As we get ready to kick off what should be a most unusual summer, I’ve been thinking a lot about positivity. I’m a big believer in the benefits of maintaining a positive outlook on life, so I try to encourage my family and friends to do it.
The problem is that many folks struggle to keep a positive mindset. They genuinely want to, but negativity keeps creeping in at the absolute worst times. Like nowadays.
On that note, here are 5 tips for developing the positive mindset you’ve always wanted.
1. Start your day by reading, watching, or listening to something positive.
I strongly believe that how you start your day has a huge impact on how the rest of it goes.
There’s so much negativity out there, so I try to avoid soaking it in right when I wake up. I try to avoid the news as much as possible, as so much of it is downright depressing in nature.
Instead, I listen to music that makes me happy.
Or I read inspirational quotes.
Anything that lifts me up will do.
The goal is to fill your mind with the type of positivity you want to put out into the world. I’m certainly not the first to confirm that whatever you put in your mind will influence what comes out.
Fill your head and your heart with love.
Fill them with joy.
Fill them with hope.
Fill them with humor.
Doing so will ensure these things come out of you throughout the day.
2. Focus on the here and now.
So much of our negativity is the result of a failure to live in the present. When we get stuck trying to change the past or worrying about the future, we set ourselves up for a world of negativity.
The good news is that we don’t have to settle for that. We can take control of our thoughts and shift what and when we focus on.
One way to force ourselves to be in the moment is to meditate. It doesn’t have to be a formal activity, and you don’t have to assume any of those fancy yoga positions.
All you have to do is sit in silence for a few minutes each day. Sit there and listen to yourself breathe. Try to hear your heartbeat. Concentrate on the fact that you really, truly are alive right this second.
3. Create a list of 3 achievable tasks at the start of each day. Then complete them.
Perhaps you’re wondering why I added this one to the list. Well, I’ve discovered that I’m often at my most positive after I’ve accomplished something. Even if it’s something relatively minor (organizing all my books, albums, and movies, for example), I always have an extra bounce in my step after I get something meaningful done.
With that in mind, I suggest you spend a minute each morning jotting down 3 achievable tasks for the day.
Make them attainable.
Make them meaningful.
If possible, make them fun.
Having tasks to complete also gives you a sense of purpose. This can further enhance your overall positivity.
4. Each day jot down one person or thing you’re thankful for, and then summarize why.
Negativity is often the result of a lack of perspective. With so many modern distractions and accessible material things, it’s incredibly easy to lose sight of all we have.
One way to overcome this negativity-producing shortsightedness is to consciously reflect upon the people and things that matter most to us.
I spend a few minutes each day writing about a person or thing I’m thankful for. I’ll typically write a few sentences in which I explain why this person or thing matters so much to me (sometimes it’s even a place). It really helps me focus on the important things in life.
I have found that reflecting upon the people and things that matter most to me is an excellent way to instill positivity within myself. I highly recommend it for you, too.
5. Surround yourself with positive people.
This is probably the most important thing you can do to develop the positive outlook you want. Don’t take for granted the extent to which the people around you can influence your entire perspective.
If you’re constantly surrounded by Debbie downers, eventually that’s who you’ll be, too.
On the other hand, watch how your view of pretty much everything and everyone changes for the better when you hang out with positive folks. They have a knack for bringing out your best self.
Sometimes you simply can’t choose who you spend time with. But most times you can. Spend as much time as you can with people who are positive, optimistic, and easygoing. You’ll notice that their positive attributes will soon become yours.
I hope these tips help you develop a positive mindset. They’ve been VERY effective for me. Please leave a comment describing any methods you use for building a positive outlook. I’d love to hear your suggestions. Stay well!