Have you ever seen someone happily going about their day and wondered what made them so positive? You might know people who tend to be optimistic and some who tend to be pessimistic. What makes someone see the world through rose-colored glasses while others find it hard to locate the silver linings of life? Read on for six strategies on how to adopt a more positive attitude so that you can see the world in a glass half-full type of way.
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
It’s hard to be down in the dumps if you’re focusing on what you’re thankful for. No matter what you’re going through, you likely have something to be grateful for. It might be the fact that you have a roof over your head, that there’s food in the refrigerator, or that your children are healthy. You might be thankful for a nice breeze on a sweltering day or for waking up early enough to see the sunrise. Or you might be grateful for a birthday card you received in the mail or that you found plums on sale.
Whatever it is, write it down. Make it a habit to write down two or three things that you’re grateful for each evening before bed.
What does this do for you?
First, this is a nice habit to get into to help you relax and focus on things that are not likely to keep you awake all night.
Secondly, knowing that you are going to write down what you’re thankful for encourages you to be aware of the positive things in life throughout the day. This alone can raise your spirit and your mood quite a bit.
2. Set Goals and Work Toward Them
Often, people feel pessimistic when they think they’re stuck in a certain situation. You might be unhappy with your weight, with the way your teenager talks to you, with the state of your home, with your job, or with a relationship. Maybe it’s something small, like the way your books are disorganized on their shelves or that your bathroom lighting is simply awful.
Rather than focusing on what’s wrong, focusing on how you can make it right will help you adopt a more positive attitude.
You’re not going to lose 30 lbs, overhaul your entire house, and fix your marriage overnight, but surely you can take one small step toward making things better. Maybe you will set the goal of losing 5 lbs by the end of the month, or of saving $10 per week toward better lighting in your bathroom.
Find ways to take small steps toward your goals and watch your mood get lighter.
3. Find Something to Laugh About
You’ve heard the adage, “laughter is the best medicine.” Even when it seems that there’s nothing worth laughing about, finding humor in a situation can help your attitude immensely.
Find some friends who you can laugh with and schedule a night out. Go to a comedy club or to the cinema to see a funny movie. A dinner out with some friends from high school or college can leave you all laughing as you reminisce over the hijinks you used to get yourself into. You can also spend time laughing with your family over silly jokes or old photographs.
If you are going through a tragedy, a death in the family, or a divorce, it can be hard for you to find something to laugh about. Part of this could be guilt: You might feel guilty laughing about old home videos when your parent has just died, for example. While this is normal for a short time, if you find yourself unable to have any fun for many weeks or months after a tragedy occurs, seeking counseling can help you find some enjoyment once again.
4. Take Your Time and Enjoy Your Surroundings
Taking the time to enjoy what’s going on around you is another way to boost your positive attitude. It is easy to get stuck in the mindset that you need to rush from obligation to obligation. Rather than get into that trap, make sure you are taking the time to enjoy the small details of life. Really open your eyes and try to identify the sights, sounds, textures, tastes, and scents of the various places you go and things you do. Making that a priority can give you a more positive outlook on life.
5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It
You’ve probably heard the phrase, and it really does work. By plastering a smile on your face and pretending to be having a good time, you can convince yourself to be more positive. Obviously, you’re not going to walk around with a smile on your face during some of life’s most difficult situations, but it’s a good practice to convince yourself that you’re having fun when you are going about your usual daily activities.
6. Consider the Company You Keep
You might have noticed that you tend to adopt the attitudes of your closest friends. If your nearest and dearest tend to find the worst in every situation, it’s no wonder that you might start to do the same.
Give your friends a pep talk and try to encourage them to see the world a little differently. If that doesn’t work, it might be necessary for you to look for friends who have a more positive state of mind. Their good attitudes will begin to rub off on you, which will allow you to positively influence others in your life. It’s a feel-good cycle that you will enjoy being a part of.
Having a Positive Attitude Provides Many Benefits
Making the effort to adopt a more positive attitude can improve your relationships and the way you feel as you go about your days. It can help you see the positive things in negative situations, even if they are small. Positivity can help your physical health and your mental health. It also can help you do your job more effectively and help you make better choices. If you have a hard time seeing the rose-colored side of life even after trying some of the strategies above, consider talking to a counselor about more ways that you can adopt a more positive mindset.