Clients ask me all the time — “how can I be more positive?” I think this is something we all need help with from time to time. Often life seems like it hands us one challenge after the next, without much time to process each loss, trauma and set-back. How can we take things more in stride? How can we begin to see the silver linings in seemingly negative experiences? Below is a round-up of some ways you can foster a more positive mindset:
1 | Practice gratitude
Just like training for a marathon requires putting in the miles, positivity requires effort and training. The mind unfortunately has a negativity bias which means that we need to practice seeing the good in our lives intentionally and often. Some ways to practice gratitude include starting a “gratitude journal,” or setting aside some time each morning thinking about the things you are grateful for. Check here for some inspiration to get started with a 30-day gratitude challenge.
2 | Integrate mindfulness
When we practice a mindful awareness and acceptance of thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise – whether pleasant or unpleasant – then “negative” thoughts have less power over us. We can see things with more clarity and perspective. Check out my blog post about how to live a more mindful, meditative lifestyle…even if you’re short on time.
3 | Use positive self-talk
Give yourself a mental pep-talk if you need one! If you’re feeling down in the dumps, imagine what a close friend might say to you to lift your spirits or what you might say to a friend if they were going through the same thing. If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas for positive self-talk, check out this list of 35 affirmations for positive thinking.
4 | Surround yourself with positivity
Remember that your friends, family and co-workers have a huge influence on you. Seek to spend more time with people who focus on the positive and dedicate less time to people who tend to spiral into negativity. If you feel that you need to make some new friends with a more positive outlook, check out MeetUp.com for fun events happening in your area. You’ll find groups for just about every activity you can think of.
5 | Balance out your intake
In today’s media-heavy environment, we can easily be bombarded with bad news 24/7. It’s hard to be positive when we’re constantly reminded of everything that is happening in the world. Of course, staying informed is an important aspect of being an engaged citizen, but aim to balance your media intake with some positive sources, as well – this could include watching an inspiring TED talk, listening to an uplifting podcast, or reading a favorite personal development blog.
I wish you the best of luck in your journey towards positivity! I hope you find this list helpful. If there are any great suggestions you have for ways to be more positive, please share them in the comments below. This community will be stronger with more voices. Thank you in advance!
If you need help right away, please utilize the following crisis resources.
This post is meant for educational purposes only and isn’t a substitute for diagnosis, assessment or treatment of mental conditions. If you need professional help, seek it out.
About the author
Hi! I'm Natalie. And my passion is helping ambitious, creative millennials achieve everything they want in life, career and relationships. I provide in-person therapy in Pasadena and online therapy throughout California. Click here to get started.