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Last Updated on December 17, 2019

20 Simple Ways to Bring Positive Energy into Life Right Now

20 Simple Ways to Bring Positive Energy into Life Right Now

Staying positive can be tough. Positivity can start to wain when you are bombarded with a succession of negativity, failures, disappointment and heartbreak.

Every challenge you face withdraws from your energy, resilience and a little bit of your faith. Once your positive energy is depleted, pessimism slowly begins to creep in and take hold.

Positive thinking is a mental and emotional state of mind that focuses on the good and expects positive outcomes.

Developing and maintaining positive energy involves more than merely thinking happy thoughts. It is the anticipation of good (i.e. happiness, health and success) and it is the belief that all things — situations, obstacles and difficulties — will work out favorably in the end.

Optimism does not involve ignoring negativity. It is the acknowledgement of the negative but then choosing to focus on the positive. At its root, it is simply the belief that despite the current circumstances, things will work out favorable in the end.

A positive mind comes from a heart full of faith.

If you want to stay positive when facing challenges and negative situations, here are 20 things you can do to help revive your positive energy:

1. Enjoy Nature

Research shows that revelling in the great outdoors promotes human health. Spending time in serene natural environments has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels, improve working memory and provide a sense of rejuvenation.[1]

2. Perform Random Acts of Kindness

Finding ways to put a smile on the face of others affects you just as much as it affects them. It takes the focus off of you and your problems, and allows you to be a positive force in the lives of others.

Doing good for others makes you feel good. It lifts your mood, improves self esteem and self-worth. It also serves as a small distraction from your current challenges.

3. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Noticing and appreciating the positives in our lives is a great way to lift your spirits and provide yourself a mental boost.[2]

Start to practice gratitude by being thankful for the simple things in life. Check out this article for 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

4. Take a Mental Break

Exhaustion is the silent killer of positivity.

Learn to take breaks when things get overwhelming.[3] Do something that gives your mind a break from whatever challenge you are facing–and that could just mean taking a nap.

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5. Laugh

Laughter truly is the best medicine for most of what ails us.[4] Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.

Find a way to laugh–often. Watch a comedy, spend the evening with your crazy friend who knows how to keep you in stitches. Host a game night with your friends.

Take a look at these 14 Things That Make You Happy And Enjoy Life More.

6. Hang Around with Positive People

Research suggests that stress is contagious[5] — and the more you surround yourself with it, the more likely you are to let it affect your thoughts. In the same way that stress and negativity are contagious, so is happiness.[6]

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The bottom line here is our behavior and thought patterns mirror those we hang around. Choose carefully who you allow into your circle.

7. Look for the Silver Lining Immediately

Trying to force optimistic thinking amidst emotional turmoil or a bit shocked usually don’t work that well.

Training yourself to look for the lesson and find the bright spot not only eases the burden a little, it also slowly begins to transform your entire thought process.

8. Breathe Deeply

Breathing exercises help expel toxic air from your body and refills your body and more importantly–your brain with fresh air. It clears your mind and allows you to regain mental clarity. One moment of clarity at the right time can change everything.[7]

Try these 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly).

9. Remind Yourself Not to Dwell on Negativity

Avoid dwelling on downers. Downers bring you down!

Focusing on negatives isn’t just unpleasant, it also makes you less effective in tackling other tasks you face. Negativity produces more negativity.

Bad things happen–try not to replay them over and over and fixate on un-pleasantries. Play positive scenes in your mind instead.

10. Engage in Positive Self-Talk

Talk to yourself. Tell yourself things are going to turnaround and will work out in the end.

Say it out loud. Speaking what you believe out loud reinforces and strengthens the message. You say it and hear it simultaneously.[8]

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Here is a step-by-step guide to help yourself engage in positive self-talk: How To Stop Negative Self-Talk From Ruining Your Life

11. Talk It out with a Friend

Find a positive friend (or small group of friends) or confidant to talk to. Talking helps you hear the problem, admit and discuss your feelings and it gives you another set of eyes and ears working on the problem.

You may find that brainstorming with another person or even a group will help you come up with new ideas to help you resolve the issue.

