Negative mindsets are a significant issue these days. To an extent, they are unavoidable. Negative situations are a part of life, and much of the time, due to circumstances that are out of our control. But what we do have control over is how we react to negativity.
Whenever things don’t go our way, or even when we’re just not feeling our best, we often get the advice to “remain positive.” However well-intentioned this advice might be, practicing it can often feel impossible and only leave us more frustrated.
There is wisdom to those words, however. So to help you put them into practice in your daily life, we’ve assembled these ways to stay positive in life, even when circumstances are working against you.
1. Cultivate a Support Group That Will Promote Positivity
One of the biggest influences on our mindsets and quality of life is the type of person we surround ourselves with. They say that misery loves company, and if you only associate with people who validate your negative thoughts, you’ll find it much harder to break out of those patterns.
You need to include in your life people who will encourage positivity. Though an important caveat is that you specifically want to avoid people who refuse to acknowledge negativity in any way. After all, you can’t fix a problem if you won’t admit it exists.
Positivity isn’t the negation of negative realities or mindsets but acknowledging them and working to overcome them. That’s why you specifically need a support group that will acknowledge negativity but who doesn’t feed into it. These people can help you break out of the mindsets that are holding you back and bringing you down.
2. Train Your Mind to Separate Fact From Fiction
Both a significant symptom and a major cause of toxic, downbeat thought patterns are the tendency to either blow problems out of proportion or invent problems where none exist.
This comes from how easy it is to slide into a pattern of negative self-talk. By ruminating on a problem, you are giving it the attention and power that it needs to grow within your mind. And the more it grows, the easier it becomes to fixate on it, and so on in a vicious feedback loop.
But in reality, most of your negative thoughts are only that — your thoughts. They are not facts. And even when there is an article of truth to them, the reality is rarely as dire as it seems.
Breaking these patterns is a vital step forward in improving your mindset.
One helpful technique is to stop right there on the spot when you experience a negative thought and write it down. Stopping and writing what you’re thinking forces you to slow your thought process and allows you to deal with it more rationally. And it lets you step back and evaluate these thoughts to see how factual they are.
At a particular moment, it can seem like you’re having the worst day, that you’re always making mistakes, or that things never turn out right for you. But when you force yourself to stop and think about it, it will likely become apparent that that can’t possibly be the case.
3. Learn to Identify Positives
Learning not to fixate on the negative is just one part of the equation. The next step is rewiring your brain to focus on what you want it to.
It will take a while for this tome come naturally, but you can begin by selecting a specific, positive thing for your mind to focus on. And specifically, you should do this when it feels like things aren’t going right.
On a bad day, find one positive thing that happened and train your mind’s eye on it. This will help get you in the habit of focusing on the positives even when they may be scarce.
4. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
It may seem counter-intuitive to practice gratitude when things seem negative. However, research has shown that cultivating a grateful mindset correlates with better mental health.
And this plays into our prior point. Whenever things aren’t going your way, or it feels like the odds are stacked against you, take that as an opportunity to find something to be thankful for and reflect on that over your negativity. By doing so, you’re training your mind to seek the good rather than the bad.
5. Draw Inspiration From the Wisdom of Others
When all else fails, turning towards the words of those who came before you can be constructive.
There is a reason why life quotes are such a popular source of motivation. We all have someone who we have looked up to in our lives. It could be an artist or athlete we admire or a hero who accomplished great things against all odds. It doesn’t matter; we intrinsically draw inspiration from their examples.
And often, their words are the most compact way to experience these individuals.
It Can Take Work to Remain Positive
Life is full of ups and downs, and it can often feel like there is far more of the latter than the former. Sometimes that may even be true.
This is why it is all the more important to do the work it takes to remain positive. Assembling those close to you who promote healthy mindsets, learning to think critically about situations, practicing gratitude for the good in life, and drawing strength from the words of others are all tools at our disposal.
With them in hand, we can build a healthier, more positive mindset. And having done that, it will become easier to build the lives we all deserve.
And for more ideas on how to build a healthy, happy, positive life, be sure to check out all the latest lifestyle pieces from our site.