1. Question your negative thoughts.
You hear “just think positive” a lot. “Turn your negative thoughts into positive ones.” But that’s just a mask, and eventually it wears off – you’re not actually thinking positive thoughts, you’re forcing a positive ideal over your real feelings. Instead, when you catch yourself having a negative thought, sit with it for a moment. Ask yourself where it’s coming from, look deep at why you’re feeling that way. Talk to yourself like you’d speak to someone you care about or your younger self – have an actual internal conversation. Don’t judge yourself for having a negative thought, just see if you can resolve it; fix it, so there’s space for real positive thoughts to come through.
2. Think about the worst case scenario.
Okay, this is not the best tip for anyone who struggles with anxiety of catastrophic thinking, but for others it can sometimes help to think about how a situation could be, or how your circumstance in life could be, and be grateful that’s not your reality. For example, today someone will have been told they have an incurable illness with less than a year to live. I know that doesn’t erase your problems, but it can sometimes help you appreciate that things could be worse, and you’re not at all as unlucky as you could be.
3. Read/watch positive people.
There’s one thing positivity and negativity definitely have in common – they’re contagious. Spend as much as your time with positive people, because it will seep in. YouTube positive speakers, find autobiographies of people you admire, look up podcasts hosted by positive people with a positive focus. Being surrounded by positivity helps you think and feel positive too – and not just think it, but believe it’s possible and easy.
4. Do something you enjoy every single day.
We’re hard-working people these days. We work harder and longer at work and then have to work harder and longer at home. It’s easy to go from the moment you get up until you fall into bed at the end of the day, and then have to do it all over and over again. That kind of lifestyle can be soul-breaking but sometimes necessary (depending on your circumstances). To ease it, plan at least one thing you enjoy every single day. Maybe that’s a great coffee first thing in the morning, or an episode of your favourite TV show at night. Having something to look forward to and enjoy automatically adds positivity to your life.
5. Be your own hype person.
As well as being hard working, we also tend to beat ourselves up a lot. We berate ourselves for targets we didn’t reach and feel we could have done better for the ones we do. Being positive starts with your attitude and self talk, so make an effort of celebrating your achievements – even the absolutely tiny ones. Mentally tell yourself well done, or good job, or I’m proud or happy with that. Know you did your best with what you could and accept that’s always enough. Be your own hype person. And hype others. Yell an attaboy across the room for even menial things – it will definitely pick your mood up, and probably everyone else’s (and as we’ve already covered, positivity is contagious).