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Last Updated on February 9, 2020

How to Be More Positive: 15 Habits to Take Up

How to Be More Positive: 15 Habits to Take Up

Every day we are bombarded with a seemingly endless stream of bad news courtesy of the 24-hour news cycle. So, how to be more positive?

Let’s be real: staying positive can be incredibly difficult in this day and age.

Constantly hearing about tragedies, political unrest, or the impending doom of climate change can be downright exhausting. Fortunately, there are plenty of tried and true methods for taking control of your own life and exuding an infectious positivity that will have you and everyone around you smiling silly.

1. Get an Exercise Routine

One of the most common self-care recommendations you’re likely to hear is that you need to exercise more. Well, I hate to break it to you — because I’m sure you’re sick of hearing it — but it is absolutely true.

First and foremost, there is plenty of evidence that regular exercise can help in the fight against many common mental health ailments like depression and anxiety. Exercise can even help to fend off ailments that come with aging like alzheimer’s and dementia.[1]

While physical activity alone is good for your physical and mental health, making it a routine that you keep up can also be incredibly beneficial way how to be more positive.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is so much more than the self-care buzzword-du-jour that you see popping up in articles left and right or plastered across self-help books in your local bookstore. The truth is, practicing mindfulness is one of the most powerful methods of managing stress and reducing anxiety out there.

In reality, practicing mindfulness is as simple as paying attention to how you are feeling, what you are thinking, and considering why, at that moment, you are feeling the way you feel and thinking those particular thoughts.

Once you’re a pro at living in the moment, you’ll find that it helps you stay grounded and in the moment, keeping you from worrying about things that are out of your control.

3. Find the Funny

Humor is a powerful tool on how to be more positive. Also, learning to find the funny in your life can help to improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and battle depression.[2]

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Let me explain what I mean when I talk about finding the funny. Finding the funny doesn’t mean going out to your local comedy club every week (though the comedians would certainly appreciate it) or actively seeking out funny things. It’s actually about being able to find the humor in every aspect of your life, especially during the more challenging and difficult times.

Being able to find the funny in everyday situations will also help you make those around you more relaxed and positive, spreading the good vibes far and wide.

4. Meditation

Meditation is another tried and true method on how to be more positive and reduce stress and anxiety in your life. While meditation was once seemingly relegated to hippy-dippy types, it has officially hit the mainstream, helping a lot of people and, realistically, anyone who has access to YouTube and a desire to practice meditation. [3]

Meditation has been stripped of the mysticism that used to surround it, and with the mysticism went much of the wariness and negative connotations. Meditation is simply the practice of focusing the mind through various exercises to achieve mental and emotional clarity while training attention and awareness.

When you practice meditation, you are really just investing in yourself, taking the time to purposefully look in on what makes you tick and why you think and feel the way you do.

5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

This one is pretty simple. Cutting out toxic people from your life and instead surrounding yourself with other happy and positive people has a compounding effect.[4] When people around you complain less, you tend to complain less, too. When people laugh, you laugh. Happiness begets happiness!

Another great reason to surround yourself with positive people is that you can learn a lot from them. Seeing how other positive people react to hardships and negativity can give you something to emulate and aspire to.

Also, it’s just generally nice to be around friends that will gas you up and help keep you positive! No one likes a Negative Nancy or a Downer Derek.

6. Tell Invasive Thoughts to Shove Off

Everyone is their own harshest critic, but they certainly don’t have to be. Negative thoughts can be pervasive, and it can be difficult to regulate them or shake them off as simply a passing thought.

However, if you learn to recognize when you’re having negative thoughts and are able to see that they aren’t helping you achieve anything, it can make dealing with them much easier. Telling yourself that you aren’t good enough doesn’t help the situation, either, so why let that thought in at all?

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When you’re able to better regulate invasive negative thoughts, you can narrow your focus onto positive, helpful thoughts that actually work to propel you forward instead of holding you back. This is one of the harder things to master, but doing so will possibly make the greatest impact on your outlook.

7. Balance Your Diet

The key to increasing positivity through your diet is to try and break away from fad diets that promise fast results and instead focus on eating a balanced diet that will keep you healthy. While many fad diets do in fact help with rapid weight loss, they only do so by putting your body through some dangerous things. [5]

Dehydration, the development of poor eating habits, yo-yoing weight loss, and malnutrition can all come as side effects of fad or crash diets. Developing healthy eating and nutrition habits can also help you to lose a ton of weight and feel great doing it.

A properly balanced diet focuses on the best, most important foods first that will help you maintain your physical and mental health.

8. Let Nature Be Your Guide

One of the best on how to be more positive is to head out into the great outdoors. The constant stress and noise of living in urban spaces can take a serious toll on your mental health, and heading out for a weekend camping trip or even a short hike in the woods can help you reconnect with nature.

Spending time outdoors can refresh your perspective and give you a much-needed break which, in turn, helps you remain positive in the face of adversity.

If you live somewhere where getting out into nature is not really a possibility, you can still reap the benefits of the outdoors by immersing yourself in a green space, like visiting a park in your city for a couple of hours. Pro-tip: walking barefoot on grass is amazing. When was the last time you did it?

