Having a positive attitude can be tough — especially if you’re going through a tough time. But maintaining an optimistic outlook can have many benefits, including health benefits such as: increased life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of stress, better psychological and physical well-being, reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and better coping skills during hardships. Because of the many benefits positive thinking offers, it’s worth the time and effort to attempt to see your world through a positive perspective. Here are some of the best ways you can maintain a positive attitude:
1. Be open to positivity.
Even though we might be aware of the benefits of positive thinking, sometimes we can be resistant to it. For years, I struggled with positive thinking because I thought that positivity meant simply sweeping all of the negative stuff under the rug and pretending everything was great. Positivity is not about pretending. It’s about seeing what’s happening around you and striving to make the best of it. It’s much easier to become a positive person if you allow yourself to be open to the idea of positivity.
2. Be aware of your thoughts.
Our minds are amazing things — so amazing, in fact, that sometimes we’re not even aware of what we’re thinking. (Just think about how you sometimes drive home from work without even paying attention to where you needed to go.) Sometimes our minds have a default setting and it’s important to make sure the default isn’t a negative one. To do that, pay close attention to what you’re thinking. Being mindful of your thoughts gives you an opportunity to shift them in a more positive direction.
3. Surround yourself with positivity.
It is very easy to become negative if you’re surrounded by negative people and engaging in negative activities. Take a quick inventory of how you spend your time over the past week. Who made you feel good? Who didn’t? What did you enjoy doing? What would you rather not have done? The more time you spend with people and activities that make you feel positive and enthusiastic, the easier it will be to maintain a positive attitude.
4. Focus on the present moment.
One of the ways negative thoughts creep into our minds is when we worry too much about what could happen in the future or dwell too much on what has happened in the past. If we want to stay positive, an essential step to take is focus on what’s happening right now. When you allow yourself to stay fully in the moment, negativity has a much tougher time making its way to the forefront of your mind.
5. Cultivate gratitude.
It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard the importance of gratitude in living a more positive life, but it’s a vital aspect of having a positive attitude. It’s almost impossible to be negative at the same time you’re being grateful so if you want to be positive, focus on what you’re fortunate to have in your life right now. If it’s useful to you, make a list of what you’re most grateful for and keep it in your purse or pocket so you can take a peek at it when you feel negative thoughts arising.
As the founder of PositivelyPresent.com, I’ve spent years striving to live a more positive life and even for me it’s still a struggle at times. Positivity takes practice — and some (like me!) require more practice than others — so don’t get discouraged if you’re struggling to stay optimistic. When you find yourself struggling, remind yourself that every single moment is a chance to start fresh, to choose to focus on the positive aspects of any given situation.
Want more insights on creating a more positive, present life? Check out Dani DiPirro’s
new book, The Positively Present Guide to Life. For more insights on positive living, visit PositivelyPresent.com, and to learn more about Dani and her work as a graphic designer/illustrator, check out DaniDiPirro.com.