There's no doubt life can get rough. Sometimes, even when we're trying so hard to do our best, we lose sight of the things that are important to us and our lives can become unbalanced—or worse, out of control.
One way to face the challenges life throws at us is to learn how to think more positively about the situations we find ourselves in.
If you feel like you're always thinking negative thoughts and it's affecting your health, relationships, or all-around well-being, here are some tips for thinking positive thoughts in those situations.
Find Something To Be Grateful For
When you are feeling down, it can be difficult to see the good things that may be happening around you.
To stay positive when things look bad, acknowledge the things you are grateful for. This will help you put things into perspective and build your awareness of all the good that is going on in your life. It will also help you focus on the task at hand and not worry about what might be ahead.
Consider keeping a gratitude journal. Start with three things each day that you are grateful for and add to it as much as possible throughout the day. Build your journal up over time so that you can reflect on it when you are feeling down or need some motivation.
Look At The Bigger Picture
One of the most common reasons why people are negative is because they focus too much on their problems. They think that what they're going through is worse than anything anyone else is experiencing.
The truth is, everyone has problems. And everybody has to face adversity from time to time.
If you're having a hard time finding the brighter side of things, it might be helpful to take a moment to reflect on the bigger picture. It can feel like you're the only one going through tough times.
But chances are, there are plenty of others around you who are struggling with their own problems, too. When you realize this, you'll understand that it's okay not to have everything in life figured out right now.
Accept that things won't go smoothly. No matter how much you want them to, there will be bumps along the road. Learn from your mistakes; don't beat yourself up over them.
Practice acceptance and take responsibility for your actions. Instead of lamenting about what you can't change, think about how you can put it behind you and move forward. Always think about the next step.
Learn to accept problems and don't try to minimize them or make excuses for them. This will help prevent excess negativity from taking over your life and preventing you from achieving your potential.
Seek Support From Other People
No matter how much we try to avoid negativity, it can get the best of us more often than we'd like. Maybe you got some bad news at work or have been feeling down and can't seem to shake it off. Maybe you've noticed a toxic person in your life who's always complaining and bringing everyone down with them.
Whatever the reason, if you feel like you need extra support, don't be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to loved ones or people who are going through something similar and share your feelings with them. It might feel like a relief just to get those feelings off your chest.
Focus On Your Breath
When something bad happens, take a moment to focus on your breath. A few deep breaths in and out can help calm down negative emotions. You can practice meditation or yoga to learn how to do this well, but even a few seconds can make a difference when something upsetting happens.
Challenge yourself to find something positive about an event. This is harder than it sounds since we tend to see situations through emotional lenses that distort our perceptions of reality. Let's say you got passed over for a promotion at work. Instead of imagining what could have been, consider what you have learned from that experience and whether it has made you a better employee.
To choose joy means you actively decide to live with a positive outlook. You focus on the good, not the bad. Being able to turn negatives into positives is a skill that will make you better at your job, improve the quality of your relationships and help you enjoy life more.
Sometimes, things can get so bad that it's hard to remember there is still good in the world. The first step to staying positive is having realistic expectations — you might not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel right away, but it's there.
Crown Pointe in Columbus, OH