Throughout my 24 year of living (25 in a weeks time, but still), there have definitely been a few negative things that have happened. In spite of this, or maybe because of this, I have always tried to have a positive outlook on situations. I am by no means a professional in this topic, but, I do believe that there are many things a person can do to try and be positive. I've also read a lot about this topic as negativity is something I really don't like to be around. I thought I'd write a post on the things that I personally do to try and live a somewhat 'positive lifestyle'.
1. Cut out the negatives:
Some people may not necessarily be 'bad' people as a whole, but they can be 'bad' for you as a person. I've found that there is no need to keep anyone in your life that causes you to feel negative or down. There have definitely been people who fit this description in my life, and I have removed them from it. It's also worth remembering, if someone is actively trying to bring you down or upset you, it says a lot more about them than you. 1. That they have way too much spare time on their hands and 2. They have a lot of issue with themselves that they are mirroring onto others.
You can also have negative 'things' that might be getting you down, more than you realise, such as a job. Now, I'm not saying just pack your job in... if you have bills, then yes I'm guessing you need an income. However, you aren't stuck in it for life. Think about what would really make you happy career wise and the different ways to get there. It might mean trying evening classes, freelancing, applying to 6000 jobs that you may not even be qualified for. It may take a lot of time and effort, however, it's more than likely that leaving something that makes you miserable 5 days a week, will improve you mood.
2. Turn off from the world/internet
I remember one day in particular, where my stress levels were pretty high. I turned my phone off for a couple of hours, turned the tv off and put 'mellow' music on (I listen to a lot of rock music which isn't always ideal to relax too). I had a bubble bath with candles and a magazine with dimmed lights. After my bath I just lead on the sofa, reading, with no sound on around me. It was probably the most relaxed I had been in years and I felt pretty damn good after it. I'm not saying everyone go have a bath and everything will be good... however, just take an evening to do something you enjoy that doesn't involve technology. Read a book, have a pamper night, do some sketching, do some exercise, go for a walk, whatever floats your boat!
There are negatives to the internet, which is why sometimes it beneficial to switch off. However, there are also a lot of positives. If you are feel demotivated or a little down in the dumps, the internet is a great place to get advice or inspiration. I use Pinterest a lot and just look through for positive images, quotes or ideas. It often leaves me feeling motivated and a little happier! There are loads of tips to cheer yourself up or to live positively on the internet and often just giving them a read can be a great start. Here are some I've found:
4. Revisit happy memories
I love looking through old photographs and memorabilia. This is something that I sometimes avoid due to my brother. He was in an accident which means he is now disabled. I still try to look through images and revisit good times from before the accident to remind myself of those times. In the whole though, I'll try to look at things unrelated to the more difficult times. Days with friends that were a lot of fun, or pictures of my goofy dogs.
5. It's okay to be upset, but try to let things go
Following on from the last post, I do somewhat force myself to look at old videos and photos, even though it makes me upset. I'm not someone who likes to cry or be overly emotional, so this is something I have to actively do. I think that it is good to allow yourself to get upset sometimes, just to let it out, have your 5 minutes and then pull yourself back together. Have that angry rant/argument you want to have with someone, out loud in the shower by yourself (we all do it, don't lie) and then let it go. It's important to do, but just not to sit and dwell on the negative stuff. I've been upset about a lot of things, but after a while, you need to just let it go. So you aren't friends with that person anymore? There is a reason for it. So something didn't go how you wanted? Maybe that's because something better was meant to be instead. Just let it goooooo (trying so hard to not write Frozen lyrics now).
6. Tidy / Organise
I hate cleaning. I won't lie. However, when my room/flat is tidy, I definitely feel a lot more at ease. It's a lot nicer to walk into a clean, tidy environment after a day at work. I guess that super cheesy 'clear house, clear mind' phrase has some meaning. I find that organising something is usually something I prefer, rather than cleaning the bog! Organising my makeup drawer or clearing out some of my clothes that I never wear, is definitely somewhat cathartic. My mother is the extreme of this, she goes on cleaning rampages when she is in a bad mood! I usually only do one room at a time due to the pain I get in my back and hips, I'd end up seizing up if I tried to do the entire flat in one go. But doing it bit by bit definitely helps.
7. Visit friends/family
Visiting people that make you happy is a definite go to for a positive life. I love being alone, and can be a bit of recluse at times. I do need to actively make myself make plans sometimes. Even just a short period of time, having a coffee with a friend or family and talking utter rubbish, can definitely help cheer you up.
8. Stop making excuses
This is something that gets me pretty irritated. I don't have much patience for people seem to continuously put themselves down, or their situation down, have loads of goals, but yet don't actually try to do anything to achieve them. I love making lists and goals, it's definitely something that is motivating and positive, however, it's unrealistic and a little lazy to assume that it's just going to be handed to you. There are not many people out there who have got their dream job or lifestyle by doing nothing, or the bare minimum. It's important to work your ass off if you have big dreams and goals. There will be set backs, thats life, but stay on top of it all and keep focused on your end goal. Read everything you can about what you want to do, do classes, learn more, freelance, talk to others etc. It might mean that the one evening you had free disappears for a couple months, but at least you know you are working and striving for something you want. Rather than just sat there moaning about what you don't have.
9. Be there for others
It's definitely important to listen and be there for other people. If you are there for others, they will be there for you. I don't have a massive group of friends, I have a handful of them that I talk to a lot and fully trust. I prefer that rather than having a billion 'friends' that I actually don't know much about and couldn't count on. It's important that it goes both ways though. Plus, if you are upset or down, a good friend will know exactly what to do to help.
10. Focus on the good
A lot of people focus on the bad. There have been times where I have done this, but usually, mine only seem to last for about an hour and then I will try and see any kind of positive I can. That can be difficult at times, especially in regards to my brother. There is nothing positive that came out of the situation, however, because it's not something that can be taken back, I try to make positives out of it. Whether that be joking around with him or just generally being upbeat around him as much as I can. For example, I don't focus on the anniversary of his accident, because all it does is draw attention to something that was awful and we cannot change. However, others deal with such sensitive situations differently, that's totally understandable.
With smaller things like a job you don't like, or being single, or having a crappy relationship, it's definitely possible to see the good. Either remove yourself from the situation or focus on the positive outcomes you have gained from it. Shitty relationship ended? Good. You learn from it, you get stronger. Single? Good. Go do what you wanna do, when you wanna do it, how you wanna do it. There are a lot of positives to being single and a lot to being in a relationship, it's just what you focus on. Got a shitty job? Well yeah, thats annoying, but try and change it. If you can't, be thankful that you have a job and an income. Try and take whatever experience you can from it and realise that you could be a lot worse off.
I remember a time where my train was late and I was gonna have to power walk to get to work on time. I was super pissed off and frustrated walking out the station and in a right huff, then I walked past a homeless man who was just staring into space and looked genuinely broken. Say what you want about the homeless, yes they may be doing drugs, they may not, but I'm sure it's not a life you'd happily trade with them and they probably have horrible reasons to why their lives have turned out like they have. I recall being so irritated by myself that I'd got so wound up over my small train delay, when this other human was dealing with whether he'd get to eat today. Don't get me wrong, I am overdramatic a lot of the time, however, 99% of the time, I'm also joking around and not actually bothered about the situation.
These are things that I try to do, to not let negative things take over. In fact, just writing this post alone has helped me. Obviously everyone deals with things differently, all we can do is try!
What things do you do to stay positive or cheer yourself up?