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.
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.
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. Do something that gives your mind a break from whatever challenge you are facing–and that could just mean taking a nap.
Laughter truly is the best medicine for most of what ails us. 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 — 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.
“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.
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.
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.
12. Take a Walk
Scientists have found that one of the best ways to chase the blues away is by going for a walk. 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. 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
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. It’s hard to maintain a positive mindset under those conditions. Get some sleep!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s a quick technique on how to practice mindfulness:
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.
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.
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
- 10 Simple Ways To Make Positive Thinking Your Habit
- How to Practice Positive Meditation in 2 Simple Steps
- How to Have Happy Thoughts and Train Your Brain to Be Happy
Featured photo credit: Pixels via pexels.com