It also reassures you that someone has your back and that emotional support makes a difference. Think of it as a low-budget therapy.[9]

12. Take a Walk

Scientists have found that one of the best ways to chase the blues away is by going for a walk.[10] A brisk walk calms you down by sparking nerve cells in the brain that relax the senses.

13. Engage in Rigorous Exercise

Getting sweaty is not just good for your heart–it’s good for your head too!

Research on anxiety, depression and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise helps reduce anxiety and elevates your mood.[11] When you engage in vigorous physical activity, the “feel good” brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids) are released that ease feelings of negativity. It distracts you from your issues, and it physically relaxes you.

Find yourself too busy to do exercises? Here are 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise

14. Sleep

Proper rest is a critical part of maintaining a positive attitude. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on your mental state.

Researchers from University of Pennsylvania discovered that subjects who were limited to less than 5 hours of sleep a night for one week felt significantly more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted.[12] It’s hard to maintain a positive mindset under those conditions. Get some sleep!

15. Journal

Journaling is a great way to deal with overwhelming emotions. It provides a healthy outlet in which you can express yourself and manage your emotions and overall mental health.

Keeping a journal can help you identify and track the causes of negative thinking and develop a mitigation plan.[13]

Here’s how to get started with writing a journal: Why You Should Keep A Journal And How To Get Started

16. Play Hooky

Taking the occasional break from the daily grind is fun, freeing and necessary.

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Figure out what makes you feel alive and happy and do that. Whether it’s watching Netflix in your p.j.’s all day or if it’s kayaking down a river–the goal is to have fun–whatever that means to you.

17. Treat Yourself

Rewarding yourself with “me time” and celebrating who you are as a person is vital to sustaining a positive outlook.[14]

Find small, meaningful and healthy ways to indulge yourself from time to time. Here are some nice ideas for you: 30 Self Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

18. Move Through Your Day Mindfully

Worry and dwelling on pervasively stressful thoughts with are optimism assassins. Living mindfully involves consciously deciding to be fully present in each moment.

When you throw all of your attention, energy and resources on the now, you don’t have the space for negative thoughts or worrying.[15]

Here’s a quick technique on how to practice mindfulness:[16]

    Or you can also take a look at this guide: A Simple Guide to Mindfulness for Beginners

    19. Take Care of Yourself Spiritually

    Paying attention to and investing in yourself spiritually is something most people neglect.

    You watch what you eat, workout, try to get enough sleep and do all the things you should to keep your body and mind fit and functioning. But part of maintaining good mental health and a positive state of mind is soul care.

    Take time to feed your soul and keep the mind-body-spirit connection strong by engaging in spirit enhancing, contemplative activities such as meditation, prayer, reading spiritual materials and/or attending religious services.[17]

    20. Celebrate Small Wins

    Who doesn’t love a good celebration? Celebrating small victories is one of the quickest ways to give negativity the boot.

    Getting out of bed this morning is a win! Celebrate it. If you stayed in bed today and got a little extra rest–that too is a win!

    Instead of focusing on pending doom or sulking over losses–actively seek out and celebrate the things you do well and a the things you did get right today.

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    Check out these tips to help you make celebrating small wins a daily habit: How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

    Bonus: 10 Inspirational Quotes to Jump Start Your Positivity

                        More About Positivity

                        Featured photo credit: Pixels via pexels.com

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                        Denise Hill

                        Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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                        Trending in Mental Strength

                        1 Feeling Defeated in Life? 9 Ways to Take Back Your Power 2 What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important for Success? 3 How to Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement 4 The Importance of Self Improvement No Matter How Old You Are 5 How to Be Humble Without Putting Yourself Down

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                        Last Updated on November 6, 2020

                        Feeling Defeated in Life? 9 Ways to Take Back Your Power

                        Feeling Defeated in Life? 9 Ways to Take Back Your Power

                        The human feeling of wanting to achieve more is a shared one and, consequently, so does the sense of feeling defeated. Things don’t always work out as planned, and we then feel beat down and sometimes downright downtrodden.

                        This feeling is something that every achiever human-being feels once in a while. The good news is that there are proven science-based ways to help take back the power. It’s not possible to continually win without experiencing a loss, and the way we react to failure is what defines us.