9. Take Up a New Hobby

Starting up a new hobby can seem like a daunting task. There is so much to learn when first starting out with a hobby — however, that is, in fact, what makes it so great for improving positive thinking!

Learning should be a lifelong experience and outside of college and university, hobbies are one of the best ways to continue learning and experiencing personal growth. Not all hobbies have to be expensive , either, which makes it ideal for self-improvement.

Stargazing, bird watching, calligraphy, gardening, exploring your city, and discovering new art and music are all inexpensive (or free) ways to keep things fresh in your life and expand your mind.

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10. Practice Dealing with Rejection

Rejection can be harsh. Getting shut down, whether in social situations, romantic situations, or while looking for a job can put a damper on your mood for weeks after the initial rejection.

The key to how to be more positive and being able to deal with rejection appropriately is to actively think about and practice how you’ll react. It costs nothing and works wonders to dampen the blow.

If you receive a rejection letter for a job, send back a letter thanking them for their time and consideration. If rejected romantically or socially, remaining positive and seeing the upside will make you look like the bigger person and even do wonders for your self-esteem.

11. Cultivate Optimism

When it comes to how to be more positive, building upon your optimism is key to your success. Optimists have a positive explanatory style, which essentially just means that they believe that the good things that happen in life are due to their hard work and perseverance.

Pessimists, on the other hand, have a negative explanatory style, meaning that they believe everything that happens to them is because of forces out of their control. Between the two, it really comes down to taking personal responsibility.

Positive thinkers are capable of attributing not only their successes but their failures to their own doing and are able to learn and grow from their experiences.

12. Focus on What You’re Grateful for

Another fantastic way on how to be more positive is to take stock of what you’ve got in life and acknowledge to yourself that you’re grateful for whatever it is that makes you happy.

Just hear me out. Expressing thankfulness and gratitude can actually improve your mood and how much joy you experience. [6] Even simply writing down a list of the things you’re grateful for throughout a day can make a huge difference.

Soon you’ll find yourself giving your car a good pat on the dash for getting you to and from work, thanking just about anyone who helps you in any way, and generally spreading positivity everywhere you go.

13. Start an Achievable Bucket List

You can’t become a positive person if you’re stuck in a rut and feel like you have nothing to aspire to or to achieve. The easiest way to how to be more positive and get yourself moving towards your life goals is to write them down into a bucket list.

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Your bucket list can be comprised of experiences and achievements as well as more esoteric things you’d like to accomplish .

The key to a great bucket list is to write down achievable goals. Sure, you can write down that you’d like to earn a bazillion dollars, but that is going to sit, untouched, on your bucket list for quite some time. Focus on the here and now and you’ll find that your accomplishments translate directly into positivity in your life.

14. Find a New Favorite Book

There’s nothing quite like reading a good book cuddled up on a couch. While it can be hard to find time to read if you have a busy schedule, purposefully setting aside and taking the time every day to read can have some serious positive benefits.

Reading isn’t just a way to entertain yourself, either. It can improve empathy, brain function, vocabulary, and overall mood! Joining a book club can also expand your social circle. They say that the print industry is dying, but I say go to your local bookstore, browse around until you find an entertaining looking book, and get to reading!

15. Explore Yourself

Finally, last tip on how to be more positive is to learn as much about who you really are as you can.

Sounds easy, right?

All you need to do is practice any or all of these habits to improve your positivity. In doing this, you’ll likely find out what really makes you happy in life, what is important to you, and what kind of person you want to be.

No one is holding you back from becoming a more positive person, so get out there and make it happen!

Featured photo credit: Hudson Hintze via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dan Matthews, CPRP

A Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner with an extensive background working with clients on community-based rehabilitation.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 15 Ways to Set Professional Goals (Examples Included) 15 Ways to Stop Overthinking and Worrying About Everything How to Start a New Life Without Sacrificing Everything You Have How to Be More Positive: 15 Habits to Take Up

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

What follows is a list of 13 of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these tips are essential:

1. Think Big

    From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

    “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

    There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

    Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

    Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

    Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
    Instead be ambitious.

    2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

      From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

      “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

      This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

      Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

      If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

      Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

      Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

      Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

      3. Learn How to Balance Life

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        From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

        “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

        All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

        If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

        However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

        If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

        In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

        To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

        4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

          From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

          “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

          There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

          Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

          His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

          He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

          Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

          Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

          If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

          5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

            From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

            “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

            This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

            It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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            If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

            Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

            6. Be a Person of Action

              From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

              “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

              Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

              Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

              When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

              You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

              All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

              Applying this to you?

              Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

              7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                This is key to good leadership.

                It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                  From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                  “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                  It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                  Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                  If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                  9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                    From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                    “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                    Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                    It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                    Keep dreaming!

                    10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                      From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                      “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                      Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                      Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                      If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                      However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                      11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                        From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                        “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                        It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                        When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                        Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                        If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                        This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                        12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                          From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                          “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                          You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                          Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                          True success comes from work.

                          You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                          Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                          13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                            From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                            “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                            In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                            If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                            It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                            Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                            Final Thoughts

                            What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                            Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                            More Tips for Achieve Success

                            Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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