There’s something you can do right at this moment that will transform your life. It won’t suddenly make you wealthy, or get rid of all your problems, or give you the perfect job, but it will subtly change how you react and alter your relationship with the world.
A wise man once said “your focus determines your reality.”
So it does.
For the record, I often have trouble maintaining a positive outlook. A lot of people do. Yet, being positive about life and seeing it in a positive way helps you find opportunities, learn better, and deal with other people in a way that draws them to you.
There was a study done that demonstrated how a positive outlook helped people feel luckier, so that they were actually more successful in life. Being positive costs nothing and really isn’t as risky as our minds might try to say it is. It can open us up to the world in a way that lets success in, and lets us see the many good things we already have that we might have forgotten about. One of the most positive people I know was homeless for a while. Living in a cardboard box near a railroad track, they still took time to see the beauty in their life.
With all the information we’re given about how great positivity is, why do we still have so many negative thoughts? I wonder that about myself all the time. I think it’s because the familiar feels safer and easier for us to deal with. “Better the devil you know.” Change can be scary. Success involves change. So our brains often resist it. However, we do have control of our lives and our thoughts, and we can override that fear! Here are some tips to help get you started.
Being positive is more than just phrasing things positively, though that can help. Luckily, there are some shortcuts you can use to jump start a sunnier outlook, and they don’t rely on you having a good mood to begin with!
Tips for staying positive when you’re too busy to do anything
Breathe deeply. It’s physically harder for the body to be upset and anxious if you are doing that.
Smile. It actually releases neurotransmitters that make you feel better. Force yourself if you have to and watch it become genuine.
Make really silly faces. When you are in a bad mood, go off into the bathroom and make the lamest, stupidest faces you can think of. Within a minute or two the sheer absurdity of it all may make you laugh. Boom, more feel-good neurotransmitters.
Strike a “power pose.” If we stand up straight and extend our arms and legs to fullest stretch, then hold it for a minute or two, our brains make us feel more confident. Try this in private right before a big presentation or meeting.
Sit up straight. People who have better posture learn faster and have more confidence than people who slouch. By contrast, you may well worsen your mood if you start to slouch, even if you were feeling good at first. I’ve seen this first hand.
Focus on the task at hand. Worry about other issues can really dampen your mood. So focus on where you are and what you are doing. Thanks, green guy.
Practice positive self talk. Even if you don’t believe a positive affirmation at first, repeating it again and again can help program that marvelous computer you carry between your shoulders. Use this ability wisely.
Take a walk outside and notice tiny details. Even if you just take five minutes to step outside the building at break, or step out onto an apartment balcony, there’s a wealth of beauty outside reflected in the smallest leaves and blades of grass. A little fresh air and sunshine can work wonders.
Think. If you feel resistance to being positive, think about that. Ask yourself, why don’t I want to feel better? Do I perhaps think I don’t deserve to feel better? Then ask yourself why? Engage your mind, get out of your emotions, and watch peace and calm return.
Do you have other tips? Share them in the comments, and I’ll add them and credit them!