7 Simple Ways to Be More Positive

7 Simple Ways to Be More Positive

Life can be tough at times. But by staying positive, we give ourselves the energy and strength to get through difficult periods – and we’re more likely to make good choices and take action towards our goals.

If you often feel unhappy and negative, here are seven ways to turn things around:

#1: Find the Silver Lining

When things go wrong, don’t start complaining (internally or to other people). Look for the silver lining. For instance:

  • Your train delay gives you an extra half-hour to read your book
  • That mistake at work highlighted a systematic problem that could have become much worse if it’d gone unnoticed for longer
  • You messed up a new recipe – but at least you know how to do it right next time (and you tried something new for the first time in ages)
  • The file you lost has reminded you that you really need to prioritize tidying your office, before anything mission-critical goes missing
  • Although one of your customers had a complaint, you were able to resolve it – and they now seem even happier to continue doing business with your company

#2: Avoid Negative People

One big source of negativity in our lives is other people. If colleagues constantly moan about their work, the management, the office building, their commutes, then it’s all too easy for you to get sucked into negative thinking too. If friends spend their time gossiping about one another or making fun of total strangers, you’re going to get drawn into that sort of behavior.

As much as possible, avoid negative people. Seek out friends who make you feel good about the world, not those who drag you down. Don’t join in with the office moaning. If you’re stuck with someone negative (perhaps a relative or a member of your team at work) then make an extra effort to be positive when you’re with them.

#3: Tackle Problems Proactively

When something’s making you feel grouchy, angry, or unhappy, what do you do about it? Many people simply ignore the problem. They might wish it would just go away – or they might be resigned to living with it.

Some problems are difficult to tackle. Many, though, can be improved or even solved completely if you get proactive. For instance:

  • If the state of your house is getting you down, block out a weekend to spring-clean
  • If you’re anxious about your finances, look for ways to cut down your spending
  • If you hate being overweight and unfit, join a diet group or a gym

You might not be able to solve your problem overnight … but by simply taking action, you’re putting yourself back in control, and that’s bound to make you feel more positive.

#4: Set Small, Achievable Goals

If you’ve got a bunch of huge goals, it’s easy to feel a bit down about life – your dreams might seem a very long way off, and you may not always have the motivation to work towards them. And on the flip side, if you never set yourself any goals to work towards, life can seem a bit empty. It might feel like you never really achieve anything.

By setting yourself small, achievable goals, you’ll start to see real progress in your life. You can look back over the past few weeks and see what you’ve accomplished – and you can look forward to what’s coming up in the next month or two.

#5: Do Something Kind

One simple way to feel more positive is to do something good for someone else. That might mean going the extra mile to help out a client, being there for a friend who needs you, lending a hand to an elderly neighbor, taking care of some of the chores that your busy spouse normally handles, writing a “thank you” note to someone who’s helped you out … anything that involves a little extra kindness.

If you’ve been stuck in a negative mood for a while, you might find it tough to summon up the energy or motivation to do this – and you may even question whether it’s worth doing at all. Trust me, even a small kind gesture can make you feel much better about things (and it could mean a huge amount to the other person too).

#6: Write Your Own Affirmations

Do you have a lot of negative thoughts going round in your head? If you’re struggling against a critical inner voice – one that says “you’re not good enough” or “you’ll never achieve anything” – then you need to replace that tape with something new.

Affirmations are a great way to do this. You can find plenty online, but you might prefer to write your own: that way, you’ll be able to fit your affirmation to your own goals and dreams. Use the present tense for your affirmation (e.g. “I am happy” or “I have lots of energy”) or emphasize a sense of progress (“I am getting healthier and slimmer every day”).

#7: Focus on What’s Already Good

It’s easy to focus on the negatives in life, whether that’s a tedious job, a problem at home, or a failed exam. You might worry that you need to fix all these things in order to feel good about yourself. Instead, spend some time thinking about everything that’s already good. Look for ways to build on the good things.

That might be:

  • You have a strong relationship with your spouse, and you want to have more regular date nights.
  • There are some aspects of your job that you really enjoy, and you want to spend more time on those.
  • You like cooking in the evenings, and you want to try out some new recipes.
  • You always feel great after a gym session, so you want to go more often.

Make as much time and space for the good things in your life as you can, and you’ll find that it becomes easier and easier to be positive.

