June 19, 2016

How to Stay Positive

I am not naturally an optimistic person. I'm not naturally pessimistic, either. I feel like, in my default setting, I'm somewhere in the middle, maybe leaning a bit more toward the negative side, if I'm being honest. I've been trying to change that. It's not always easy to stay positive or to feel happy when things around you aren't working out, people you love are sick, or you simply feel stuck and unproductive. I struggled with this last part a lot last summer, especially at the beginning, and I find myself wanting to feel that way again. But I don't want to let those feelings and thoughts in because they suck.

Yeah, I do feel stuck at times. I have so many goals and dreams that I can't realize just yet, and I feel like they're just out of reach. As with everything in life, they'll come in time. But for now, there are simple changes I can make, and have been trying to make, to better my thinking and, at the end of the day, my life. It is so true that only you can make it a good day. Your mindset can make all the difference between a good day and a bad day. Making some little adjustments undoubtedly helps, though. 

+ Read inspirational books. 
I've yet to find one that I want to read and that doesn't contradict some of my beliefs as a Christian, but I'm still looking. I like watching inspiring YouTube videos, so I'd really like to read some sort of book on the subject of self-inspiration. I'm also considering a daily journal of some kind with a fun writing prompt each day.

+ Let it out. 
Pray, call a friend, write it down. Do whatever you need to do to get what's bothering you out of your head, so you can see clearly and get the direction/advice you need. 

+ Listen to music. 
This might not be for everyone, but music is a huge part of my life. I listen to music on my best days and on my worst days, and certain songs bring back the best memories, while others bring back some of the worst. Either way, they serve as reminders for the good moments in my life and for the fact that I got through my worst times. What I value most about music is good lyrical content, and some artists, albums, and tracks have been there for me and helped to get me past difficult points in my life. 

+ Focus on the positive.
Instead of dwelling on the negative, which we're all guilty of, pay special attention to the positive. Ask yourself questions like "What has this taught me?" or "How can I use this for good in my life?" 

+ Kill negative habits.
This could mean listing all the things you like about yourself when you're tearing yourself down or simply going to bed an hour earlier. Poor mental habits can be just as damaging as poor physical habits. 

+ Start writing in a gratitude journal.
This last one is one of my favorite things. Taking a few minutes every day to reflect on what you're grateful for/thank God for what you've been blessed with— people, experiences, things, a career, etc.— and not what you don't have or what you want or what you wish you had or who you wish you were really puts how blessed you are into perspective. 

What do you do to stay positive?

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