Do you often find yourself feeling low? Is your cup half empty rather than half full? Do you find it hard to look on the bright side and adopt a positive attitude?
If you can identify with any or all of the above, then you might be pleased to hear that there is a way to dig yourself out of these low moments with no need for medication. Just a little change in attitude can work wonders for your outlook on life and get rid of those pessimistic or negative thoughts!
"If only it was as easy as that", you might be thinking...
Granted, it can be very hard staying positive when you have a lot going on in your life, but by working slowly on improving your optimism over time, you will start to recognise the benefits this new approach has on you and this will lighten a load and enable you to keep on moving in the right direction and to feel happier. Your mind and body will thank you for this turnaround and you might even find yourself rejuvenated and suddenly feel a new thirst for life and challenges you never contemplated before!
"So, where do I start?", you say? Take a look at our tips on how to build on your positivity below!
Improving Your Attitude To Life
Have you ever wondered what it means to be a positive thinker?
Nobody can deny the vast benefits that being a positive thinker can bring to your mental health. People who remain positive in the face of adversity are often high-achievers (in terms of goals set, not necessarily their level of academia), active, helpful, respected by others, and able to show empathy and understanding to those less optimistic than themselves.
If you dream of becoming this fired up, passionate go-getter type, then take a look at some ways you might be able to train your brain to think along those lines.
1. Be More Aware Of Your Attitude
It may not have occurred to you that you are pessimistic - perhaps it's just in your nature. But if you sit back and start to ask yourself: "Am I a positive person?", you are already identifying with what it means to be negative or positive, and thus will think harder about the skills and traits that might make you a positive thinker.
It may be that you deduct you cannot simply do more to add to your happiness and wellbeing, but if you are reading this then there is a high chance that you are open to ideas on how to turn your life around with positive vibes and are in need of some inspiration.
2. Look out for positive information and people
Hanging around with negative, glum people can really get you down. On the other hand, spending time with people who have a much more positive outlook on life can be just the pick-me-up you need.
That is not to say you should dump your friends because they are going through difficult or stressful times, but be wary of how often you are around this negative energy and encourage any friends in need to join you in your quest to find your own personal happiness. Perhaps you could jointly go to meet a life coach or just start to make small changes to the things you do socially? For instance, instead of going out for a drink and moaning about your other half or talking behind friends' backs why not make it your mission to achieve a feel-good night out like going to see a really inspirational movie?
Also, did you know that scientists say you can increase your positivity just by surrounding yourself in positive words and phrases?
This is because if you force your brain to process these positive words, it eventually becomes more connected with their meaning and makes them more accessible. So, put up some of your favourite inspirational quotes on your fridge, save one as the screensaver on your phone and have a list beside your bed of positive words to read through before you go to sleep at night. It will help you wake up on the right side of the bed!
3. Strengthen your brain's relationship with positive information
Once you've got your brain used to all these new powerful words and phrases, try to build on these networks. It's as simple as reprogramming your brain to focus more on the good than the bad. Just take your morning journey to work as an example. Do you often get cross when someone cuts you up? Instead of noticing the bad stuff, if you keep on training your brain with positive words then you may find yourself missing these annoyances that once used to bug you.
Rather than getting caught up on the negative, you might, for instance, notice how well the person in front of you is driving or how pretty the verges look in the sunshine (without taking your attention away from the road, of course!).
4. Only allow yourself to think negative when you really need to
Thinking positively can help you to get through some of the toughest moments of your life, but sadly a positive outlook can't stop these events from occurring. There are, of course, times when it is necessary to grieve, be sad or simply be angry and vent these negative feelings. However, balance these where possible with happier emotions and thinking of fond memories.
If you happen to have lost someone close to you, you are within your rights as a human to show your emotions but wouldn't you hope that this person could see how much of an impact they had on you and others, by seeing you focusing on their kindness, their braveness and their joy?
5. Make gratitude part of your life
Moving on from the above point about loss, making gratitude a part of your life is a great way to appreciate the smaller things in life, which ultimately are what makes our time on this planet worth living. Try to wake up and remember to be grateful each day for something, whether that be something big like the fact that you are alive for another day or something as small as being thankful for the breakfast you are eating. What's more, when we are able to show our gratitude for our friendships and relationships, those around us acknowledge this and treat us better too which makes life a great deal more satisfying.
There is always something to be thankful for, and you can use this to regularly encourage positive feelings into your life.
6. Encourage positive emotions by using the Internet or social media
Small bursts of positive emotion can have a really big impact on our overall mood and behaviour. One way to get these highs is to watch fun or inspirational videos during our spare time. If, however, you don't have time to sit and watch clips on YouTube, then why not 'follow' a positive Facebook page and take note when an inspirational quote or story appears on screen whilst you are scrolling? It's these little unexpected spurts of happy emotions that you should savour and that can help you to keep your positive mindset going throughout the day, no matter how hard or long.
7. Don't put yourself down
Many of us do it - we get praised for passing our driving test or getting a promotion and we make excuses for ourselves to make us look humble. "I had a really easy route." "I got lucky." Never mind minimising your successes - shout about your efforts and hard work that paid off from the rooftops! Don't let yourself think that you weren't good enough and instead appreciate yourself and give yourself a round of applause or pat on the back. All credit to you for pursuing something positive!
Get Extra Help From A Life Coach
It's not always easy to change from being a negative person to a positive person, and remember that it certainly doesn't happen overnight unless you experience a life or death moment that completely shakes your entire outlook on life. That said, a life coach could be able to help you get there quicker, with activities to help you to train your brain to process positive thoughts far easier.
Some life coaches will correspond with clients by email, offering their words of wisdom to help you to achieve much more and to be happier in general. Others may meet with you and chat to you about your goals and discuss ways in which you can reach them.
Don't think that a life coach is some kind of spiritual healer, however. Many life coaches are quite honest, direct and, occasionally, unmediated people who want to make you see what is within your reach and they will do anything in their power to do so. For example, Liz Goodchild, a life coaching professional, states that:
"My coaching process does not involve a quick-fix, 10 step plan. I go deep. Our sessions together will be a safe place for you to show up with all your fascinating and messy and complicated humanness. Moving forward means straight-up honesty from me, and I pinky promise that getting underneath the surface excuses and digging into the real stuff is the ticket to helping what’s hurting you."
So, if you want to make changes in your life then be prepared to actually make the necessary changes!
Also, you can check out some online resources to help you along the way.