No one is happy all the time, but some people seem to find the silver lining in difficult situations more easily than others. If you’re a “glass half empty” kind of person or you struggle to choose positivity, you’re not alone.
What you may not realize, however, is that positivity is less a character trait and more a choice you make on a daily basis. You may not have the power to control every minor detail in your life, but you can choose how you react to them. You can choose to react positively or negatively.
In times of stress, it can be particularly difficult to put on a happy face. With a little practice, however, you can cultivate an attitude of positivity that will see you through even the toughest times in life.
Here are 9 ways to stay positive in times of stress:
- 1. Start Each Day in a Positive Frame of Mind
- 2. Be Kind to Yourself
- 3. Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
- 4. Meditate to Clear Your Mind of Negative Thoughts
- 5. Maintain Positive Connections With Others
- 6. Practice Mindfulness When You’re Feeling Stressed
- 7. Make Exercise Part of Your Routine
- 8. Make Time for Self-care in Your Daily Schedule
- 9. Get Professional Help If You Need It
1. Start each day in a positive frame of mind
We all have days where we wake up on the wrong side of the bed but if you don’t take a moment to center yourself and adjust your attitude before starting your day, you’re likely to be in a sour mood all day long.
Spend a few minutes quieting your thoughts through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or another practice you find soothing to reset your attitude and start your day on the right foot.
2. Be kind to yourself
We all have an internal dialogue running through our minds day in and day out, though we often aren’t consciously aware of it. It makes a big difference in your attitude whether that internal dialogue tends toward positivity or negativity.
When you find yourself devolving into negative self-talk, stop and try to reframe your thoughts in a more positive light. It’s particularly important to challenge negative self-talk when you are the subject – be kind to yourself.
3. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
It’s easy to get bogged down by stress and negativity when you feel like nothing is going your way. When times get tough, take a moment to think about the things you have to be grateful for – you might even jot them down in a journal you can reference later when you’re struggling with stress.
Research suggests gratitude is strongly associated with higher levels of happiness and may even mitigate stress.
4. Meditate to clear your mind of negative thoughts
When negative thoughts are bogging you down, take a few minutes to practice meditation and set yourself on a more positive path. Meditation is simple to learn, and you can do it anywhere at any time.
By practicing meditation, you can distance yourself from negative thoughts and come to a greater understanding of yourself and your own mind. Having a stronger understanding of yourself comes in handy when you’re trying to challenge negative habits and patterns of thought.
5. Maintain positive connections with others
Social isolation can exacerbate stress, so make an effort to connect with other people on a daily basis. It can be something as simple as meeting a friend for coffee or catching up over the phone but maintaining positive connections can help you feel less alone.
In addition to maintaining positive relationships, ask yourself whether any of your relationships are adding to your stress. Stepping away from toxic relationships can go a long way in mitigating your stress and boosting positivity.
6. Practice mindfulness when you’re feeling stressed
There are bound to be times when you get stuck in your own head and those are often the times when your stress levels are at their highest. When you start to feel overwhelmed, practice mindfulness to put some distance between yourself and your negative thoughts.
Mindfulness is the practice of increasing your awareness of your thoughts without judging or reacting to them. It may help you see things in a new way or, at the very least, give you time to process the things that are stressing you out, so you’re better equipped to deal with them.
7. Make exercise part of your routine
A healthy body goes hand-in-hand with a healthy mind, so make an effort to include exercise in your weekly routine. Exercise releases feel-good neurochemicals called endorphins, so it may help you feel more positive and could also help reduce stress.
Choose a form of exercise you enjoy like walking or biking – you might even take a yoga class to learn something new.
8. Make time for self-care in your daily schedule
It’s easy to get caught up in work and family obligations, but it’s essential for your mental health that you take time for yourself. Even if you just take 20 to 30 minutes out of your day to do an activity you enjoy, it can go a long way in relieving stress and improving your attitude.
Self-care is by no means selfish – in fact, taking care of yourself is the only way to ensure you’re healthy enough to take care of others and to fulfill your commitments.
9. Get professional help if you need it
Being positive isn’t something that comes naturally or easily to everyone – it takes time and practice to cultivate a positive attitude.
If you’re struggling with chronic stress, anxiety, or depression, you may benefit from getting a little outside help. Talk to your doctor or make an appointment with a virtual psychiatrist to get the help you need to be your healthiest and happiest self.
It’s no secret that life can be challenging at times, but you always have something to be grateful for. If you can learn to see the silver lining and you commit to challenging negative self-talk, you can reframe your attitude and start living your life with more positivity.
It may take time, and it won’t always be easy, but by following the tips above you can cultivate a more optimistic outlook that will help get you through when times are tough.
Well, and sometimes you just need to boost your positive mood a little bit – maybe with a spontaneous dance to your favorite song at home. Inside Flow is also known to produce ‘happy hormones’. With Hie Kim‘s Inside Flow Smile you simply can’t help but do just that – smile.
Summary: how to stay positive in times of stress
Let’s sum up our 9 tips for choosing positivity even in times of stress:
- Start your day with a positive mindset.
- Always be kind to yourself.
- Be grateful for what you have.
- Meditate to get rid of negative thoughts.
- Maintain healthy relationships.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Exercise regularly.
- Take time to care for yourself.
- Get professional help if necessary.