How do you stay positive? Do some of the above tips work for you, or do you have your own suggestions to add? Let us know in the comments!

Photo by pedrosimoes7

Ali Luke

Ali writes about personal growth and development on her blog, Aliventures. As well as blogging, she writes fiction, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing.

Latest posts by Ali Luke (see all)

19 Comments

  1. The best way to be and stay positive is by performing the vortex cycle. Abraham Hicks calls it Focus wheel. All you’ve to do is constantly find something to appreciate. Even when you are focusing on something and you want to feel simply “good” you’ve to list down and create a focus upon things you love and appreciate. It works. Charms. Creates. Attracts.

    Reply
    • I love this, Jaky; it’s like creating a cycle of positive feelings rather than a negative spiral. Thanks for the great addition!

      Reply
  2. Excellent post Ali, thank you. Sometimes it really is the “little” things that make the biggest difference. I’ve found that by being in the company of those who uplift the energy no matter what the circumstances, keeps me on an upward spiral. The more I do this, the more I attract to me more of the same, and on it goes. Choosing the high road, focusing on the fullness of life, giving thanks often and blessing everything has become a daily ritual that feeds my soul and inspires my life.

    Reply
    • Thanks Alison. Uplifting people can make such a huge difference; I have friends who always lift my mood when I talk to them. I love your focus on the fullness of life and on giving thanks; it’s often so worthwhile to count our blessings.

      Reply
  3. I have a vision board that helps to boost my spirits every time I look at it and see my future. I think this activity combines numbers 1, 4, 6 and 7 together.

    Reply
  4. I am very happy I found this site. Everything written here is so EXCELLENT. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Hi Ali,
    Setting small, achievable goals certainly gets the ball rolling for those who are stuck and/or struggle with motivation…..just don’t make it a long term habit. Once your positivity meter rises a few notches, set goals packed with meaning that will stretch you… they will bring about longer lasting positive change/motivation. Thankyou for this
    be good to yourself
    David

    Reply
    • Great addition, David, thank you. Yes, this post was targeted at people who might be feeling a bit stuck or down — it’s certainly important to keep pushing yourself a little further as you get used to the buzz of achievement. :-)

      Reply
  6. Ok so I have been in Mary Kay a long time and they teach a lot of these things. So I love them and believe them all. One of the sayings I love is Never ask someone how they are because they might actually tell you. Really if someone asks how you are you say GREAT! they don’t want to hear about your dog dying or all the yucky stuff because the more you focus on things the bigger they will get!! LOVE your blog!

    Reply
  7. Another great list, Ali. My personal favorite is focus on what’s already good. We oftentimes forget about the great things happening around us while focusing on what we don’t have. Be grateful for that can go a long way to achieving happiness.

    Reply
  8. Getting rid of or at least limiting time spent with negative people is a good one.

    Reply
  9. I really love this article. All are very simple but means a lot.

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  10. Thats it Ali! This is exactly what I needed at the moment because I’ve lately been bombarded with negative thoughts that nearly leaves me with the feelings of being unproductive at the end of each day. Think I know better now,thanks 2 ur blog.Keep at it.Hope to join you in doing this someday.CHEERS!

    Reply
  11. Great points Ali,

    Cultivating a positive outlook is key for progressive growth.

    Positive thoughts lead us to possibilities, where as negative thoughts close the door.

    Reply
  12. EXcellent !! we have to be positive about life, always, no matter what. thanks for the steps

    Reply
  13. I love this post, Ali! These are great tips to getting.. and staying… on track. I’d also like to add that if you doubt you, you will not move forward. Any ounce of energy that you give to negative energy will take away from the positive energy that helps you to achieve. Just the thought alone that it cannot happen will take away from positive results. I discuss this in my audio, Make A Decision To Win.

    Gail Kasper, Motivational Speaker and Author, http://www.gailkasper.com
    Make A Decision To Win

    Reply
  14. very nice post Ali
    if we managed to stay positive we will enjoy life more
    we just need to know how to do it

    Reply
  15. Great tips for keeping positive. I’ve found that appreciating something every single day helps. Having that constant positivity for your focus and surrounding yourself with others that help lift you up is a great combination and definitely what you need to stay positive.

    Thank you for sharing this, it should help jumpstart others!

    Reply

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