Embrace A Month Of Being Positive
For many of us, being positive and optimistic on a regular basis can be quite hard. This seems especially true in today’s busy world when we’re all trying to be Superwoman and have it all.
But a lack of being positive and optimistic can have a very negative impact on us. This is true in both in our personal and professional lives. With this being such an important topic that impacts us in so many ways, I want to share some thoughts on this, as well as share some tips to help you have more positivity in your life.
Optimism and positivity of course help us to be happier, but they also help us to be healthier and even be more productive.
Now that does not mean that we don’t recognize there are pains and struggles or that we try to totally ignore them. So it doesn’t mean only looking at life through rose-colored glasses. After all, pains and struggles we face are often how we learn some of our most valuable lessons. (Although it can sure suck at the time!)
Optimism can be very important as well. Simply put, it can be about hope. We are optimistic when we take a look at events and conditions and are still hopeful or expecting of a positive outcome. We focus on the what if it works out side of things instead of on the what if it doesn’t.
Yes, It Can Be Hard
Sometimes it can be hard to appreciate some of the positive things in our life without a negative for comparison. (That’s also a little bit along the lines of you don’t know what you had until it’s gone.) Here’s an example we women may be all too familiar with. At times we may give ourselves a hard time for eating chocolate, saying that it has too many calories or that it’s not good for us. But what if you found out manufacturing would cease in a month? Along with becoming a hoarder, we may now consider some of those negatives to be less important, and to be more optimistic in our views.
Being positive can also be about acknowledging the negatives and looking past them, even if at times they are the only things we can see. And it is about looking past the negatives in people to find the good things about them, especially if that person is us!
Turn It Around
We can also turn a negative into a positive if we turn it around and look at it the right way. If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you have at some time in your life done something and then later tell yourself, “Dang, I am never doing that again!” Well guess what? Learning a lesson (even if the hard way) can be a good thing because it can prevent us from making those same mistakes or worse in the future. And that is still a positive thing.
Are you the person your friends call Debby Downer? Are you someone who’s only happy if you have something to complain about? If so, there’s hope for you yet! See, I’m totally optimistic for you!
Simply start with small changes and gradually add more positive thoughts and actions as you make progress. Using some of the below tips, try to add one or two tips into your life each week. Then try for every other day and then every day. Trust me, you will notice a positive impact on your life!
There are a lot of tips below, so be sure to check out my free calendar of daily positive tips to help add more positivity and optimism in your life! Or share it with the Debbie Downer in your life! Click the Resource Library download to get started.
Even if you’re already a positivity expert (aka Pollyanna to your friends), some of these tips may give you some new ideas. Or they may be a quick boost you need to put a smile on your face and to be reminded of positive you already are.
Now let’s move on to the tips!
Some tips overlap into other multiple areas, but in case one area needs a little more help or you want to start there first, I’ve broken them down by category.
Healthy And Positive
1. Listen to music. Listen to music that makes you feel good or that brings back positive and happy memories. Perhaps it’s music you enjoyed listening to with your parents, or with your kids before they got too cool to listen to music with you, or even songs from your wedding or prom. Or pop in a CD from a road trip with your gal pals or the soundtrack to a favorite movie. Music can be incredibly powerful and fill us with happy and positive thoughts. So let the music move you!
2. Eat healthy. This can provide all kinds of health benefits like more energy, better skin, and lower blood pressure. But it can also really help your mood and perk you up. (And I don’t mean things with lots of sugar to get a nice sugar rush going!)
3. Stop and smell the roses. Sometimes we simply need to slow down, catch our breath, and refocus before moving on. This can be simply thinking about a positive outcome of something coming up, or it can be meditation to help your whole body. Focus on the moment and enjoy.
4. Read a self-help book. Reading on being positive or optimistic can be quite helpful and give you a boost of enthusiasm. Even just one chapter can be a help, especially if you’re feeling less than positive at the time. That said, pick a book that helps you focus on the positive rather than negative. For example, a weight-loss book can be positive and motivating, but not if all you can focus on the whole time is that you’re overweight, unhappy and feel like you look like a troll. So be careful what you choose, and try to stay focused on the positives.
