Do you ever find yourself struggling to see the silver lining amidst life’s challenges? We all know how much better life feels when we keep a positive outlook and try to live with positivity, but it’s not always easy. No matter how hard we try to keep a smile and stay happy, sometimes negative thoughts, people, and problems creep in and steal away our optimism.
When life gets hard and you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle, in the rain, with a rock in your shoe… remember that positivity is a choice and that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel! Here are 3 ways to infuse your life with positivity, even when the clouds seem to be covering the sunshine in your world.
#1 – Recognize Challenges and Mistakes as Opportunities
I’ll be honest, a life without opposition sounds so appealing sometimes! However, as I look back over my life, I can’t help but notice that the greatest moments of joy were usually preceded by a major setback or trial in my life. Many of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned and successes I’ve celebrated were the result of a lot of hard work and often-painful periods of growth. They say it’s “always darkest before the dawn,” and while sometimes the nights can seem so long, I really do believe we come out stronger, healthier, and happier for it.
When you’re facing a challenge that feels bigger than your capacity or when you feel like the weight of the world is dragging you down, push pause for a moment and reassess the situation. What can you learn from what you’re going through? What are the possible outcomes of the situation and what actions do you need to take to achieve the best one? How can you gain more resiliency, strength, and wisdom from the battles you’re fighting now? And who might you be able to help or serve through this experience? Asking yourself these questions helps shift the focus from the difficult parts of your situation to the benefits that will come from it. From there, you’ll be better able to push through and more motivated to make the best.
#2 – Less Worry, More Gratitude
It’s natural for all of us to worry. With so much going on in our families, our jobs, our lives, and in the world, it’s hard not to worry! Sometimes I think feelings of worry or anxiety can help us identify when something’s off in our lives or when we need to take action, but too much worry can overshadow the abundance of happiness and hope that also exist in our lives.
When you feel that anxiety and worry start to fill your mind, take a fresh look to determine the root cause of that worry. Then, ask yourself if it is something you have control over or something you can take action to change. If so, you can then decipher your options and move forward with a clear decision. If not, then you may just be getting caught up in things you don’t have control over at which point, it’s a good idea to reign your thoughts back in and focus on things you can impact and choose and change.
Gratitude is one of the most important things we can practice for our physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing. Not only can gratitude squash those unnecessary worries, but it can also fill your heart and mind with new, positive thoughts. When you take time to notice all that you have to be grateful for, you begin to forget all that might be challenge you or bringing feelings of worry into your mind. Whether it’s keeping a daily gratitude journal or starting each day by listing in your head 5-10 things you are grateful for, being thankful is an easy-to-implement practice and behavior and is sure to open the doors for more positivity to flow into your life.
#3 – Be Generous
In terms of a positivity-filled life and feeling happy, generosity is right up there with gratitude. When you give your time, talents, resources, and love to those around you, you’re not only adding positivity to their lives, but you are literally increasing the positivity within yourself through that giving behavior.
Remember, you don’t have to have a lot to give a lot. Be generous with your words – say thank you, I love you, great job, and give sincere compliments. Give of your talents – if you are blessed to be a great cook, why not double your next recipe and share the joy of food with a neighbor or neighbor? If you are great with marketing or have a knack for staying organized as a busy mom, share your ideas and talents with your colleagues and friends. If nothing else, be generous with your thoughts – think happy thoughts for people you know need the extra boost. Say a prayer or send positive energy to your loved ones in need.
When we give, we automatically receive. This is a universal truth and one that will instantly fill your heart and your life with added positivity.
Remember That It’s a Journey, Not a Destination
Say this with me… “There is no such thing as perfect!” Keep that in mind as you strive for more positivity in your life. While I do believe your overall sense of happiness will increase, I also believe it takes time and constant effort. A life infused with positivity is something you build, create, and continually improve. Small, simple efforts add up over time and before you know it, you’ll be feeling the sunshine – and sharing it – even when the rain is coming down.