In a world where the news constantly portrays violence and negativity, mental health problems are on the rise, and more and more people seem to be struggling to stay afloat, it can seem hard to stay positive.
Fortunately for you, it doesn’t have to be. Choosing to look at the negative is a choice, not a necessity. Oftentimes, people who live in conditions that we in the West would consider terrible – such as families in less-developed countries – are quite happy. This is because they choose to look at the positive.
While it might not always be easy, it’s certainly possible. In this article, we’ll talk a bit about how you can choose to stay positive in a world that seems to be overwhelmingly negative.
What Exactly Is Staying Positive?
Before moving forward, it’s a good idea to actually have a good idea of what staying positive actually means.
In general, staying positive means simply ‘looking at the bright side,’ or appreciating the silver lining. A positive person recognizes that there is generally something beneficial in every situation. Instead of focusing on the undesirable aspects of a situation, they choose to look at the desirable aspects.
However, it’s also important not to let this become a trap. Many people have fallen into the new-age trap of being positive to the point of it becoming a detriment.
Simply put though, staying positive helps in several ways. Optimism is ideal in most circumstances, but it’s also important to be realistic. If you are struggling with a health problem, for example, don’t bypass the problem by ignoring it in favour of more positive thoughts. Staying positive also means taking care of yourself and the people around you.
That said, there are many ways that you can remain positive in a world that has its fair share of darkness. These are some of the best ways you can do so.
Look On the Bright Side
Easier said than done, looking on the bright side is the best way to remain positive. However, it takes a great deal of practice to learn how to look on the bright side of life. All the other tips described in this article can supplement your ability to see the good side of things.
Looking on the bright side does not mean that you’re being ignorant of the dark side. It means that you simply choose to focus your attention on the positive and beneficial side of a situation.
For example, say your car breaks down on the weekend right before you go to visit your friend.
A pessimistic person would dwell on the fact that they can’t see their friend, they would mope, and their weekend would be ruined. An optimistic person, on the other hand, would recognize the inconvenience but then rejoice, perhaps, that they can now spend more time with their family or take time to rest.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
Meditation is a fantastic and holistic way for you to not only appreciate life more, but also impact your general mental health for the better.
When you meditate, you develop a perspective that is unbiased. This allows you to approach life ‘as-it-is,’ without applying judgments like “positive” or “negative” to all the things that you “like” or “dislike.”
People who meditate simply see things the way they are. As such (and after years of practice), they develop a state of non-judgmental bliss that many people describe as overwhelmingly positive.
Develop a Positive Environment
Don’t surround yourself with negative people. Build a positive environment, filled with optimistic, passionate, caring people who will help build you up instead of bring you down.
Avoid watching negatively-inspired media, such as the news or violent movies. Listen to happy, uplifting music and watch how much your mind state changes.
Other Tips for Staying Positive
Here are some more tips for staying positive in a world that can sometimes be seen through a negative lens.
- Take your time. Don’t move through life too quickly or hold on to too many responsibilities. Compounded stress can make it easier to see life negatively.
- Don’t blow things out of perspective. The majority of issues that we get upset about aren’t really that big of a deal. Try to see things from an objective perspective and remember that it’s never the end of the world.
- Don’t be afraid or let anxiety take control. If you start feeling fear or anxiety, take a big breath and tell yourself to stop! These emotions will only take control if you let them, and when you let them they tend to make things seem less enjoyable.
There’s no doubt that there is some negativity in the world.
Fortunately, it’s a personal choice as to whether or not we choose to focus on that negativity. There is just as much positivity out there, and it’s within your power to focus on that. These tips should help you do this.
About the Author
Eric Silver serves on both the writing and editing teams at E-Counseling.com. Eric has developed a personal passion for spreading mental health awareness since becoming caretaker for a close family member battling severe depression nearly 20 years ago. He’s researched and written extensively on mental health, with a focus on depression and anxiety. Eric’s work has been published on therapy and depression blogs all across the web.