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Today you’re going to learn 15 things about the positive lifestyle.
(You’ll also see how it can change your life – for the better – forever.)
If you’re a positive person, you’re naturally going to look at the bright side of things. It’s natural, right? But, how often do you wind up sitting with someone who claims to be positive – but all you have ever heard is them whining or complaining about something?
But, if you are truly someone who is positive, you will never have to brag about it, because people automatically know.
They know you’re a positive person without you ever having saying a word. How? By your actions! They will see you smile, help out a neighbor, a face the world head on.
While other people are talking about how positive they are, you are actually doing it.
Now, everyone has an off day. I get it. Put me in Traffic, and I’m the first one having a melt down (I’m getting better). And, some people aren’t naturally positive. Sometimes, something happens in life (job loss, finances, relationships) can make the struggle to be positive real.
Confession: Positivity does not come naturally to me.
In fact, it doesn’t come natural for most humans. Rick Hanson, the author of “Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence” told the Huffington Post that humans are naturally wired to look for negative things.
That makes it twice as hard. However, we do have some good news. We can train ourselves to be more optimistic. And the first step is focusing on what we are grateful for.
This is such a big misconception. When people think of positivity, and optimism and joy, they think people are always happy. Like a robot, or a Stepford Wife.
That is so far from the truth. Because we are human, we will experience a large number of emotions. And it is impossible to be happy all the time.
However, it is how we respond to our situation that determines our reaction.
Related: 7 Essential Oils To Make You Happy
Everyday, when you wake up, you have a choice. Do you want to be happy or do you want to be miserable?
This sounds so lame, amiright? But, Carolyn Gregoire from the Huffington Post, wrote an article titled, “This is Scientific Proof That Happiness Is a Choice.” In this article, she revealed that “roughly 40 percent of our happiness is within our control.”
So, how do you wake up in the morning?
Some people wake up trying to find something to dislike or hate about a person, place or thing everyday.
But, we don’t want to be those people. We want to be leaders. I think the great Captain James T. Kirk actually put it best.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to turn this into a Star Trek Themed post, and make tell you that you need to walk around like the Vulcan, Mr. Spock.
Actually, I will do quite the contrary, because I recognize that emotions will drive the decisions we make.
In Psychology Today, Dr. Mary Lamia writes, “a great deal of your decisions are informed by your emotional responses because that is what emotions are designed to do: to appraise and summarize an experience and inform your actions.”
But, before we get all excited let’s stop and look back at this for a moment. When was the last time you got emotional and were able to think clearly?
We can’t think clearly when we are angry, or when we are sad, or even when we are happy. Seriously, when was the last time you had a strong emotion, like anger, and got into an argument with someone. Did it end well?
Ann Morin, at Inc.com, wrote “4 Ways Your Emotions Can Screw Up Your Decisions,” helps further this point, by showing us how these strong emotions don’t always help us.
We’ve all been there. Something is thrown off, and we just feel like the biggest losers in the world. Nothing goes right. We might have lost a job, experienced a breakup, or there might be family drama.
We can tell ourselves to look at the bright side all day long, but let’s face it, the only bright side we can see in situations like that is the headlight of the train that’s about to hit us. Which adds more to our misery.
But positivity isn’t about dwelling on a problem.
It’s about looking at a problem head on, and trying your best to fix it in a reasonable, responsible, and actionable way.
This is the hardest one yet. Have you ever made the mistake of logging on social media right after there was some big event up in Washington D.C.? And everybody and their brother goes ballistic?
Or there is some kind of social division that is going on in the country?You then make the even bigger mistake of looking through the comments and suddenly wish you hadn’t. Or, you might be the person in the middle of an argument between two friends. Maybe someone you know is going through a really hard time right now, and everybody is making fun of them.
There is no nice way to say this, so I’ll do it like a bandaid. I’ll just rip it off.
