How to Stay Positive: 11 Smart Habits

12255-Everything-Will-Be-Ok

From I was very young, I have always been a happy person. Many people would make fun of me for smiling all the time.

As the famous saying goes, “Smile, it confuses people.”

Was I always happy? No. But my philosophy has always been, smile and the world smiles with you, cry, and you cry alone.

Often, I would get asked why are you so happy? And for the longest time, I did not have an answer.

I didn’t have an answer because I didn’t feel that happy, I had problems and things stressing me like everyone else.

When I focused on the reason why I was happy, I realised that it was down to me having a positive faith-filled view of life. No matter how bad things got, I always had a way of staying positive, even during tough times I knew things would get better.

In this blog post, I would like to share 11 of the most effective habits for staying positive that I have learned. I hope you get some inspiration.

1. Find an optimistic viewpoint in a negative situation

One of the simplest but most effective ways to build a more positive outlook is to look for the good in a situation.

When I am in a negative place, I like to ask myself questions like:

What is one thing that is positive or good about this situation?
Is there an opportunity within this situation?

When I look for the positive, I find that it takes my mind off my negative thoughts (that can quickly spiral out of control).

In the past I would ask the wrong questions. Questions like, how did I end up here? when will I ever learn? Why can’t I do anything right?  The answers would only make things worse.

2. Cultivate and live in a positive environment

positive enviro

Your environment has a massive impact on how you feel — the people you choose to spend your time with effects your outlook on life. Also, the content you consume in the form of TV, internet, and media.

It’s essential to have influences in your life that support you and lift you instead of dragging you down.

So carefully consider what you let into your mind. You can, for example, ask yourself:

Who are the three most negative people I spend time with?
What are the 3 most negative sources of information I spend time on?

If you spend a lot of your time with people that complain and run others down, that negative energy will rub off on you.

My parents always told me to listen to the news and read the newspaper. I know it’s good to stay informed with what’s going on in the world, but if what you are hearing first thing in the morning is negativity, it can affect you for the rest of the day.

Instead, spend more time with friends and co-workers that are more positive, and encourage you to be better in some way. And, listen or read something positive first thing in the morning to set you up for the day.

3. Plan Your Day

I have found that when I don’t plan my day, I end up wasting a lot of time which results in me rushing around, stressed and frustrated, and things don’t go that well.

Negative thoughts start to build up, and I feel like my power decreases.

But if I plan my day I can think more clearly and get so much more achieved. Plus, it becomes easier to think things through and easier to find an optimistic and constructive perspective.

4. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill

It’s easy to lose perspective, especially if you are stressed, and you are going too fast.

A small problem can become a terrifying one. To level the mountain, I do three things, so the problem doesn’t get out of hand:

First, say STOP. Realise you are in control, not your negative thinking.

Second, breathe. After you have disrupted the negative thoughts sit down and be still. Breathe with your belly and focus on just your in-breaths and out-breaths for a minute or two to calm your body and mind.

Thirdly, share by talking to someone close to you and getting a more grounded perspective on the situation by getting his or her input. Or ask yourself this: Will this matter in 5 years? Or even five weeks?

5. Don’t let vague fears hold you back from doing what you want

hold you back

We all have things that we would like to do, like start a business, do a night class or ask someone out on a date.

A trap that a lot of people fall into is rather than follow through they fill their minds of what negative things could happen if they took the action

The mind fuelled by fear creates nightmare scenarios and plenty of self-doubts. I know. I have been there many times.

So, I have learned to ask myself this: honestly, what is the worst that could happen?

Over the years I have discovered that the worst thing that could realistically happen is not as scary as the nightmare my fear-fuelled mind will produce.

Finding clarity in this way doesn’t take much time or effort, and it can help you to avoid much mental suffering. And help you to step outside of your comfort zone and take that chance.

6. Add value and positivity to someone else’s life

What you send out you tend to get back. What you give to others and how you treat them is what you’ll get back. So, provide value and spread positivity.

Lend a hand to a neighbour that’s moving. Give a friend a ride in your car, or if they need information then help out by doing a little research for them.

Sometimes people don’t want any direct help. They want someone to listen or encourage them as they’ve had a bad day or are going through a tough time.

7. Exercise regularly and eat and sleep well

woman_walking_sneakers

Exercise diet and sleep can seem very obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t look after themselves.

A good night’s sleep or good workout has a massive effect on me when my thoughts are pessimistic, and I have a lot of tension or stress.

And I know how much simpler it is to think clearly and faithfully when I’ve eaten healthy for a few days.

basic habits may sound boring, but they do have a considerable effect on your state of mind.

8. Learn to take criticism healthily

One of the most common fears is the fear of criticism. It can hold people back from doing what they want. A negative comment can extinguish your faith if you allow it.

A loved one may mean well, but don’t let their limiting beliefs become your destiny.

Whenever you step outside your comfort zone and do something new, criticism is pretty much unavoidable. So, the key is learning to handle it more healthily.

By doing so, your fear of it will lessen, and it will hurt less if you do get criticized. I usually use four steps when I get some criticism. Maybe they can help you too:

Step 1: Don’t reply right away.

When you are angry, upset or riled up then is time to calm down a bit before you reply. Take at least a couple of deep breaths or a little time to process the message before you respond.

Step 2: Listen to criticism.

Try to remain open and level-headed and figure out how this message can help you. Ask yourself: Is there one thing I can learn from this criticism? Is there something here that I may not want to hear but could help me?

