Being a positive and optimistic person — someone who focuses on the good and puts hope and possibilities first, is really an art-form. To a great extent, positivity is a skill, as much as it’s a personal trait. And as personal trait’s go, positive thinking is one of the most valuable and powerful ones that we can possess.
Like any skill, it takes time and practice to hone it into an art form. It needs to be cultivated and nurtured over time and even the most passionate positive thinkers admit that it’s not always easy.
Life, with all of its challenges and stresses can sometimes get any of us down — family pressures, career stress, world events — all seem to conspire to bring us down and dampen our mood. It is however, at times of stress, that positive thinkers call upon their arsenal of positivity tools to help get them back on track. In fact, positive people have particular behaviors and techniques which help them to be better equipped to banish the negative and embrace the positive.
Here are just five of the techniques you can use to combat pessimism when it tries to creep into your life:
1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Avoid needless drama and focus on what’s really important in life. Gossip, mania and petty disagreements will surely do harm to your positive mind-set, so avoid these controversies. Don’t sweat the small stuff or worry about things that aren’t important — focus on the things that are genuinely important in your life and you’ll find that achieving your goals and dreams becomes much easier.
2. Flush Out Hatred and Anger
Feelings of anger will do more harm to you than to the person you’re angry with. Being resentful or bitter drains us of life-sustaining positivity and we stagnate. If you’re upset with someone, take some alone time to deal with your feelings and make the conscious decision to manage your feelings, rather than your feelings managing you.
The important thing is to acknowledge how you’re feeling and why, and to make a decision — either make amends with this person, or consider keeping them out of your life. Whichever you choose, not letting anger or bitterness fester inside you is absolutely vital.
Also, depending on your particular situation, forgiveness is a very healing act of positivity. Even if you never see or speak to the person again, forgiving them in your heart can be liberating — and that goes both ways
3. Find Your Fortress of Solitude
Having that special place or particular time to decompress and rejuvenate is crucial – it can be a quiet room, the local park or where ever you feel good about, because the really important thing, is to gather your thoughts and do some self-reflection. Don’t let the day get away from you without simply breathing, relaxing and reflecting — however and where ever, please find time for you.
4. Know Who Has Your Back
There are “friends” and then there are friends. True friends are the people who always have your back, just like you have theirs. It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who uplift us through companionship and encouragement. Positive people try to seek out and develop relationships with people who enrich the sense of positivity in their lives, so find your support network and look to them as a source of strength, just as you should be for them.
If you struggle to make new friends, fear not — family is also an incredible source of support and inspiration. But, don’t overlook the obvious: If you like to read books, consider joining a book club and if you like to hike, find a local hiking club — there are many ways to meet new people and the objective is to cultivate relationships with people who share your interests, which will make new friendships more probable.
5. Practice Kindness and Gratitude
Kindness is very powerful! A simple random act of kindness, goes a long way in helping to heal our world. There are almost countless ways in which we can significantly make the world a better place, such as volunteering for a charity or helping the less fortunate. Fortunately, the simple things also count and can be extremely beneficial, so we shouldn’t overlook the “little” things, like a kind word to a co-worker or even a stranger.
Being kind and caring is a vital part of lasting positivity, because caring, concern and a sense of love for other people, helps us to feel good about our self and the world.
And, with kindness comes gratitude. The kinder we are, the more complete we feel and this results in feelings of gratitude. Being grateful for what we have and not needing to always get and have more, creates a sense of contentment and peace inside of us and this significantly magnifies our positivity.
Positive people have many amazing traits and qualities that help them stand out in the crowd, but to summarize, here are five key traits that any of us can cultivate:
- Focus on what really matters in life and let go of the trivial things
- Let go of anger and bitterness and focus on being happy and content in life
- Breathe! Find time and space to decompress and rejuvenate your mental strength
- Surround yourself with positive people who are truly friends
- Be kind to others and to yourself and let a feeling of gratitude flow through you
“Too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated.” – William Boyland Jr.