Have you ever had one of those days when it just takes all your energy to get out of bed and get dressed for work? Or have you ever had a string of bad days, one after another, and you’re pretty sure that you’re cursed? It’s hard to stay positive when you’re feeling stressed out or burnt from the daily grind. When you’re under all that pressure, trying to remember “the big picture” isn’t enough to help you stay positive. However, you can stay ahead of the negativity by practicing simple ways to stay positive every day:
The next time that you’re feeling stressed out or nervous, take a moment and just breathe deeply. Close your eyes, and just focus on your breathing. Feel each intake of breath, and let each breath go. Do this a few more times until you start to feel calmer. It may feel silly (at first), but deep breathing is meditative, and it has the ability to calm your body down. (Ever wonder why you feel better after yoga? It’s because yoga focuses as much on breathing as it does on physical fitness.) Stress exerts a toll on your mental and physical health. While you can’t always minimize the mental stress, you can try to minimize the physical stress on your body. Minimizing physical stress is one way to help you stay positive and focus on the bigger picture.
Practicing positive affirmation is another way to stay positive. Don’t think of positive affirmations as just little pep talks. Rather, think of them as your goals. In the mornings, don’t think, “I hope today will be a good day.” Instead, say out loud: “I will have a good day today.” Positive affirmations are vocal reminders of your goals and intentions. When you voice these goals out loud, they’re no longer just thoughts aimlessly floating around in your head. They’re now commitments that you’ve vocalized to yourself. The more you practice saying positive affirmations, the more inspired you’ll be on a daily basis.
Sometimes, you need to stop focusing so much on yourself and shift that focus onto others. Whenever you’re having a crummy day, try to make someone else’s day better. Compliment your colleague on his latest project development. Tell your assistant that you thought she did an excellent job on her last assignment. Be genuine in your compliments, and dole out compliments freely – that is, without the secret expectation that they’ll return the compliment. Not only does this help you to become more generous, but it’ll also teach you to be more humble in your daily interactions with other people.
Say thank you more often. Did your husband cook you breakfast? Did your colleague drop off a fax for you? Did your friend send you a funny text message? Thank them. It’s too easy to take people (and their gestures) for granted especially when it feels common or routine. Never assume that you’re entitled to generosity, and always give gratitude whenever you are afforded acts of kindness – even if it’s as simple as a stranger holding the door for you. Be gracious about everyone and everything, and you’ll always have reasons to be positive.
Do something kind for someone else. It’s easy to focus on yourself – on your ambitions, on your goals, on your future. While it’s important to take care of yourself, it’s just as important to help take care of others. The next time you’re standing in line for coffee, why not go ahead and pay for the next person’s coffee as well? It’s a simple act of kindness. Who knows? Your random act of kindness could help inspire other acts of kindness as well. Bestowing kindness upon others is a great way to give back and help you stay positive in a dog-eat-dog world.
Ultimately, positivity is a state of mind. It’s normal to have bad days but don’t let the bad days wear you down. Find ways to see the good in people, to do good deeds, and above all, to always be a good person.
How do you stay positive?