Positive vibes can be really hard to come by. Living in a pandemic is bad enough, but especially when it leads to political tension, family drama, financial worries, and unemployment. When you add all of that up, it seems impossible to have a positive mindset.
But it is possible! It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of practice and intention. But with enough dedication, you can learn to be a more positive person.
Thanks to Trishna for sharing her thoughts on this with us. Try one of these tips today, and make sure to share this post!
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Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.The selected Optin Cat form doesn’t exist.
Why positive vibes are so challenging
“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” ~Proverb
Maintaining positive vibes can be tough. Positivity can start to wain when you are bombarded with a succession of negativity, failures, disappointment and heartbreak.
Every challenge you face withdraws from your energy, resilience and a little bit of your faith. Once your positive vibes are depleted, pessimism slowly begins to creep in and take hold.
Positive thinking is a mental and emotional state of mind that focuses on the good and expects positive outcomes.
(Editor’s note: I absolutely love this book. It helped me work through a lot of really toxic thought patterns and I recommend it to everyone.)
Developing and maintaining positive vibes involves more than merely thinking happy thoughts. It is the anticipation of good (i.e., happiness, health and success) and it is the belief that all things — situations, obstacles and difficulties — will work out favourably in the end.Optimism does not involve ignoring negativity. It is the acknowledgement of the negative but then choosing to focus on the positive. At its root, it is simply the belief that despite the current circumstances, things will work out… Share on twitter
A positive mind comes from a heart full of faith.
If you want to stay positive when facing challenges and negative situations, here are things you can do to help boost your positive vibes.
1. Enjoy Nature
Research shows that revelling in the great outdoors promotes human health. Spending time in serene natural environments has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels, improve working memory and provide a sense of rejuvenation.
2. Perform Random Acts of Kindness
Finding ways to put a smile on the face of others affects you just as much as it affects them. It takes the focus off of you and your problems, and allows you to be a positive force in the lives of others.
Doing good for others makes you feel good. It lifts your mood, improves self-esteem and self-worth. It also serves as a small distraction from your current challenges.
3. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
Noticing and appreciating the positives in our lives is a great way to lift your spirits and increase your positive vibes.
Start to practice gratitude by being thankful for the simple things in life.
4. Take a Mental Break
Exhaustion is the silent killer of positivity.
Learn to take breaks when things get overwhelming. Do something that gives your mind a break from whatever challenge you are facing–and that could just mean taking a nap.
Laughter truly is the best medicine for most of what ails us. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.
Find a way to laugh often. Watch a comedy, spend the evening with your crazy friend who knows how to keep you in stitches. Host a game night with your friends.
6. Hang Around with Positive People
Research suggests that stress is contagious and the more you surround yourself with it, the more likely you are to let it affect your thoughts. In the same way that stress and negativity are contagious, so is happiness.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. The bottom line here is our behaviour and thought patterns mirror those we hang around. Choose carefully who you allow into your circle.
7. Look for the Silver Lining Immediately
Trying to force optimistic thinking amidst emotional turmoil usually doesn’t work that well.
Training yourself to look for the lesson and find the bright spot not only eases the burden a little, it also slowly begins to transform your entire thought process and increases your positive vibes.
8. Breathe Deeply
Breathing exercises help expel toxic air from your body and refills your body and more importantly–your brain with fresh air. It clears your mind and allows you to regain mental clarity. One moment of clarity at the right time can change everything.
9. Remind Yourself Not to Dwell on Negativity
Avoid dwelling on downers. Downers bring you down!
Focusing on negatives isn’t just unpleasant, it also makes you less effective in tackling other tasks you face. Negativity produces more negativity.
Bad things happen–try not to replay them over and over and fixate on un-pleasantries. Play positive scenes in your mind instead.
10. Engage in Positive Self-Talk
Talk to yourself. Tell yourself things are going to turn around and will work out in the end.
Say it out loud. Speaking what you believe out loud reinforces and strengthens the message. You say it and hear it simultaneously.
11. Talk It out with a Friend
Find a positive friend (or small group of friends) or confidante to talk to. Talking helps you hear the problem, admit and discuss your feelings and it gives you another set of eyes and ears working on the problem.
You may find that brainstorming with another person or even a group will help you come up with new ideas to help you resolve the issue.
It also reassures you that someone has your back and that emotional support makes a difference. Think of it as a low-budget therapy.
12. Take a Walk
Scientists have found that one of the best ways to boost your positive vibes is by going for a walk. A brisk walk calms you down by sparking nerve cells in the brain that relax the senses.
13. Engage in Rigorous Exercise
Getting sweaty is not just good for your heart–it’s good for your head too!
Research on anxiety, depression and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise helps reduce anxiety and elevates your mood. When you engage in vigorous physical activity, the “feel good” brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids) are released that ease feelings of negativity. It distracts you from your issues, and it physically relaxes you.
Proper rest is a critical part of maintaining a positive attitude. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on your mental state. (Editor’s note: As a mom of a newborn, I can corroborate this.)
Researchers from University of Pennsylvania discovered that subjects who were limited to less than 5 hours of sleep a night for one week felt significantly more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. It’s hard to maintain positive vibes under those conditions. Get some sleep!
Journaling is a great way to deal with overwhelming emotions. It provides a healthy outlet in which you can express yourself and manage your emotions and overall mental health.
Keeping a journal can help you identify and track the causes of negative thinking and develop a mitigation plan.
16. Play Hooky
Taking the occasional break from the daily grind is fun, freeing and necessary.
Figure out what makes you feel alive and happy and do that. Whether it’s watching Netflix in your p.j.’s all day or if it’s kayaking down a river–the goal is to have fun–whatever that means to you.
17. Treat Yourself
Rewarding yourself with “me time” and celebrating who you are as a person is vital to sustaining your positive vibes.
18. Move Through Your Day Mindfully
Worry and dwelling on pervasively stressful thoughts are optimism assassins. Living mindfully involves consciously deciding to be fully present in each moment. When you throw all of your attention, energy and resources on the now, you don’t have the space for negative thoughts or worrying.
Do you struggle with positive vibes?
You are not alone! Share this article with a friend. You never know who it might help. Stay well.
About the Author
Trishna Patnaik, a BSC (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years now. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion, that is painting.
Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less travelled but a journey that I look forward to everyday.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India. She is an art therapist and healer too. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.
Trishna does fancy the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers and thinkers.