I’m sure most, if not all, of us have trouble with staying positive and being able to control how we react & feel in different situations.
I’ve spent nearly 3 years now on Instagram where I actively follow many inspiring people, and one thing that I was amazed by at the start was how positive some of them always seemed to be. Of course, social media is but a tiny portion of someone’s life - but at that time, it amazed me that these people either didn’t have negative experiences to share or dealt with it so well that it didn’t affect them enough to talk about it.
Compare that to your general Facebook feed and I’m sure you’d find at least a handful of posts where someone’s upset or complaining about things happening in their lives.
I was not someone who was always calm and happy or knew how to react well so of course, I noticed these things in other people...and as time went by, I met tons of new people, experienced new things and for those of you who have known me, changed my life in many big ways. The person I am today is definitely a lot more positive, a lot happier, and can take control of herself much easier than the old me did.
It’s no quick fix, of course. And I don’t believe in things like “avoid all bad situations”. All the good and bad that happens defines who we are, and trying to go through life by trying to avoid everything you think will be bad and only looking for good experiences isn’t going to help you get better at controlling your feelings.
1. Surround yourself with positive people
It’s an obvious one.
Just like how yawning can be contagious, so is happiness. You can have 1,000 people tell you that, but I actually only noticed this when I saw a baby trip & fall and it was about to cry...but instead of rushing over to console it right away, the parents put on a big smile and went “Did you trip? That’s ok! You’ll be fine!” in a very cheerful, positive tone and then helped it stand back up again. The baby mimicked its parents' response and didn’t cry at all.
It may not be the best example but thinking of that made me realize how putting myself around happier people can help me feel more positive about my life & my situations as well. I did it and it changed how I started viewing things happening around me. Positive people spread positive thoughts - you’ll get a hold of that pretty soon.
2. See Things From Another Perspective
How many of us are guilty of overthinking a situation, letting it eat at us and then leaving us feeling completely unhappy, disappointed or upset? I’ve done it and I wouldn’t believe most people if they’ve said that’s never happened to them.
I started looking at most of my situations through my perspective and also as if I was an outsider looking in. If something made me upset now, what would I think if I saw this happening to someone else and what would I tell them to do about it? This can apply to anything that you want to react to...
I know sometimes we just want to be upset and to use that feeling to form a reaction. But how necessary is it? I started noticing when I might have been overthinking, overreacting, misjudging situations and people. And when I noticed that in myself, I became a lot calmer. I no longer wanted to react right away, I wanted to calm down, think it through and look at everything as a whole.
This had less to do with bringing positivity into my life but being aware and removing negative emotions. And well, they go hand in hand don’t they?
3. Gratitude Attitude
How grateful are you for the things in your life that are going right?
Now, I am not at all a fan of people who say things like “be grateful, someone who lives somewhere else doesn’t have this!” That doesn’t help the situation and it sure won’t teach you to be more grateful about your life.
Being more positive with my life and what I’m being dealt with had a lot to do with realizing how much I had and that I truly did love and appreciate all of it. Even if it takes a while, instead of focusing on something bad happening, I would appreciate the good that I got from it.
4. Be A Better Person
Treat others the way you would want to be treated, right?
It’s something we all know. But when you really put it into place, you notice the difference. I’ll say a million times that I wasn’t always the nicest person when I was younger. Deep down, I was nicer but I always let other things get in the way and made me act or speak differently to how I should have...and that made me more upset and less in control of myself.
I find that now, the nicer I try to be to other people, animals, in situations, to myself...the happier I feel and the calmer I get. It helps me think clearly, it makes me feel more satisfied with my life and relationships, and it feels like life is just better in general.
Positivity in life is a choice. Understand how having positive thoughts and being in control of your feelings can improve your wellbeing - your health & your happiness. While it may take some time, start by identifying negative thoughts and improving your positive thinking with the above tips!