Positivity for me hasn’t been much of a struggle for me for most of my life. I won’t deny that I’ve used positivity to hide my mild depression, but generally speaking, I’ve been positive all day it seems.
It’s to the point that being positive is my general mood during any given day. This doesn’t make me immune to other emotions naturally, but today I’d like to explore how I was able to maintain this level of positivity.
But before I get into my steps, there are some things to take note of.
First, as I said, being positive doesn’t protect you from other emotions. Our moods will change all the time in any given situation. As a rule, never use positivity to hide emotions. I can talk about that experience as I hid my depression and it had more mental effects on me than you could ever imagine.
Second, being positive all day isn’t going to be a state of mind you can achieve overnight. Like all my advice, I will tell you that this stuff takes time. There are no instant results or short cuts. What I’ll tell you is the shortcut and it could take you months.
First, Train Your Mind To Use Positive Viewpoints
The first step is a tough one that even I struggle with at times. It’s looking at negative situations or problems in a positive light.
While the principal is easy on paper, practicing it is harder.
Because our mind can be a minefield filled with all kinds of nasty habits and bad thoughts. It’s waiting for us to slip up.
For example, one of the biggest problems that I’m facing in my life has been a lack of money. I’ve been financially unstable for so many years, it’s rather easy for me to slip into a scarcity mindset.
But all of that changed when I started to look at my situation. For one, last month I made more money than I ever made all year. The big difference was that I put more effort into my work.
I worked harder rather than procrastinate and be lazy.
My point is that I looked at an old problem in a different light by looking at other factors that ring true. They shatter my past reality, which was in fact a limiting belief in my abilities.
One other strategy to help your mind see positive all day is to ask questions. When you are stuck in these kinds of ruts like me you can ask yourself questions like this:
- What’s one good thing you can find about this situation?
- What is one opportunity you can extract from this situation?
The trick here is to help you think of solutions rather than be focused on the problem.
Second, Make A Positive Environment
What you do and who you spend time with are the two key elements that make up your environment. This matters so much because your environment heavily impacts your life but also your viewpoints.
As a result, if you want to be positive all day, you need to be continuously working on your environment. You want to be making that environment into the most positive space you can imagine.
This typically boils down to cutting things or making changes in your environment.
So how do you do that?
Like the first point, questions help a lot in these circumstances.
What are the top three people I spend time with?
What are the top three sources where I get my information from?
These questions are essential as they form what is essentially your environment. Identifying this is important as it helps you to determine what needs to be changed. That is if you aren’t that happy with your life right now.
Do keep in mind one thing:
Just because something is bad doesn’t mean it can never be good.
Facebook can be a negative vacuum, but it can be a source of positivity if you change who you follow and what type of content you engage with.
It’s worth considering all options and how much needs to be changed. Sometimes it’s your attitude and how you use something that causes issues.
Third, Don’t Rush Yourself
When it comes to my advice, I always try to advise people that the advice isn’t instant. This stuff takes a lot of work. It took me four years to crawl out of depression after all. It’s not as simple as flicking a switch.
As such, you want to take the process slowly. However, this rule also applies to other areas of your life.
Take the time to articulate your words.
Eat a little slower. Process your food.
Pay attention to people. Follow and process everything they’re saying.
Stress builds up over time and a lot of it stems from people living in a fast-paced environment. Because people are in a constant rush, it’s easy to get exhausted, stressed, and to think negatively.
So do yourself a favour and slow down on your life, but also on your mind.
Fourth, Don’t Overthink Issues
I know it’s incredibly easy to do this, but that’s the challenge behind this. It’s easy to slip into a bad perspective and over-inflate a situation that doesn’t need to be inflated.
In a lot of situations, what we think will happen won’t happen at all.
Yes, life is full of uncertainties, but that’s also kind of the point. We don’t know what’s going to happen. So instead of stressing out and inflating a problem, try these three techniques:
- Tell yourself “Stop” – One of the tricks that I use to catch myself from overthinking is to look at the situation realistically.
Lately, I’ve been paranoid about my finances, but I remind myself by pointing at the fact that if I put in a few more hours in my otherwise lax schedule, I’d be able to support myself fully. For others, it can be simply telling yourself “stop” or “nope”. This strategy works as it moves you away from that problem.
