Life is a little crazy sometimes . . . actually, it can be pretty crazy a lot of the time. Things happen that we don’t plan for. People can be rude or unkind to us for no reason. We go through traumatic experiences that throw us off our game for a long time. Most of the time life is not an easy thing to go through. So through all of that, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a positive mindset about your life.
For many people, it is easiest to let all of the negativity around them take over their emotions and perspectives on situations. It is convenient to simply give in to the thoughts that are telling them that they are having a bad day, week, month, year, etc. rather than work hard to find the light that is shining through the cracks of it all. But my opinion is that a life that is easy and convenient is not a life that is thriving.
I believe that everyone has the potential and ability to live in a way where they are able to find the light in the dark, carry their baggage with ease, and spread love and positive vibes to everyone and everything around them. In this post, I will talk about 5 ways to start moving your life in a much more positive direction.
Pick Your Tribe Wisely
It has been said that you are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. So I want you to take a moment and consider the 5 people that you are around the most, whether they are your partner, family, friend, work colleague, etc. and think about who they are as a person. Consider if you would want to be them when you grow up. Do you idolize them as a person? Do you crave to act the way that they do in difficult situations? Do you fully respect and trust them?
If you answered no to any of these questions, then you may want to reconsider that relationship in your life. The more time you spend with those people, the more like them you will be. So however you feel towards them may very well be how you eventually start feeling towards yourself.
Choose to be around positive and uplifting people and you will become more positive. Choose to be around people who you trust and respect and you will trust and respect yourself. Choose to be around people who what to be the best versions of themselves and you too will begin to grow in ways you didn’t think were possible.
Complaining has seemed to become our way of communicating in recent years. When you ask someone who they are you are more likely to get some sort of complaint than a positive statement. Whether it’s about work, our partners, our kids, our friends, etc. it seems like we have been programmed to complain about something. It has even got to the point where you are the odd one out if you come into a conversation with something positive to say!
This is not a healthy way to communicate!
Negativity breeds more negativity so if you are complaining about something, it makes it that much easier to continue to complain and that much harder to see things from a positive perspective.
I challenge you to go an entire day without speaking, thinking, posting any sort of complaint. And if that is too easy, then go a full week! But for the vast majority of us, one day will be a good starting point because complaining is so deeply ingrained in our communication style that it may take some effort to break the bad habit.
Stop Apologizing (unnecessarily)
This one here is particularly geared towards my fellow ladies out there! Somewhere along the way, women have been taught to apologize . . . a lot! Now I’m not talking about apologizing when an apology is warranted; I’m talking about apologizing for your presence, for something you didn’t do, for your existence. Am I the only one out here that has been in a busy place, someone else isn’t watching where they are walking so they bump into me, but then I apologize to them?!
How crazy is that?!
And I know I am not the only one because I have talked to plenty of women who have had very similar experiences. By continuing to apologize for things that don’t need to be apologized for, you are indirectly telling yourself that you have done something wrong when in reality you haven’t.
Over time this takes a large tole on your mindset and your opinion of yourself and the world around you. By making this simple change, you can begin to uplift your outlook on your own personal strength and power. This sense of empowerment is a key component to building a positive lifestyle.
Creating an intentional and active gratitude practice is one of the most important steps to developing a positive lifestyle. Routinely practicing gratitude will physically rewire the neural pathways in your brain so that you will begin to naturally think more positively. So you can actually train your own brain to be positive!
The most effective way that I have found to start a gratitude practice is through journaling. Gratitude journaling is a way to physically and intentionally acknowledge the things that you are grateful for throughout your life. So every day, either before you go to bed or right when you wake up, write down 5-10 things that you are grateful for.
Don’t just focus on the big stuff (ex. my marriage, my kids, my health), actively pay attention throughout your day and find some of the small things that you truly felt gratitude towards (ex. delicious cup of coffee, favorite song on the radio, someone letting you merge into traffic).
Knowing that you will have to write down 5-10 things that are specific to that particular day will force you to be aware throughout your day to find those things you are grateful for. This constant awareness significantly enhances the effects of the gratitude practice in comparison to the effects of simply writing down the same 5-10 things every day.
Along with having a regular journaling practice, another amazing way to practice gratitude is to express it. Give compliments of gratitude to those around you. Whether they are people who you know well or complete strangers, take a few seconds out of your day to let them know you are grateful for them.
Reach out to someone who you haven’t talked to in a while and tell them something you are grateful for about them. Maybe a memory you have with them or a character trait they have that you know is positively impacting the world.
Regularly tell the important people in your life that you are grateful for their existence. We often take for granted the people we see or talk to on a regular basis. So a quick text saying “I appreciate you” or “I am grateful for you” every now and then can really enhance those relationships.
Be Aware of What You Consume
If you are wanting to live a more positive lifestyle, then start consuming more positive stuff. Yes, I’m talking about eating and drinking healthy foods and beverages, but I am also talking about what you consume mentally. What do you watch, read, listen to, look at? Who do you follow on social media? What types of topics do you discuss with the people in your life?
All of this has a monumental effect on your overall mindset. Do you watch a lot of crime shows and listen to Serial podcast? That may be impacting your ability to think positively. Do you read a lot of sad heartbreaking books that rarely have a happy ending?
Those stories may be affecting you more than you realize. Now, I’m not saying that these things are bad period, end of sentence. However, if you are truly committed to living a positive lifestyle, you may want to reevaluate how important these activities really are to you.
See if you can find media to replace it with that is more supportive of the positive lifestyle you want to create. Some of my personal favorites are
- Personal development books (my current favorites are anything by Rachel Hollis and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson)
- Personal development podcasts (I am liking Your Kick A** Life Podcast and The School of Greatness Podcast)
- A good comedy show or movie
There are a lot of positive people, media, and situations out there for you (if you actively seek them out) but also a lot of not so positive junk out there too. To be picky with what and who you surround yourself with. Even the smallest changes in your daily routine can make a world of difference in your journey to a positive lifestyle
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Becca Haney is the founder of Basically Balanced Living, a health and wellness blog that discusses topics in all areas of health. She is passionate about empowering people to live their healthiest, most balanced lives possible.
Becca uses her background in mental health counseling and wellness coaching to educate, motivate, and support others in finding happiness, purpose, and peace within their lives.