Let’s be honest: keeping positive is not easy. We all know someone who is consistently upbeat when they see us, and they might leave you wondering: how do they do it?
No one’s life is perfect, and when someone is positive, it’s likely not the case that everything is going right in their lives. The truth is, maintaining a positive outlook takes work. It’s a muscle you exercise, and grows with use. And what a helpful muscle this is. We could all use some more positivity in our lives.
The following are some tips for maintaining a positive outlook despite the obstacles we face:
Attitude with gratitude.
We hear it all the time, and likely when we least want to hear it. When we’re struggling, our loved ones tell us to maintain an attitude of gratitude. It sounds idealistic when we’re in the thick of it. But there’s a thing about cliches: they’re sometimes right.
Several studies show that structured gratitude, such as recording things you’re grateful for in a journal, results in increased happiness. And surely it’s easier to maintain a positive attitude when you’re happy! But beware, like working out and eating healthy, you have to keep a sustained habit out of your gratitude practice to really reap the benefits. Find out more in an article by UC Berkeley here.
Take care of yourself.
How can you take care of your work and overcome daily obstacles with a bounce in your step if you don’t take care of yourself? In order to maintain a positive mindset, you need to maintain a healthy body. That means knowing what foods fuel you, how much sleep you need, when you need to take a break, and (the hard part) following those guidelines. We know this is easier said than done, but who feels more positive on 1 hour of sleep? And how many people know this but ignore it anyway?
For more details on how to finally start taking care of yourself, check out our article here.
Watch what you consume.
The Buddha taught the notion of the Four Nutriments: the first is edible food, the second is the food of sense impressions, the third is the food of volition, and the fourth is the food of consciousness. This means that not only what we eat and what we do affects our attitude; what we watch, read, and listen to also have a huge impact on our mindset.
So if the news or social media make you feel disillusioned, insecure, or irascible, limit your consumption of these things. If your best friend is a Debbie Downer, maybe limit your contact with this person. We are what we consume, even in the messages we digest. (Check out a dialogue between the Buddha and his disciples on the Four Kinds of Nutriments here. It’s interesting!)
Surround yourself with those who remind you what it’s all about.
In line with the previous tip, it is so important to surround yourself with those who make you feel, well, positive. Whether it be your significant other, your child, your dog, or your goldfish, that being that brings a smile to your face can give you strength when you feel the least strong and bring you positive energy when the most challenging events come your way.
If you found this helpful, check these out:
Fun Things to Do This Weekend in Your Own Home
Resources to Help You During Pandemic Fear
Tips on Staying Motivated During Quarantine
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