Only jerks and Internet trolls contribute to problem. I’m not saying that you cannot have a strong opinion about politics, or social movements, or who is right or who is wrong in things.
But, by adding your two cents in, and getting involved, you’re doing nothing more than contributing to a problem. Then, it becomes your problem.
Sadly, this is one of those things where – as Hank Hill put it, “there’s nothing you can do but let it burn. Grab a beer and let it burn.”
This is a little hard, because I get that we all want to be selfless, and give to the world. Being positive is all about sharing our love for mankind, right?
Yeah, ok, let’s be real here.
Why do you really give things to charities? Is it because you feel bad for somebody or because it makes you feel good?
We, as positive people, must realize that yes, we might want to do nice things for people, but we’re not doing it to make them feel good. We’re doing it for ourselves!
We can’t expect other people to be happy if we’re not happy, right?
How can you be kind to someone? Really, it’s all about just being nice. Bonus, it’s free. You don’t have to give money to anyone to be kind!
It’s giving a smile to a stranger, giving a genuine compliment to a stranger, holding the door open, saying please and thank you.
It’s just being well mannered and nice!
I don’t know what it is, but we always tend to neglect ourselves. We tell ourselves that we are too busy, or we don’t have time for it, or maybe we don’t think we need too.
The truth is, you can’t be positive if you feel like crap.
In an article in the Harvard Business Review, they found that the more time working mothers took care of themselves, they were able to take care of others more effectively.
What are you grateful for? Are there things that make you happy? What makes you stop and take notice, and just enjoy life?
The positive lifestyle is being thankful for the little things, and what you have in that moment. It’s about being grateful for things like air, food, clothes, kids, love and then getting more specific about it.
Be thankful for what you have in life. It helps you understand that life in and of itself is a beautiful gift.
You know those people who are always laughing, and friendly? They aren’t laughing at anyone in particular. Rather, they aren’t even doing a mean-spirited laugh. They are simply having fun.
They are living in the moment and simply enjoying life.
That can be crazy hard to do, but it’s so necessary, because laughter is infectious.
You know how it is, you hear someone laughing on the radio, and for whatever reason, you start laughing too?
Yeah. It’s good stuff.
I dislike being bearer of bad news, but being positive isn’t about being delusional. Sorry, you’re not going to solve your problems by running into a world of unicorns with rainbows shooting out their butts. Sadly, glitter cannot fix world problems.
However, being willing to look at problems and handling them, makes life easier later.
Unfortunately, as much as we want to tell ourselves augmented reality and fantasy are going to solve all of our issues – it won’t.
But, you can still dream, and you can work towards that dream.
We shouldn’t even lie to ourselves. We all know that we’ve had situations come up and we dropped the ball.
Yup. Myself included.
The big decision then becomes, do you own your mistakes, and learn from them – or do you play the blame game?
If you own your mistakes, people will respect you more.
But, if you blame someone else for your goofs, they wonder when you’ll start blaming them.
Bite the bullet and just own it. You made the decision to do it, and hopefully it won’t turn out as bad as you think it will.
We’ve all done things we weren’t proud of. These are things that haunt us, and make us wonder what we were thinking.
Maybe we hurt somebody unintentionally, and it’s a little too late to tell them you’re sorry.
The situation is this though. What is in the past, is in the past. Don’t let it dictate for you what you have the ability to be.
Forgive yourself. Don’t forget what you did, and don’t forget how crappy it makes you feel. But, don’t keep beating yourself up over it. That accomplishes nothing.
At the beginning of the post, I told you that I wasn’t naturally a positive person. It’s a struggle for me to be positive, but ever since I made the decision to be positive, my life has changed in many amazing ways.
You’ll notice that, if you should choose to be positive, that you’re happier. You’re not so anxious about world events. In fact, you might find yourself using your talents and passions in more positive ways.
It’s fun, exciting, and most of all an adventure that like none other.
What is something positive you’ve done today?
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