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10 Super Easy Ways To Stay Positive Every Day

10 Super Easy Ways To Stay Positive Every Day

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking it’s impossible to be positive every day. However, extenuating circumstances aside, it’s quite possible to start your day with a positive mindset. When things go wrong, there’s always a silver lining to keep you above water, even if you’re swimming against the current.

There are many ways you can maintain a sunny disposition in even the worst of situations. Be sure to:

1. Make a plan

Things won’t always go according to this plan, but if you set out a list of goals you want to accomplish by the end of the day (or week), you’ll always have something to strive for. By making a to-do list, you ensure that each day you experience will be at least a little different than the one before it. Plus, when you check off that last item every day, you’ll go to bed knowing you did much more than simply go to work, come home, and watch TV.

2. Have a routine

Although you appreciate variety, there are some things you should do every day. Take some time to stretch and exercise, even if it means taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Use quiet mornings to spend a few moments in deep thought, or the time right before bed to reflect on what you accomplished throughout the day. If you have a hobby, set aside a specific block of time to work on it every day. Once you get into a routine, you’ll have specific things to look forward to.

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3. Appreciate the small stuff

How do you feel when you spill coffee on yourself, first thing in the morning? Or hit every red light on the way to work? Do you think “Ugh, this happens to me every time”?

Obviously, this is an overreaction. You simply don’t make a big deal about all the times you avoid spilling coffee on yourself. And there have definitely been times you’ve hit every green light on the way to work that you didn’t jump up and down about. It’s an odd phenomenon that spilling coffee on yourself is enough to start your day off badly, but not spilling coffee on yourself isn’t enough to make your day absolutely incredible.

Maybe it’s time we start celebrating these victories all the time, like that football player in the commercial: “Woo!!! 44, that’s me!” (C’mon, you know the one…)

4. Smile

It sounds cheesy, but starting your morning off with a smile can set the ball rolling toward an incredibly positive day. Keep that smile on your face as you walk past people on the street and in the office. Not only will it subconsciously keep you in a great mood, but it may also have a contagious effect.

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Especially on Mondays, when many people are feeling pretty crabby, try to be the catalyst that lightens up everyone else’s day.

5. Use positive vocabulary

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine asked how I was doing. I replied, as a courtesy, “Not too bad!” (with a smile on my face). He responded with, “Not bad? I want to hear ‘ecstatic’, ‘incredible’, ‘amazing!'”

There’s a big difference between “not bad” and “amazing”. The former makes it seem like you’re amazed that you’re not feeling atrocious, whereas the latter is bursting with excitement. Express yourself with vivacious vocabulary (and that cheesy smile) to spread positivity throughout your life.

6. Spend time with positive people

Nobody likes a “Debbie Downer.” If you find yourself surrounded by people who thrive on being unhappy, ditch them immediately. Obviously, your friends will have their ups and downs. But if they are constantly trying to bring you down with them, you need to take control of the situation before you lose your sunny disposition.

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Find people who exhibit the same excitement for life that you have, and you’ll never experience a dull moment.

7. Do something nice for others

Being positive isn’t all about yourself. Spread the love around! You could pick up your wife’s favorite flowers on the way home from work, or volunteer at a soup kitchen during your free time. You’d be surprised how good it feels to help others out and make their lives just a bit easier. If we all took time to pay it forward, we could set off a chain reaction of good deeds that spread throughout the entire world.

8. Control your own destiny

No one can force you to be positive; you have to make it so. It might take work, but the rewards are definitely worth the effort. Don’t just sit back and hope to get promoted; put yourself out there and make sure your boss sees how hard you’ve been working. Don’t wait for your future husband to sweep you off your feet; go out there and find him.

Your dreams will never become a reality unless you decide to go for it.

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9. Don’t beat yourself up

Everyone has bad days, and everyone makes mistakes. Don’t waste precious time kicking yourself for some bonehead decision you made. Instead, use what you learned to help yourself improve the next time a similar situation arises. If you went for a job interview and didn’t get a call back, think about how you could have presented yourself a little better. Then, view that lesson learned as ammo for your next interview.

Life is a learning process. If you’re not learning, you’re wasting your time.

10. Do something different

Getting caught up in the daily grind can make you bored and complacent. Try to do something new every single day. It could be something simple like using your GPS to find a different way home. Or something more drastic like picking up that musical instrument you’ve always wanted to learn. Learn to cook a new meal. Take that book off your shelf that you’ve been dying to get into. Take your family out for an impromptu ice cream date.

There are infinite experiences to have on this Earth, and only one life to experience them all in. So what are you waiting for? Don’t waste a minute!

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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