                        There are (sadly) many practical examples—from battling a bad habit (did anyone say Netflix binge on a Tuesday night?) or even an addiction to dealing with a boss you don’t like who makes every day seem like it will never end. It might be other issues that make you feel like Sisyphus, the Greek god who was forced to push a massive rock up a hill for eternity as a punishment, doing the hard work and not being rewarded for it.

                        You Are Not Alone

                        You are not alone; Churchill and Lincoln were also defeated.

                        Fortunately, we’ve found some fantastic examples of ‘defeated’ people who made a remarkable comeback—showing that character is at least as important as talent. One of those people is none other than Winston Churchill. Most of us know that he saved his country and potentially the rest of the world during World War II, but we tend to forget that he famously stated, “I am finished” almost 20 years before that—when he was 40.

                        He had lost the Gallipoli battle, and everything seemed to indicate that he would go down in history like the rest of us: unknown. However, his plan to come back to the forefront of politics succeeded (only to lose the election after the war, and then win again). He was feeling defeated but he managed to bounce back.

                        There are other examples of leaders who experienced loss and then made a remarkable comeback. Abraham Lincoln is known as a former US president, but no one remembers that he was defeated in elections for the U.S. House of Representatives just a few years before that. Napoleon Bonaparte was the emperor of Europe, only to be exiled (and then come back and then go into exile again).

                        Most of us are not ruling Europe or the US, but you get the point—you win some, you lose some—and you should never give up on your goals and dreams. This isn’t relevant only to famous historical characters. The human spirit is measured when it’s at its weakest and in need of finding strength.

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                        Personally speaking, I experienced a tragedy, having to watch my father die in front of me when I was 25. Less than an hour later, as I was in the hospital, I told myself that nothing would break me, and I embarked on a journey to save other people’s lives with Safe Lane, a non-profit I started to prevent car accidents. It is what we do that defines us, and not what happens to us. It’s how we deal with feeling defeated that defines who we are.

                        Feeling Defeated Is Not Your Fault

                        Research shows that feeling defeated is not your fault. The deep-rooted feeling of defeat is validated in research. For example, studies of animal species with dominance hierarchies showed that after losing in non-lethal fighting, the animals that lost showed signs of depression.[1] Other studies suggest that defeat and feelings of entrapment are associated with depression and anxiety. Sadly, it happens to humans as well.

                        Research also suggests that it hurts the poor more than others. In a study conducted in economically deprived areas in England, over half of the people felt defeated. They experienced feelings of entrapment.[2]

                        The research also proved a connection to anxiety and depression, showing that this feeling impairs the mental health of those living in more impoverished areas. The clear connection between where you live and how you feel is disheartening, as it makes clear that some populations are inherently more prone to suffering than others.

                        9 Ways to Take Back Your Power

                        The good news is that there are pretty good solutions one can use to fight this horrible feeling. Some of them can provide immediate improvement, while others help within a matter of weeks.

                        Here are 9 ways to take back your power when you’re feeling defeated in life.

                        1. Write a Gratitude Journal

                        Once a day, take three minutes to write down two things you’re grateful for. It might seem like a childish thing to do, but investing time in a gratitude journal has been scientifically proven to be helpful. Taking a note for yourself of the good things in your life makes you appreciate them more, and this kind of positive thinking also helps your brain change patterns.

                        According to a study conducted in Berkeley, students who wrote a gratitude letter to their peers had “significantly better mental health 4 weeks and 12 weeks after their writing exercise ended. This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns.”[3]

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                        Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, proved that participants who took the time to write about the good things in their lives had a huge increase in happiness scores.

                        2. Take Regular Breaks

                        When you’re working too hard, it can sometimes feel good because you’re pushing your limits. Nonetheless, you can’t work without taking breaks. Your energy is limited, and there have been a few studies proving this.

                        According to numerous researches, “taking a break can be very beneficial for you and your work. Micro-breaks, lunchtime breaks, and longer breaks have all been shown to affect well-being and productivity positively. By taking regular breaks, you can boost your performance.”[4]

                        3. Find Yourself a Mentor

                        I’ve personally found this to be very helpful. Every issue that you’re going through has been experienced by someone before you, so learn from that. Having a mentor reduces stress and helps you both practically understand how to handle the situation and emotionally put things in perspective. It also helps remind you that you’re not alone.

