May has been Mental Health Awareness month. At times with everything we have going on in our busy lives, staying positive and keeping a healthy mindset is not always our first instinct. In fact, our brains are hard–wired to lean toward overthinking and over-worrying—which, one might say, is pretty much the exact opposite of positive thinking and maintaining a healthy mind.
Over the years, we’ve learned that negative thinking can also negatively affect our health, our lifespan, and even our brain waves. As fun as it is to talk about positive thinking and all the amazing benefits, it’s a whole different world when it comes to actually putting positive thinking into motion. So, do you have a hard time trying to keep your thoughts optimistic? Do you find yourself leaning toward negativity, or have a hard time thinking things will work out for the best? We all do sometimes!
Let’s talk about five real ways you can work toward staying positive in your daily life.
1. Keep perspective
We have a tendency to overreact to situations. I am definitely someone who at times can overreact and cause myself more stress. I have learned that if I just take a step back and try to pinpoint exactly what part of the situation is stressing me out or causing concern, I realize that it can either be fixed … or it’s out of my control. Either way, identifying how important the actual issue is can significantly affect my ability to keep my outlook onward and upward.
2. Identify your negativity
The toughest part about changing anything is usually identifying where the problem sits. I've learned to take a look at my typical day. It helps me to understand my typical routine; then, look through and identify where I found myself thinking (or speaking) negative thoughts. Once I understand where the negativity lies, I work a little bit each day on catching myself and turning those negative thoughts into positive ones.
The word “affirm” means to validate or confirm. Affirmations are short, encouraging statements that you can use to create a more positive frame of mind.
I try to repeat an affirmation to myself as often as possible — while brushing my teeth, driving to work, or before falling asleep. I find that the more often I use an affirmation, the more it can help reinforce my value and self-worth and even positively affect my behavior.
With so many of us facing new challenges these days, now could be the perfect time to turn positivity into a regular habit. Try using an affirmations each week to help you stay positive so you can continue to tackle your goals.
4. Find the positive.
Finding the positive and staying positive doesn’t necessarily mean think happy thoughts all the time. That’s not realistic. But finding positive can mean finding positive in other people! We likely all know at least one person who radiates positivity. If you don’t, start looking for it! Surrounding yourself with people who are positive can increase the odds of you staying positive, too.
5. Step up your compliment game.
Want to know the biggest way you can change your mindset to staying positive? Be thankful. Gratitude isn’t just for the holidays. If someone helps you out, say thank you! If you notice a job well done, tell them you noticed! We all have something or someone to be thankful for, and sharing that gratitude is a way you can not only make someone else’s day but increase your own positive thinking as well.
Every day isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows. But, the more you work toward staying positive each day, the easier it gets. You might notice your glass is half full instead of half empty.