Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on hard days, you know that there are better ones coming. —Unknown
I often get asked why I’m always happy or how I always stay positive. Let’s be real. I’m human. And I’m not always happy nor am I always positive.
Hey, even the happiest people in the world have hard days, am I right? After all, we are all human and it’s normal to have struggles and challenges.
That said, being happy and positive didn’t always come easy for me.
I had a not-so-normal childhood growing up, meaning I had to become an adult about a decade earlier than most kids. During that time in my life, I was made fun of too. A lot. Not that it scarred me or anything, but it didn’t help with my self-esteem either. However, learning how to stay positive through the good and bad times has truly helped me to handle anything that has come my way. And when I say anything, I mean anything, like a serious accusation that took years to prove my innocence kind of anything.
In this day and age, I’m sure you agree with me that it’s harder to stay positive with everything that’s going on around the world, right?
However, I believe that it’s not impossible to be a light.
Of course, I’m not saying ignore what’s going on and do nothing. What I am saying is who we are and how we handle our own experiences really add or take away the direction and focus we want society to go in. How we respond to situations that happen to us and around us really does create a ripple affect because we never know who is watching and learning from our own actions.
Being positive has become second nature to me for almost the last decade of my life. Now, I always try to see my cup as full (half full of water and half full of air) in any situation, even the negative ones.
And for those who are wondering how to stay positive when you’re feeling down, here’s my personal method:
SHIFT YOUR FOCUS AND CULTIVATE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
What you give energy, attention and focus on is what will grow. Take notice, when we focus on the negative, we tend to have a few more bad days. However, when we focus on the positive, we have better joyful and blessed days.
If you’re wondering how to get started on this, check out the Five Minute Journal. I started using it several years ago and it really helped me cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Once you start using the journal, you’ll find that it’ll raise your level of awareness to actually look for the positive and good things throughout your day!
CUT OUT THE FAT
By fat, I mean negativity. And yes, I really mean it. When you protect yourself from negativity, you’ll learn that not only are you happier, but you’re much less stressed. I learned this very lesson by taking a Facebook hiatus. I found myself feeling down all the time and that was when I realized that I was immersing myself into a dark platform. No matter how much positive posts I published, the negative seemed to outweigh my inspirational messages to others. So, I had to take a break.
Love yourself enough to protect your positive energy and your own happiness.
I promise that there are people who give away hope, joy and happiness very freely to those around them, you included. And I must admit, to this day, I don’t have a desire to go back to that platform on a consistent basis anymore. I care too much about my own happiness.
FOCUS ON OTHERS
It’s true when they say, “It’s not always about you,” because it really isn’t. When you stop focusing on your problems and help others, you’ll realize that what you’re upset about is small in comparison. For example, can you really say you’ve had a bad day in comparison to a child battling cancer? How about a close friend who just lost their mom? Or a friend losing their car in an accident who now has no means of transportation?
When we focus on giving back and loving on others, that’s where we’re most happiest. And yes, even when we’re feeling down. Tony Robbins is right. The key to happiness is growth and contribution. So…when was the last time you took time to give back to something you care about?
Here’s a start: go to a shelter and play with a puppy waiting to be adopted. I promise the love, time and attention you’re giving to that pup means a lot to him/her and you’ll feel good in the process too.
Speaking of growth, pushing ourselves to be consistent in staying active is part of how I stay positive and happy. Is it easy? Heck no! For example, my personal trainer told us last night we had to do our HIIT set for a fourth round! I was used to either two rounds and a burn out or three straight rounds. However, I knew that I would be happy knowing I could improve my mindset and push my body to its maximum limits. So, I got up and told myself, “You can do this!” and picked up my weights.
And you know what? I’m glad I did it! I feel satisfied, accomplished and happy that I was able to ignore the lies of my inability.
This may sound crazy, but working out has definitely helped me to stay positive. I feel like a bada** after I “lay it all on the floor” after a good sweat session. And truthfully, I physically feel better after a workout and love it even though I hate it in the middle of a set. Staying active adds to our lives much more than we think especially when we have those bad days.
What about you? How do you stay positive during trying times?