missing in our life. As a result, we feel helpless and unable to take charge of our lives.
Similarly, to control our focus, we SIMPLY need to learn how to ask better questions. Questions that focus our thoughts on the positive aspects of our experiences.
Consequently, positive questions empower us by helping us to focus on what we currently have control over and what's working in our lives instead of what isn't.
So, the next time you're feeling negative and you need to change your attitude, instead of asking "Why me? Why did this have to happen?" Try asking these positive questions instead.
- What's great about this?
- How can I turn this around and make the most of what I've got?
- What can I learn from this?
- How can I make the most of this moment?
2. Practice Mindfulness
Undeniably, one of the best ways to become and stay more positive is to meditate or practice mindfulness. In fact, research is showing us that meditation can lead to the rewiring of your brain which is called neuroplasticity.
What that means is that if you're generally a negative person you can teach your brain to become more positive, even in stressful situations.
How do I Practice Mindfulness?
To practice mindfulness, you don't have to commit to a strenuous meditation routine where you try and sit in silence for an hour. Instead, you can simply find a few spare minutes throughout your day to sit quietly, clear your mind, and focus on your breathing.
When practiced regularly, this simple act of clearing your mind can rewire your brain so that when your thoughts start to go negative you can quickly catch yourself, clear your mind, and then redirect your thoughts with positive questions.
Another way to meditate is to spend some time focusing on a simple yet powerful mantra like one of the following.
- I am love
- I am still
- I make myself calm
Feel free to create your own. Ones that fit you and the situations in your life where you find yourself easily going negative.
For example, when I find that the negative voice in my mind that wants to judge others starts spewing negative hateful thoughts, I repeat the word love to myself over and over again.
I find this works on two levels.
The first is that our brains can only hold one thought in our consciousness at a time. The second is that by choosing to only think of the word 'love' I am canceling out the negative thought and replacing it with a simple yet powerful one.
Overall, this simple practice has not only helped me to stay positive with others but has also allowed me to connect with them at a deeper level.
3. Focus on What You Control
Research proves that in most situations Leo's observation is correct. In a recent experiment, subjects were asked to write down what they worried about and then identify which one actually came true.
The results: 85% of the things they worried about never happened. And of the 15% that did 79% said they handled it better than they expected. In addition, they said they learned something valuable in the process.
So, when you find yourself worrying, ask yourself the following question: "Is this something I have control over?"
Therefor, if the answer is 'Yes' then take action and do something about it.
But if the answer is 'No' put the thought to bed and move on by practicing mindfulness or asking a positive question. And if that doesn't work then try the next step.
4. Put Your Negative Thoughts to the Test
It's been said that we shouldn't believe everything we think. And in most cases that is good advice. But how do we know what to believe and what to ignore?
Try this, if you're unsure if your negative thought is valid or not try putting it to the test by doing some fact-checking.
The next time you have a negative thought that just won't leave you alone, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this true?
- What proof do I have?
- How often does this really happen?
- What is the worst thing that could happen?
- If the worse thing happens, can I handle it?
Remember, the goal here is to discredit your negative thoughts so you can easily replace them with positive ones. And on a positive note, each time you successfully overcome your negative thoughts you rewire your brain and before you know it, the majority of your thoughts will be positive.
5. Practice Gratitude
Finally, no discussion on positivity would be complete without a reminder to practice gratitude. And even though most of us know how powerful this act is, it's easy to forget to practice it.
Consequently, positive people are thankful people. They are focused on their current blessings, their past blessings, and the blessings that are yet to come.
So, to take your practice of gratitude to a new level, consider the elegant words of Og Mandino, author of 'The Greatest Salesman in the World' as well as many other life-changing books.
In order to become more grateful and as a result more positive, teach your mind to focus on what's good in life. First, begin by writing down 3 specific things you could be thankful for if you really wanted to be. And to make this a habit, choose a specific time to do this every day and stick to it until being grateful becomes as natural to you as saying "Hi" when you greet a friend.
Be careful not to write the same 3 things every day. The goal is to come up with something new every day so your list grows and grows.
Secondly, if it's a challenge for you to find things to be grateful for, start small.
For example, you can always be thankful for the air you are breathing, the food you ate today, or the beauty of a flower. The truth is, there's plenty to be thankful for in life, we just have to learn to look for it.
As you put into practice the ideas in this article be patient with yourself. Positive people aren't naturally positive. It actually takes a lot of work to stay positive. And no one is that way 24/7. We all slip and find ourselves dwelling on the negative.
The challenge isn't to never be negative. Instead, the real challenge is to become aware of the times when we are creating a negative attitude so we can quickly turn it into a positive one.
The great thing about learning to be positive is that if you don't get it right today you'll get another opportunity tomorrow.