Family And Friends
5. Feel better by sharing. This goes along with a smile tip. It can be a great feeling when we help someone feel better, and a compliment or genuine smile has that power. I’m sure there have been days when you felt like crap, but then smiled with your whole body after someone complimented your blouse, earrings or fabulous shoes! So share, especially with someone who looks like they need it! It will create some positivity for you, too.
6. Encourage others. Studies have shown much of our happiness comes from making other people happy. This isn’t just for the nurturer personalities. If we help motivate other people, we feel good about ourselves. And who doesn’t want happy family, friends and co-workers?
7. Add a new family member. By this I mean get a pet! It can help teach kids responsibility, and can bring a lot of joy and happiness. Taking care of someone else can also help with confidence and positive feelings. And if you adopt a rescue, you could be saving a life besides offering lots of love.
8. Welcome home. Make your home feel welcoming when you come home. Repaint to a happy color that makes you smile. (And no excuses if you rent. You can always paint it white before you move out. Paint is cheap compared to happiness and positive vibes.) And if clutter bothers you each time you return, start practicing the one minute rule…if it takes less than a minute, do it. (You may hear flashbacks to your parents saying, “Hang up that coat. It just takes a minute.”)
9. Don’t struggle alone. Keeping things bottled up can lead to health problems (high blood pressure, a breakdown, etc.) among other things. Sharing with a trusted friend can give us needed encouragement, or even help us reach a solution with the help of someone objective. Or just grab a friend who will let you vent and get it out. (And odds are you help your friend feel good by helping you!)
10. Seek a positive environment. Basically that means surround yourself with positive people. Choose to hang out with people who believe in you and in your goals and dreams. Choose to be with others who are like-minded positive people who support you and who can take you along on their positivity ride.
11. Avoid belittlers. Sadly, but equally important, move away from people that have the opposite impact on your life. It can be hard if it’s family and you mostly can’t do that. The first step can be to try to communicate with them about how they make you feel. Perhaps they don’t realize what they’re doing (even if you think they should!). You can also focus on making positive changes in your own life that may impact their action as they see those positive changes in you. (Kind of like how a simple smile at a stranger in the grocery store can get you a smile in return.)
12. Have a card party. Unless you dislike opening mail, find a gorgeous greeting card and mail it to yourself with a fun message! Or better yet, grab some girlfriends and snacks and have a card party preparing cards for each other. (Only no peeking!) You feel great creating the messages for your friends, and you feel great getting them! And the anticipation of the mail becomes fun. (If budgets are an issue, you can all make the cards.)
Staying Positive At The Water Cooler
13. Avoid negative expectations. Steer clear of going into a situation being pessimistic, already expecting a negative outcome. While being able to say, “I knew it!” may be enjoyable at the time, that negative outcome may have been brought on by the self-fulfilling prophecy.
14. Be part of a positive energy group. When a group of people together guide their positive energy toward a positive outcome, the chance of success can be much higher than going it alone.
15. Keep busy. Sometimes this really helps! If we’re too busy to barely find time for a restroom break, we’re too busy to dwell on negative things. Sometimes having lots to do can be a great distraction.
16. A happy desk. Surround yourself with positive images and help give yourself smiles when at work. You can also put up images of some of your goals.
17. Thank you. Offering a simple thank you can easily get overlooked at work. This simple phrase can bring positive feelings to everyone involved.
Being Positive With Ourselves (The Hardest Part)
18. Practice being positive. Part of this tip is adding some of these tips into your life either daily or weekly. Even adding only a few at a time is great! But the key is keep moving forward toward being more positive and more optimistic. Remember, even if you start small you can eventually get there.
19. Don’t go overboard on negatives. If you’re someone who needs to focus on negatives in order to reach your goals (such as focusing on the extra weight to be able to drag yourself to the gym), then go ahead and do what works for you! But be careful to not go overboard. Be sure to celebrate the positives of reaching small goals as you get closer to your final goal.
