Life can feel like one blow after another, sometimes.
It can feel like a single trip has led to an endless tumble that you can’t seem to stop or pick yourself up from. Luckily, it’s all temporary.
The legendary saying, “this, too, shall pass,” is right in that, eventually, all hardships will pass.
But, even though you may know that, it can be difficult to remember that in the moment when you’re tumbling head over heels.
It’s important, during times like these, to keep thinking positively.
While situations are hard or difficult, becoming bitter, cynical, and pessimistic will only make it worse.
Here are 6 ways to keep thinking positively:
1.Remind yourself of the big picture.
What can make everything seem worse is if we only focus on the bad or difficult things that are happening.
Taking a mental step back and reminding yourself of the big picture will help keep everything in perspective.
It will remind you that this truly is a moment in time and not the rest of forever.
No matter how hard it is now, if you can look past it and remember the bigger picture of your life, where you’re going, and what you want to experience will help put everything in perspective.
2. Keep to your routine.
When things get hard, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and shut down.
You might want to crawl back in bed and give up on all the activities you typically do.
However, it’s very important that you don’t allow yourself to do that.
Keeping to your routine will keep you in the mindset of your everyday and will make sure you don’t get even more overwhelmed by helping you to stay on top of your day-to-day obligations.
Routines can be very healthy for keeping a positive mindset.
It keeps us from retreating from our world and ensures that we still see the people who can help us and do the things that keep us healthy and active.
If there is something in your routine that is contributing or causing the problem, then see if you can eliminate it.
If you can’t, maybe add in something pleasant to balance it out.
For example, if work is causing the problem and you aren’t in a position to change jobs, then add in making healthy dinners for yourself or treating yourself to a “you” day once a week to balance it out.
3. Maintain your health.
Not only will gaining weight and starting bad habits make you feel worse, but maintaining your health can actually help you keep a positive mindset.
Doctors have proven that a healthy diet and staying active have a direct correlation with mood and physical health.
The vitamins in good eating and the oxygen release and blood circulation with exercise increases positive mood chemicals in the brain.
4. Discover your passion.
Sometimes what can get us in a rut is the feeling that we aren’t living the life we want.
Instead of getting complacent and accepting the unhappiness as “just the way it is,” give some serious thought and soul searching toward discovering your true passion.
If you don’t feel like you’re living the life you want, what is the life you want to live?
What would you like to wake up and do every morning?
Once you can answer that question (and it’s a big question that may take a long time to answer) start mapping out reasonable and actionable steps to work toward making that change.
It’s important, when discovering your passion, that you don’t set your goals too high right out of the gate.
It’s wonderful to have aspirations, but if you think you’re suddenly going to quit being a lawyer and become the world’s best baker in a week, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Don’t do anything drastic, start small and work your way there.
Each step you achieve and each thing you build toward that passion will bring more and more positivity and happiness into your life.
5. Heal your past hurt.
When life gets us down it’s really easy to carry that with us.
Every time we are disappointed, hurt, stuck, or we fail we take that experience and a part of us holds on to it.
We may move on, we may forgive whatever/whoever caused the hurt, but we don’t forget it.
We carry it with us into our future experiences, secretly wondering at the back of our mind if events will repeat themselves.
It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Either we are drawn to similar situations, or we end up creating them because we never healed the past hurt.
Take time and work through that hurt.
Maybe it was a dream job that didn’t work out, a failed relationship, an accident, etc.
Whatever it was, or combination of, give yourself the chance to grieve properly, acknowledge your emotions, and part with forgiveness and understanding of the bigger picture.
Whatever it was, it helped make you who you are and you can choose if that’s a positive impact—maybe you discovered a new career path that you otherwise wouldn’t have—or negative, like giving up on finding a new passion altogether.
It’s a tall order to heal from these past hurts and disappointments.
You may want to seek help from a mental health professional to help you work through the baggage of it—especially if you’ve been carrying it around for so long.
But once you’ve healed from it and dropped the baggage, then you can start experiencing things from a different, fresh perspective.
6. Adjust your thought process.
The biggest trick to positive thinking is to actually find positives to think about.
It starts small, but by slowly changing our subconscious responses and thought processes, we can train our brains to automatically think positively.
Instead of getting furious with road rage when someone is driving too slowly, mentally thank them for being a cautious driver instead of a reckless one.
Instead of getting upset that the restaurant is out of your favorite dish, see it as an opportunity to try something new.
Before long, these little subconscious changes will start affecting your perspective as a whole.
What might have been a devastating blow when your dream job didn’t work out, now becomes an opportunity to not be stuck in a dead-end job you hate, but to try something new that you actually enjoy.
What could have been a painful break-up, still hurts, but you know that this is now an opportunity for you both to find a better match who will actually meet your needs.
Thinking positively can change your life.
Not only will it improve your mental, emotional, and physical health, but it will also open your world up to more possibilities and make you more resilient to the hard times.