In Part 1 of this mini-series, I’ve shared with you why we are negative in the first place.
In Part 2, I’ve shared with you why you may find being positive quite hard and being negative quite easy.
In this final Part 3, I want to share with you 10 practical tips that will help you become more positive.
How to practice being positive
Being positive is not hard.
You simply need to be intentional with your focus and thinking.
When you catch yourself being your usual negative self, stop and ask yourself questions like:
- What’s positive about this.
- What can I enjoy or appreciate about this?
- How is this good?
- What’s likeable about this?
Ask yourself some of these questions and really search for the answers.
At first, it may be quite difficult to find something and you may even find yourself drifting back to negativity. Give it time and have patience.
STORY: Some time ago, I had a coaching conversation with a client and he was so good at being negative (could endlessly talk about how bad everything was), that finding even the slightest positive aspects of something was almost impossible and exhausting. He really had to think hard about it. And when we found some, he said it felt “strange”.
This is how much he got used to being negative, to the point that being positive and happy felt strange.
If finding positives is hard, then that’s a great sign that you need to practice the skill of seeing the more positive side of things.
Negativity will ruin your life because it will cover everything in your life with grey, heavy and miserable dust, and will prevent you from enjoying life.
I hope this alone is a good reason to work on this.
Becoming a positive person takes some work though.
Below are a few even more practical tips.
1. Stop complaining
A bit on the nose? Maybe.
But complaining is just not adding anything good to anybody. Not only it’s bumming others out but it is further fueling your negativity by conjuring evidence of why things suck.
And, by the way, the “Ahhh it must be tough. Yeak I know” you get from other people is just them being polite, whereas in reality they just want to shake you up or run away.
So stop it.
When you catch yourself wanting to complain, just ask yourself:
- Is it really that bad?
- Will it help anybody?
- Can I find some evidence why it’s actually not that bad?
2. Practice gratitude
Sounds like a woo-woo new-agey load of positive thinking, I know. But the reason you’re miserable and negative is that you don’t appreciate what you have right now and don’t see how good you have it.
If you think… Yeah, right!
Then take a moment and think of five terrible things that could happen to you at any moment. I’m pretty sure life could be so much worse. Don’t wait for life to take things and people away from you before you become grateful for them.
Make it a daily practice to find at least 3 things you can be grateful for.
Don’t underestimate the power of being grateful for the little things in life.
3. Stop judging and criticising others
We all judge. It’s how our brain evaluates and assesses the world around us. Yes, there are people with a questionable sense of fashion, actions, values etc. But, unless it’s affecting you, let them live their own life and you live yours.
People are at various stages in their lives and everyone is fighting their own battles.
If you only knew how many people are barely holding it together, you’d be a little kinder.
4. Do things you enjoy
Fill your time with things, activities, and people you enjoy spending time with. Learn new things, have hobbies, and spend your time well.
5. Stop feeding your negativity
Stay away from sources of negativity. Avoid unnecessary drama and toxicity.
I personally stay away from the news, mindless TV shows, and shallow magazines.
Be selective about who you follow on social media. Avoid people who constantly stir up drama, promote conspiracy theories, or just get under your skin for whatever reason.
All this is just pulling you deeper into negativity.
6. Move on, don’t dwell
When something annoys you, upsets you, or you experience some misfortune, don’t dwell on it. Look at it as a learning experience and a pointer to what you can do better next time. Then move on and look forward to the next thing.
Being stuck in the past won’t do you any good.
One of the guaranteed ways for you to improve your mood is to get in a good exercise.
There’s a reason why there are terms like “runners high” or “gym high”.
When you exercise it releases endorphins which make you feel good.
You don’t need to run a marathon. A 15 min jog or a gym session will make you feel better.
Not only because of the reasons above but also because you did something good for yourself.
8. Good sleep
Lack of good sleep is related to anxiety, depression, and overall mood issues.
Where most tips out there focus on the duration of sleep, I recommend you pay attention to the quality of your sleep. More sleep is not always better or guarantees you feeling more refreshed in the morning.
Exercise, light dinner, drinking plenty of water, and minimising caffeine and other stimulants later in the day will contribute to a better quality of sleep.
Keep an eye on what affects your sleep in a positive and negative way.
Learn from it and do what works.
9. Get up early
Getting up early, even though it doesn’t always feel great at the time, will give you a great headstart and boost for your day. There’s a reason why you can see every so often a mention of how successful people get up early, or why books like 5 am Club and Miracle morning are so popular.
Waking up late makes people usually feel sluggish and already behind with things. Moreover, building on the previous point, oversleeping will actually make you more tired.
You don’t have to go to any extremes, and you can build yourself up to waking up earlier.
Try it for some time and thank me later.
10. Go to bed early
One last tip related to sleep.
Go to bed early, ideally before midnight. Make sure you get enough sleep.
Being awake during late night or early morning hours (between 12-4am) is related to increased depression and anxiety.
Some people say they feel productive at night, but every time I dug deeper into it with the person, they are not being productive, they just waste time with meaningless things like social media or tv shows.
You gotta ask yourself whether you’re really being so productive that it’s worth your negativity.
It’s your call.
This was a long deep dive into overcoming negativity. There’s still so much more I could share on this topic.
The key points I’d like you to take away from this are:
- Negativity doesn’t just happen to you, it’s something you do.
- It’s just a bad habit you can change
- Practice looking for a more positive outlook on life, over time it will become automatic and you will be much happier.
- We have a negativity bias so you need to always keep an eye on it or it will sneak up on you
- Apply as many tips as you can from this article and see how your life will start changing
- Positivity will attract more positivity into your life
I hope these tips and the whole series have been helpful and it will help you become more positive and happy.
Thank you as always my friend ,I have the pleasure of hearing your voice when reading these articles in my minds eye ,due to the fact i know what you sound like ( and your empathy towards others makes it very real ) Tomas some people in this universe are destined to walk a certain path ,I am forever grateful you found yours and crossed mine thank your friend Jeff Foster
Hi Jeff, thanks so much for this comment and feedback. Means a lot. I’m also grateful we’ve crossed paths and always appreciated your presence during my talks. Keep spreading kindness as that’s your superpower. PS: Throw some (a lot) at the mirror 😉