How to Be More Positive

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“Be positive”, the most common advice we hear from people when we are in unfortunate circumstances. It seems that people always think that one’s resilience is measured by the positivity or negativity of their attitude. But isn’t it true that letting go of negativity lifts a huge weight off our shoulders? Wouldn’t life be so much lighter and nicer if we constantly maintained a positive outlook every day of our lives? Yes and yes! In life, it is always better to focus on the good things, instead of the bad. If life throws you lemons, why not make some lemonade? In the spirit of positivity, here are a few helpful tips on how to be more positive.

  • Be thankful

According to numerous studies, keeping a gratitude journal increases happiness levels for many people. So, what are some things that make you thankful for being alive? Maybe it’s your favourite Beatles song, a warm cup of coffee in the morning or a huge hug from your mother. Whatever these things might be, be aware of them. So, the next time you are feeling down or pessimistic, remind yourself of these wonderful things


  • Start a “Happiness Bank”

Similar to the idea of a gratitude journal, a happiness bank encourages you to write about something that made you smile or happy during your day and to collect these memories in a jar. The main idea here is to “save our happy memories” in the same way we save our own money; hence, calling it a “bank”. If you would prefer to start a “happiness blog” or record videos of things that make you happy, that is also great.


  • Affirmations

Affirmations are mantras that you can repeat to yourself daily to encourage self-improvement and a positive attitude. This is a very popular practice in new age psychology, but recent scientific research has confirmed that affirmations are very helpful. For example, if you are dealing with feelings of low self-esteem, a useful affirmation can be: “I am strong” or “I am loved”.  If you repeat these affirmations everyday, it eventually becomes more real because your affirmations restructure your subconscious mind; thus, making your thoughts more believable.


  • Surround yourself with Positive People

Have you ever heard the saying: “tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are”? Sometimes, the people we surround ourselves with have a huge impact on our lives. People who are happier and more optimistic make us feel good. Overly pessimistic and judgmental people, on the other hand, can drain your energy. Always make a conscious effort to be with people who are more positive!


  • Practice mindfulness

In Buddhism, it is believed that the key to a peaceful and happy life is to stay present in the moment, or in other words, be mindful.  Luckily, we do not have to be Buddhists to realize that mindfulness is a healthy habit! Often, as humans, we cannot help but dwell on the past or obsess over the future. We are so consumed with these thoughts that we forget that the present moment is happening right here and right now. So, take a moment. What do you hear? What do you see? What do you feel? Be appreciative of the present moment because that is all we have right now.


  • Realize that you cannot control everything, and that is okay!

In life, accidents happen. No amount of detailed organization and preparation can guarantee us that everything will go as planned.  Sometimes, we miss the bus even if we left the house early, and sometimes, we catch the flu when we are super busy. Of course, these kinds of unplanned events can stress us out so easily. But ask yourself: “could I have controlled the situation?”.  If the answer is yes, you can always do better next time. But if the answer is no, relax.  Some things are inevitable and completely out of human control.


  • Be Kind to People

Kindness can be expressed in so many forms, and it is extremely rewarding.  We can show acts of kindness by assisting an old lady with her groceries, helping our little cousins with their homework or offering a seat to an injured person on the bus. The good news is: kindness doesn’t require grand and bold gestures. We can all be kind in our own little ways with very minimal effort and still feel great!


  • Smile

I know, I know. We all have bad days, which makes smiling so unnatural and almost impossible. How can we even smile if we are miserable? But did you know that according to research, smiling actually improves your mood? So, if you ever find yourself stuck in a rut of pessimism, force a little smile. It will make you feel better. (P.S. They also say it takes more muscles to frown than to smile!)


But let’s be honest, sometimes, keeping a positive outlook is much easier said than done, especially when you are facing a major setback or challenge in life. At the end of the day, don’t forget to remind yourself that problems are the most inevitable thing in life. So, breathe in and breathe out. Take it easy. Enjoy the little things. Embrace the good and the bad. You are never alone.

– By Loren Catotal 



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