Do you sometimes find yourself stuck in a negative chain of thoughts, and unsure how to break the cycle? Or perhaps you have preconceived idea that if only x, y, or z would happen, then you could be more positive and happy. Well, it’s a common enough misconception – but the good news is that you can achieve a sunnier and more optimistic outlook as soon as you’re ready to start trying. Here’s how positive people do it, and how you can too:
1. Positive People Understand That a Positive Attitude is Different to Happiness
We all have bad days – all of us. But the special thing about positive people is that they believe it will get better, and that’s what they choose to focus on. Instead of wallowing they look for the positives in their situation and how they might be able to improve it – which often leads to happiness.
By the way, it’s fine to have a good cry or indulge yourself in feeling shitty sometimes – for a bit. But not for too long.
2. Positive People Know That Happiness is a Choice
This may sound simplistic, but while making the choice is simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Happiness is a choice; positivity is a mindset; gratitude is the path to both.
Even those who’ve been raised around negativity and have been influenced by it can change their disposition to a more positive one; it just takes some practice…
3. Positive People Practice Gratitude – and Self-Care
Behind the scenes you’ll find that those with a sunny perspective on life often work at maintaining their optimism, and the best way to attain and retain a positive attitude is to practice gratitude. It may not come naturally to begin with, but the more you do it the easier it becomes – and the more it fosters positivity.
Likewise, positive people also appreciate that you can’t pour from an empty cup – we can’t expect to feel positive whilst neglecting our own basic needs, so self-care is extremely valuable in the quest for a more positive and fulfilled life.
If this is something you’d like to begin working on, why not treat yourself or somebody who deserves a little pick me up to our beautiful wellbeing journal, complete with four mini self-care gifts? Packed full of gratitude lists, colouring pages, and other activities to promote positivity, and endorsed by This Morning’s resident psychologist, Emma Kenny.
My Positivity Project Wellbeing Journal
4. Positive People Are Experts at Reframing
Positive individuals are excellent at taking responsibility for their own happiness. Once a person accepts that their outlook and mood is largely in their own hands, they’re empowered to take the required steps to be more positive. Reframing is a very powerful tool in this process.
5. Positive People Choose to Give the Benefit of the Doubt and Avoid Judgement
Positive people tend to assume the best of people, until they’re given a reason not to.
While often slow to judge, they’re also able to recognise and acknowledge when they do, analyse why, and commit to learning a lesson from their experience.
None of us are perfect – even the most positive people in the world make mistakes. But instead of being closed off, critically, they’re also open and willing to learn and improve.
6. Positive People Are Self-Aware
Self-awareness is simply having a deep understanding of yourself, particularly what drives your emotions, thoughts, and behaviours – and it can be incredibly powerful. It can help you to identify triggers for negative thoughts and feelings, and eliminate them before they become problematic…
7. A Positive Person Understands the Difference Between Quitting and Letting Go
Sometimes the wisest thing to do is accept that a situation – or even a person – is bad for our mental health. That’s not quitting, it’s self-preservation – and it’s not only okay, it’s vital for our wellbeing and positivity.
8. Positive People’s Self-Worth Does Not Come From Outside Validation
Positive people appreciate the value in the idiom:
Other peoples’ opinions of you are none of your business.
It’s a tough one to wrap your head around, but when you do, it’s incredibly liberating. If you can go to bed at night with a clear conscience, that must be enough.
And if you can’t, you know there’s work to be done…
9. Positive People Are Masters in Forgiveness
Repeat after me: forgiveness is not about exoneration; it’s about freeing yourself from bitterness, so that you can move on truly, and freely.
10. Positive People Do Not Compare
Comparison is the thief of joy.
If you are struggling here, go back to practicing gratitude for a while and remembering what wonderful things you have in your life to be grateful for. This will naturally lead on to reframing, and your mindset will begin to shift towards a more positive outlook.
11. Positive People Want Others to Do Well and Be Happy
And finally, only miserable people don’t wish the best for others!
While none of these things are great secrets, they can be difficult life lessons to learn and accept, and even harder to live by. That’s why journaling is so incredibly powerful – it helps to keep you laser-focused in terms of self-awareness, and facilitates the process of analysis and self-improvement.
Ultimately, it can help to being peace to an otherwise chaotic life.