20. Focus on the problems. To really be positive, sometimes you do need to think about the negatives and why they are what they are. And at times you need to first admit there actually is a negative. (Something to consider… does one friend mention a bad habit of yours that you think is just their opinion, or do five friends tell you the same thing?) Once you choose a negative, then you can choose to let go and focus on the positive aspects of the issue.
Be sure to download my free cheatsheet of these tips to easily refer to them all month long, month after month!
22. Words matter. Use remember instead of don’t forget. Many people say don’t forget this or don’t forget that. Try to use remember instead. Think about which sounds better, “Don’t forget to take out the trash on your way out.” or this, “Remember to take out the trash on your way out.” And consider saying, “that movie made me sad” instead of saying, “I’m sad.” Words really can matter to our brains.
22. Set goals. Goals can be super helpful in making us more positive and giving us something to strive for. Be sure to set realistic and small goals to help you reach the big ones. It’s certainly a positive thing for us when we meet those big goals. Remember, there can be a lot of positive feelings and celebrations along the way meeting the small goals that get you there.
23. Use positive affirmations. Put positive messages to yourself in various places you will be able to see each day. Just like negative thoughts can stick in our brains, positive ones can, too.
24. Smile. While it doesn’t fix everything, it can surprisingly really help! Studies show that smiling, even when feeling anything but positive, can actually help you feel positive and happy. Have you smiled at someone who looked like they were having a rough day and noticed their face and/or body seemed to relax when they smiled back? Have you read any of the countless stories of someone feeling hopeless and at the end of their rope when someone genuinely sharing a smile gave them hope and made a huge difference in their life? So even if not just for your (although you’re worth it!), consider sharing a smile.
25. Does it really matter? Sometimes we end up feeling negative over things that are so minor we won’t remember them in an hour let alone tomorrow. Not that you need to save up your negativity for the big stuff, but when it’s something small and doesn’t really matter, let it go. Focus on something positive instead.
26. You have a choice. There are good and bad sides to all of us. And sometimes we are simply having a bad day and just can’t put on a happy face. Remember, we still have a choice. We can choose to keep focusing on the negative part of what’s going on, or choose to be positive (or at least try). Then try to keep moving forward. (And remember, putting on that smile helps!)
27. Look on the bright side. Use positive thoughts to cancel out negative ones. This can take some work, but eventually you’ll become better at automatically focusing on the positive. A caution…this may feel like you’re focusing on the negative, but you’re using it only long enough to reach the positive. Don’t dwell. An example is your kid comes into the kitchen and announces he wrecked the car. Yep, ugh, he wrecked the car. But the positive is he’s standing in the kitchen telling you about it (where you can briefly lecture him), rather than hearing his side of it from a hospital bed.
28. Have some “go tos” ready. When something negative hits, it can be tough to think of something positive or to be optimistic when you really hit a rough patch. So have a few “go to” positive thoughts already in your arsenal just ready to be pulled out..
29. Positive self-talk. I think human nature tends to be that we are harder on ourselves than we are on others. Which means we are more judgmental and less positive when it comes to ourselves. That includes what our little voice in our head says to us. Work on retraining that little voice to be much more positive in general, and to be more optimistic when trying to accomplish something. And keep this key thing in mind…Do not say something negative to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a good friend.
30. Stop comparing yourself to others. Do you really think all of those people on Facebook have no problems or negative things in their lives? Perhaps they only report the happy stuff, but rest assured it’s not all gumdrops and lollipops. Besides, if we were all the same, life would be boring!
31. Learn and move on. When trying to learn from mistakes, focus on the learning part rather than dwelling on the mistake itself.
There you have it! A month’s worth of tips to help you be positive and more optimistic. I hope you enjoyed reviewing these as much as I did creating them to help you! (I’m optimistic we’re both experiencing positive feelings!! LOL)
PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW SOME OF YOUR STRATEGIES FOR STAYING POSITIVE. AND I’D LOVE TO HEAR WHICH OF THESE TIPS ARE YOUR FAVORITE!