                        According to UNL, “mentoring provides professional socialization and personal support to facilitate graduate school success and beyond. Quality mentoring greatly enhances students’ chances for success. Research shows that students who experience good mentoring also have a greater chance of securing academic tenure-track positions or greater career advancement potential in administration or sectors outside the university.”[5]

                        4. Meditation and Mindfulness

                        Meditation and mindfulness are powerful tools that are widely available today through the use of apps such as Calm and Headspace. There have also been countless books written about them. One of them is “Wherever You Go, There You Are:  Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat-Zinn’s. By being present, you can control where your energy goes.

                        I used to be a skeptic, but I have learned that it’s helpful to meditate when you need a moment. Countless studies have proven that breathing helps build resilience. Just by breathing slowly and deeply, our body knows when to enter into a relaxation mode.

                        We’re living at a time that makes us feel overwhelmed. We have too much on our plate and sometimes, we’re in a position that doesn’t immediately allow us to solve the problem at hand.

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                        Don’t worry—by meditating, breathing, or just trying to relax, you can understand what to do by letting your mind some time to think and improve. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here reading this article!

                        5. Your Self-Talk Is More Crucial Than Ever

                        Our thoughts and beliefs can sometimes be discouraging. Many people tend towards a negativity bias, which means that we’re prone to notice negative thoughts and emotions more than positive and neutral ones. This is where self-talk comes in.

                        Using self-talk to analyze whether your perceptions are helping you or not and whether they’re an accurate representation of reality can help you understand that things may not be as bad as you think. Research shows that this is, in fact, often the case.

                        It’s a good habit to also remember to be kind to yourself. Some of us sometimes forget the crucial ingredient of self-compassion. It also might be a good idea to motivate yourself by watching others—Youtube might be a good place for that.

                        Here’s an excellent example:

                        6. Educate Yourself

                        For whatever of life’s hurdles you’re currently facing, there’s an answer that someone else has already thought of. Google Scholar or even just plain old Google can help you find proven methods to deal with what’s bothering you. Educate yourself about your situation and learn what can and cannot work for you. Knowledge is power, indeed.

                        7. Don’t Obsess About What Happened

                        One of the proven ways to help sports teams stay on track is not overthinking the future and not getting stuck in the past. It’s useless to obsess about what already happened, and at worst, it can only harm your mental and emotional well-being.

                        One psychological way to think about that is the radical acceptance approach, which is pretty self-explanatory. It means that you should accept what happened and instead, think about what you should do moving forward.

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                        According to the NYU School of Medicine, “past experiences shape what we see more than what we are looking at now.”[6] So, it’s not easy to fight that. But it is also possible to change it by radical acceptance and growth mindset methods.

                        8. Create a Vision for Your Life

                        Another method for dealing with daily hardships is to think like an organization and create your life vision. When you understand your goals and purpose, it’s easier to not sweat as much as some of the difficulties on the way.

                        According to “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice” by Francis J. Greene,

                        “Effective strategic management begins with the organization clearly articulating its vision for the future. The organization’s vision refers to the broad category of long-term intentions that the organization wishes to pursue. It is broad, all-inclusive, and futuristic (Ireland et al., 2009)”.

                        It is imperative to understand your vision and implement it in your daily life to keep your balance.

                        9. Stay Healthy: Exercise and Eat Well

                        You don’t have to run a marathon. Simply walking or doing any other type of physical activity you enjoy can help pump things up and make you feel better physically and emotionally. Exercise can help you overcome depression and improve your mental health. It also enables you to feel in control in some cases, and that’s a powerful tool for someone who’s feeling defeated.

                        Healthy eating and keeping yourself hydrated goes a long way. Sleeping more than 7 hours each night is also super helpful for improving your physical and mental well-being.

                        Final Thoughts

                        It’s normal to feel defeated in life sometimes. After all, we all have our unique struggles and challenges along our journey in life. The important thing is that you learn how to face these roadblocks in your life. Whenever you’re feeling defeated in life, you can start with these 9 ways to gain back power and control in your life.

                        More Tips When You’re Feeling Defeated in Life

                        Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

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