Choose Positivity this Year: 7 Simple Tips for Fostering a Positive Outlook
In the midst of a global pandemic, if you’re having trouble keeping your chin up, you’re not alone. After a year of mask mandates, social distancing, and isolation, we’re all worn out and ready to see our lives return to normal. But what kind of normal do you want to return to?
If you hope to see 2021 become a better year than 2020, you’re going to have to do a little work yourself. It all starts with your attitude.
You may not be able to control every detail of your life, but you can certainly control how you respond to it. Choosing to respond positively can be difficult, but it makes all the difference. Choose positivity this year and learn how to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and positivity that will help you make the most of the new year. Here are seven simple tips to help you stay positive in 2021:
1. Take a deep look inward at your mental attitude.
There’s only so much you can control in life, so you’re going to be faced with challenges from time to time. What matters most is how you deal with them. If you respond to unexpected events with fear, you’ll find yourself living in a world of negativity. Instead, embrace each challenge as an opportunity to try something new. Each time you overcome an obstacle, you’ll have learned a lesson you can take forward with you when you face the next one.
2. Commit to keeping a positive inner dialogue.
Each of us spends the majority of our time in our own head. Though you may not be conscious of it all the time, the way you speak to yourself and how you react to your own thoughts has a significant impact on your outward attitude. If you engage in negative self-talk, you’ll be cultivating an attitude of negativity and that’s how you’ll see the world around you.
You may not be able to control everything that happens in your life, but you can control how you respond to those things. Instead of reacting with fear and negativity, try to reframe your inner dialogue to use positive language. Thinking positively leads to feeling positive.
3. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude with a journal.
While you’re working on your inner dialogue, it may help to start keeping a gratitude journal. The simple act of journaling can help you process your thoughts and feelings, so it’s a great exercise to help you become more mindful of your inner dialogue.
Keeping a gratitude journal is simple – just find a notebook, like our bullet journal, and write down a few things you’re grateful for each day. They can be as simple as a perfectly brewed cup of coffee or a bit of sunshine, or they can be as significant as an act of kindness offered to you by a stranger. Writing down the things you have to be grateful for may help you develop an appreciation for the things you have which may help you see the silver lining in challenging situations down the line.
4. Take advantage of opportunities to help others.
In addition to cultivating gratitude for the things others do for you, you should spend some time doing things for others. The simple act of making someone else smile can transform your mood and mindset, especially when you’re feeling down. If you’re struggling with negative self-talk or getting down on yourself for something, take a break from thinking about yourself and do something for someone else.
5. Start each and every day with a smile.
None of us wakes up on the right side of the bed every day, but even on days when you wake up feeling gloomy you can turn your attitude around with a smile. You may be familiar with the saying “fake it until you make it” – that’s the concept here. Positivity is not just a mood or mindset – it’s also a habit.
By starting each day with a smile, you’ll find that eventually it becomes automatic. The more you choose to think positively about a situation, the more natural that reaction becomes. When you’re struggling with negativity, hold yourself accountable and try to rephrase your negative thoughts and attitudes. If you’ve made a mistake and find yourself thinking, “I failed at this,” stop and change the tone of your self-talk. Try saying, “I’ll do this differently next time” and give yourself a pat on the back when you do.
6. Set personal goals and celebrate your successes.
Being positive can sometimes be a challenge, especially when you feel like life is throwing you one curveball after another. To help keep your thoughts moving in a positive direction, try setting some personal goals for yourself. Come up with a couple of small, short-term goals as well as one or two loftier long-term goals and track your progress.
Each time you achieve one of your goals, you’ll have something to add to your gratitude journal and you’ll have a success to deposit in your bank of positivity. Each accomplishment will give you renewed motivation to work toward the next one. Instead of focusing on all the things that are getting you down, you’ll eventually start seeing all the little things that keep you on the path toward success.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
No one can be positive all the time and sometimes we need a helping hand to see the other side of the coin. If you’re struggling with negative self-talk, anxiety, or depression you could probably use a little support. Reach out to a trusted friend or family member you can confide in. If you’re looking for something more anonymous, you can find a psychiatrist online. There’s no shame in asking for help and you may just learn a new trick or coping mechanism to help you on the path to positivity.
Though life certainly has its ways of knocking you down, you have the strength to keep getting back up – it’s just a matter of finding it. By following the tips above, you can reframe your attitude and start cultivating a mindset of positivity and gratitude. It may take a little time and practice, but if you keep working at it, you’ll find yourself in a more positive state of mind and much happier and healthier for it.