“If you walk in with fear and anger, you’ll find fear and anger. Go into situations with what you want to find there… When you worry, you’re holding pictures in your mind that you want less of… What you focus upon, you become. What you focus on comes to you. So hold in you mind what you want more of.” – John Roger
Something I’ve been working on lately is trying to stay positive in approaching situations as well as when I’m in them. I truly believe that you manifest your thoughts and that going into a situation with a preconceived attitude will make that situation more likely to be what you imagined it to be.
I want to be able to keep a positive attitude in not just the amazing times, but also the tough ones as well, so that I can keep working towards something better.
Here are some of my tried and tested tips on the art of being positive.
1. Find the silver lining in a negative situation
One of the best ways to build a positive outlook is to try and not to have negative thoughts going into a situation. If you do, these negative thoughts tend to cultivate and become reality in most cases, or at the very least, stop you from enjoying what could have been a pleasurable situation. If you find yourself in an undesirable situation, ask yourself these questions:
1. What is something positive about this situation?
2. What can I learn from this situation?
Everything you do in life teaches you a lesson if you let it. So if the situation isn’t one you want to be in again, let that be a lesson.
2. Meditate and attend yoga
Practicing yoga is one of the things that initially changed my outlook on life. Yoga is very relaxing and eases your thoughts and brings attention to your breath. Practicing mindfulness and yoga has helped me enjoy and experience moments fully.
3. Live in a positive environment
Who you choose to spend your time with, as well at what you choose to do, can have a huge effect on your outlook on life. It is very hard to stay positive if what surrounds you isn’t positive. Who are the negative people in your life? Who are the positive? How can you spend more time with those more positive?
4. Express what you are grateful for
The art of being grateful is to know what it is that is wonderful in your life right now. We often loose sight of what we already have and focus more on what we don’t. Keep a ‘what I’m grateful for’ diary. Actively acknowledging what you’re grateful for will help you to always have a grateful mind and heart, even when bad things happen.
5. Don’t lose perspective of the situation
It can be very easy to loose perspective of a situation when you are moving too fast and are stressed out. When you find yourself in such a situation, just remember to stop, breath, and then spend some time re-focusing. Gain some perspective by talking to someone close to you that may be able to offer you an alternative view on the situation. Or simply ask yourself the question, will this matter in 5 years time?
6. Show kindness to somebody else
Taking the focus away from yourself and helping someone else helps to bring just a little more love into the world. I feel the world needs a lot more of it of late and giving, loving and showing compassion, basically going beyond ourselves to help others can only bring more good into the world. What goes around comes around.
7. Learn how to respond when something gets under your skin
Knowing how to respond to someone who is being critical is key to keeping the negativity at bay. You can’t hold back other people from doing/saying what they want but you can choose how to respond to it. Here are four steps when dealing with criticism:
1. Don’t reply straight away. You will always say something you will regret later
2. Try to stay open-minded about the criticism. Is it something that can actually help you? Can you learn from it?
3. Remember that sometimes the criticism isn’t about you but what that person may be dealing with at the time and may be misplaced frustration.
4. Either reply to it, or let it go.
8. Exercise regularly and eat and sleep well
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll be shocked at how many people don’t acknowledge that excellent sleep, regular exercise and a healthy diet can literally turn your life around. I am a big believer in getting your 8 hours of sleep a night as well as exercising regularly and have seen the result myself in my own positivity when I have the balance right.
The key is to create habits so you don’t have to think twice about exercising, sleeping and eating correctly.
9. Start your day in (your) perfect way
How you start your day usually sets the tone for the rest of it. Learning how to have your perfect morning can be a very helpful tool in discovering what it is you need when waking up to ensure you go out in the world as the best version of yourself. Trial elements of what you think you need in the morning to create your perfect morning routine.
10. Move through your day in a mindful way
When you move through your day being mindful, you are able to soak in the positivity so much more. The art of mindfulness is something of an ongoing area of improvement for me. But I can see the benefits every day from meditating and having a morning and evening routine. It helps me accept and appreciate the present moments so much more… the way my coffee tastes, how pretty the sky and clouds are… it helps me re-connect with what is going on around me. If that’s not how life is meant to be lived then I don’t know what is!
“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” – Dalai Lama
This post is dedicated to my best friend Jess, who has has kept me honest and positive through the good and bad!