- Breathe – Once you disrupt your thoughts, go and take a seat and breathe. Or meditate briefly. Breathing is a natural tool to calm down both your body and mind.
- Refocus – Kind of like what I did to disrupt my thoughts in the first place, you want to be tackling your problem immediately. Now that you’re thinking from a place of calmness you’re able to vent your problem and think of proper solutions.
You can even use this to widen your perspective as well through questions.
Will this problem matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks?
Fifth, Remove Your Fears And Anxieties
Much like our over-inflated problems, our fears can get in the way too. The thing about fears though is that they’re not always a physical fear. In most cases for us, the fears are purely psychological.
For example, we experience a lot of fear when starting our own business, asking someone out, or starting a new habit.
In those cases, fear is a natural state for our mind to be in when we do things that break away from what we normally do. In time, that fear starts to form into self-doubt or lower self-esteem if we let it linger too much.
At the end of the day, our minds run wild with fear if we let it. And so if you want to be positive all day, you need to learn how to tackle it.
Similar to over-thinking, the key here is to find clarity amongst the fear. One such way is asking yourself a question:
What is the worst that could happen in this situation?
You’d be surprised how effective that question can be.
Sixth, Once You Feel Happier, Prioritize Making Others Happy
This isn’t always the case, but when you bring positivity into the world, the world responds in kind.
Even if you don’t always get positivity back, what you send out to others matters. Even if the interaction is brief, how you treat others, they normally treat others the same way. If you’re cheery and happy, most will respond in the same fashion.
As a result, it’s absolutely vital that you focus on giving value to those you interact with in some fashion.
Here are some examples:
- Lend a helping hand. The purest form of giving value to someone. While I immediately gravitate to writing in a blog or creating a helpful podcast, there are other options. Help a neighbour move or unpack. Drive someone to work or somewhere. Google something for someone.
- Listen completely. Some people need to say their piece on something and sometimes you need to listen to what they have to say. Having someone engaged in that fashion can mean a lot to people.
- Boost the mood. One big trait of mine is to smile. I make a habit out of it as it’s a way of boosting the mood. It can also lead to other behaviours such as being able to encourage people or inspire them.
Seven, Exercise And Sleep Well
I’ve already written about the importance of sleep before and I’ll say it again:
Sleep is your friend.
Not only is it great for your health and mind, but also your mood.
When we get enough sleep, we will be in much better spirits. After all, we know the saying “got up on the wrong side of the bed” right? It’s an old one but stems from people being grouchy.
That, of course, impacts our overall mood and how we engage with other people.
Eight, Handle Criticism Better
I’ve given some pointers on this as well, but it’s worth repeating. A lot of us aren’t the greatest at handling criticism. Some will get frustrated or fight back, while others will be on the defensive about it.
This is honestly one area that I want to be working on since I haven’t been exposed to that many different ideas. Regardless, finding a healthy way to handle criticism will make your life easier.
Learning to handle criticism is the difference between starting a heated argument and growing a lot from the experience.
Nine, Have A Ritual To Start Your Day Right
We all have a sequence of activities we do in the morning. Some of us have breakfast immediately while others take a shower and clean up. Whatever the case is, our morning routine is vital to our day.
How you spend it determines what your day is going to be like for the rest of the day.
As such, I recommend doing something that lifts your spirits. For me, this is walking and planning out my day along with generally pumping myself up for the day.
This is the ritual that I stick to and it’s helped me out a lot in keeping my spirits high and keeping me motivated.
For others, this ritual is different and that’s okay. Do whatever you want that makes you happy. Some suggestions to consider are things like:
- Writing about a topic you’re interested in.
- Follow a series of stretches or exercises.
- Have a really good feel-good breakfast.
- Tell a loved one or your partner “I love you.”
Anything that brightens your day can make a serious impact on your everyday life.
Be Positive All Day
Every day I follow through with these sequence of steps. As I said, you probably won’t see immediate changes. That being said, the more that I stayed positive over the years, I started to subconsciously perform these actions.
As a result of me refining these in my life, I live a more positive life. It’s to the point that I’m positive all day.