Step 3: Remember that the criticism isn’t always about you.

Some criticism comes from people lashing out because they had a bad day. To lessen the sting of such criticism – I try to be understanding. I think to myself that this person might not be feeling so good at the moment.

Step 4: Reply or let go. No matter the method of criticism, for example an email, I try to keep my reply level-headed and kind. I may add a question or two to get more specific feedback that is helpful. And if they don’t reply or send another nasty message, then it is time to delete it and let that situation go.

9. Let It Out, Let It Go

Sharing

Sometimes some criticism can hurt you even if you use the steps above.

Two things that have helped me with that challenge are: Let it out. Just talking it over with someone close can be very helpful to see it for what it is. Helping you find a healthier perspective on the situation.

Let it go. I have found over the years that the ability to let things go has helped me greatly. Some people never change; they will continue to hurt you and cause you stress. The solution, spend less time with them

10. Start your day in a positive way

How you start your day usually sets the tone. I once heard it said that the first hour is the rudder of the day.

So be careful about how you spend your mornings. If you get going at full speed, lost in future troubles of the day, then stress, and negative thoughts will ramp up quickly.

If you, on the other hand, start your day slowly, spending some time reading or listening to inspiring articles or podcasts, then that will make a big difference to how you approach your problems and difficulties.

11. Mindfully move through your day

nature

When you spend your time in the present moment, then it becomes so much easier to access positive emotions.

When you get lost in the past or future, like so many of us, then worries become bigger. And failures and mistakes from the past can replay over and over in your mind dragging you into negativity.

A simple way to connect with the present moment is to take a walk-in nature, listen to the sounds of the world around you.

Another way to reconnect with the present moment is to pray and focus on each word. It might sound like a small and insignificant thing to do. But this reconnection with the present moment can have a very positive effect on the rest of your day.

Thanks for reading. Wishing you an amazing week.

Inspiration of the Day

DI RELAX

Take some time to relax this weekend.

And by relax i don’t mean, your feet up in front of the TV watching a film, or scrolling through your phone.

True relaxation is when you make a conscious decision to relax. Saying, I’m going to take 5 – 10 – 15 minutes and just sit with my eyes closed in a quiet room or lay down on a bed.

Just being thankful for the week.

When you do this your body will tell you how tired you are.

It is so easy to keep going week to week without taking time out to be at one with yourself and God.

Re-energise this weekend, and inspire one person to do the same.

Wishing you health and happiness.

11 Ways To Stress less.

stress

“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.
Wayne Dyer

Our daily lives can be busy, hectic and at times overwhelming. It may feel like the idea of a stress free life is just a hopeless wish. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Small changes over time can make a big difference. Today I would like to share 11 of my favorite tips for finding more peace and calmness in everyday life.

  1. Slow down. If you slow down your body you will find that your mind will slow down also. You will start to feel less stressed. Many times people will say, “but I have so much to do?” To them i say, ‘if you get sick things still get done.’

 

  1. Ask instead of guessing. Reading minds is impossible. But we still try it and create  unnecessary anxiety, and uncertainty for ourselves. So ask and communicate instead. It may be hard at first but it can save you and the people around you so much trouble in the long run.

 

  1. Be 10 minutes early. It’s a small habit but it has transformed much of my travel time during the year. From always feeling stress to feeling relaxed and recharged.

 

  1. Remember the 5 little words that’ll help you to stay sane: one thing at a time. By keeping those words in mind and letting them guide you through your day. You will find yourself less stressed and more focused. Not only will it bring you more inner peace but it will also help you to get things done quicker and better.

 

  1. Find a relaxation technique that works for you. By taking time to myself each day, listening to soothing music or a relaxation cd. Link. I find that it releases tension and recharges me. What works for you? Long walks, music, yoga, meditation or going for a swim? Find out and do that.

 

  1. Accept and let go. If there is something negative from the past. Something someone said, or did that replays in your mind. Then accept it and let that feeling and thought in, instead of trying to push it away. When you accept it; that is when it starts to lose power. And while the facts may still be there in your head the negative feelings become a lot less powerful. At this point, let it go and direct your focus to the present moment and something better instead.

 

  1. Disconnect over the weekend. Leave your work – and work phone – where it belongs. Disconnect or at least limit your internet activity. Put your smart phone on silent, stop checking every notification. Spending more time with your family, friends, hobby or out in nature.

 

  1. Unclutter your world, unclutter your mind. De-clutter your workspace or your room. An uncluttered and ordered space brings clarity and order to the mind. And don’t stop there. De-clutter, simplify and organize your home and life too. Live in a more relaxing environment.

 

  1. Don’t make mountains out of molehills. This can create much unnecessary stress. When facing a mountain ask yourself questions like. “Does someone on the planet have it worse than me right now? Will this matter in 5 years?” These questions help you to realize that things may not be that bad.

 

  1. Breathe. Breathing is an excellent way to relax your mind when stressed, lost in the past or future. Keep your attention on the breathe for two minutes and focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment.

 

  1. Remember: There’s a day tomorrow too. When you have a bad day. Or life interferes with your plans, stress can kick in and get you down. In my experience the best way to handle such a situation is to tell yourself that there’s a day tomorrow. You can get it done then. Beating yourself up is not a helpful strategy.

 

Thanks for reading. Like or share if this helped you in anyway, so it can help others.

Rev J Martin