The Road to “Positive”

Okay, I’ll admit it—yesterday’s quote about positivity is more something I aspire to than something I exhibit.  Depending on how much of this blog you’ve read, you probably guessed that already!

The truth is, staying positive is often easier said than done.  When life gets tough, the silver linings can start to get lost in the clouds.  And yet, the ability to keep looking for those silver linings, to believe that they’re there even when you can’t see them, will make all the difference.

On the days that I start to feel hopeless, here are some strategies I use to get back on track:

  1. Start small.  At the end of every day, write down three good things.  Maybe you saw a beautiful sunset, or heard a joke that made you laugh.  Maybe your big accomplishment for the day was just getting out of bed.  It doesn’t matter how trivial it sounds to anyone else—you know how difficult it was, and you’ve earned the right to be proud of it.  Start to pay attention to these small good things, and you will begin to notice more and more.
  2. Think big.  If you’re feeling stuck, you need a change.  Especially if you feel there’s nothing left to lose, don’t be afraid to start thinking big.  Plan to start a new project, or a new job.  Make a change in your life, whether it’s breaking a bad habit or starting a new good one.  You’ll start to see the potential for change, and that momentum will help you move forward.
  3. Acknowledge progress, even when it’s small.  You might fail many times before you succeed, but each time you’ll fail a bit smarter, and you’ll make it just a little bit closer to your goal each time.  Every step (and misstep) you take toward your goal is progress, and these small victories are the foundation for a better future.
  4. Step outside of your problems, and focus on helping others.  Whether it’s helping a family member, supporting a friend, or volunteering in your community, one of the best ways to feel positive is to do something positive for someone else.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  No one can get through life alone—and no one is expecting you to!  There are people around you that understand what you’re going though, and many who have found a way to get through it.  If no one you know can help, there are some amazing online communities that bring together people whose struggles may be invisible to others.
  6. Always remember that things can change, you can change, and life goes on.  You may not be able to control everything in your life, but the worries that weigh on you now are temporary.  Look for the silver linings in life—it may be raining now, but there are sunny days ahead!
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