Positivity. That ever-so-elusive energy that seems to be the last thing you need to hear when you’re feeling negative. But learning how to be more positive is less about being an eternal optimist and more about taking actions toward things that make you happier (no matter how small).
Contrary to popular belief, being more positive doesn’t mean forcing yourself to feel happy or ignoring any feelings that aren’t positive.
Positive Psychology is a practice of making the time to do things that make you happy and bring you joy. It’s about shifting your perspective to seek out and find more joy in your day to day tasks. By happenstance, this practice helps us build our resilience and optimism to weather any storm that comes our way.
Here are some tips on how to be more positive:
1. Accept the Current Circumstances and Add Your Own Positivity
Taking ownership over your current circumstances gives you the power to improve them as well. Practice adding in your own positivity to obligations and situations you’d rather do without. Most often, we still have to fulfill obligations we don’t want to, so it’s best to find a positive angle to make it more enjoyable.
For example, if your current home doesn’t have a dishwasher and you hate washing dishes, find a way to make the time you spend washing dishes enjoyable. Make it your dedicated time to listen to an audiobook or podcast, or turn up the music and tune out the rest of your day for ten minutes.
Adding a positive element to these less than desirable tasks makes the short term more enjoyable, and can be applied toward bigger challenges in life in the long term.
2. Make Time to Refill Your Tank
Even though circumstances can change and be reframed, you still need dedicated daily time to recharge. Running on empty is a sure way to feel negative after some time, but making it a practice to do things that bring you joy will keep positivity front of mind.
If you’re someone who finds it difficult to carve out time for yourself amidst your schedule and responsibilities, remember that your work, relationships and responsibilities can all be improved with a more positive attitude, so your small daily investment will pay dividends in every area of your life.
3. Learn to Love the Process
Remember that saying, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey?” Well, learning how to be more positive is definitely all about the journey. Instead of seeing positivity as a destination of happiness you hope to arrive at, learn to view it as a practice of focusing on the benefits of every situation and outcome.
When we focus on the process rather than the destination, there are no failures, just learning experiences from which we gain helpful knowledge to apply toward the future.
This positive mindset builds resilience so you spend less time focusing on not succeeding, and more time pursuing success through the things that make you happy.
4. Small Positive Steps > Standing Still
Sometimes we can feel stuck and overwhelmed by our own positive ambitions and perfectionist attitudes. It feels like the next step needs to be done in a specific way, or it’s not worth doing at all.
Stop the cycle, and focus on making some movement forward, no matter how small. It doesn’t have to be grand or significant, but any small positive step is better than standing still.
Learning how to be more positive is a journey itself. The most important thing is to seek out positivity and things that bring you joy, and to incorporate as many positive things into your life each day. That might be art, friends, family, or the outdoors.
Whatever brings you joy, do as much of it as you can.