In a world where negatives are often highlighted more than positives, it is easy to find yourself being more pessimistic than optimistic. Lately, I have found myself falling into this pattern.
I wake up and I'm already stressed about my day. I go to spend time with my friends and all I can think about is what else I need to accomplish during the week. I try to fall asleep at night and my mind is overworked with stressors, to-do lists, and assignments.
The worst part about it all is, most of the stuff that is causing me to think and feel so negatively are either
1) Things I don't have control over OR
2) Things that do not matter in the present moment (AKA things that will be important in two months but I am choosing to stress over them now).
The other night, I got to thinking. What things can I, and others, start practicing daily to make thoughts and overall mood, more positive?
Here are some of the things I came up with.
1. Change the way you start your mornings
If you're like me, you love to sleep in. The harsh reality is though, that unless it's Saturday, sleeping in isn't an option. It's easy to groan and get pissed off the second your alarm goes off in the morning, but that's exactly what needs to change. Instead of throwing your face into the pillow when the alarm hits 6 am, think of something you're grateful for, it can be as simple as waking up! Starting off with a positive thought ultimately will help your mood toward the rest of your day.
2. Take care of your mornings the night before
What I mean by this is, if you know the shirt you're planning to wear is wrinkly, iron it before you go to bed. Lay out your outfit, have your bag packed, lunch made, key's accessible on the counter. It's these small tasks in the morning that stress people out the most, especially if you hit snooze too many times. Getting them done the night before will help your mornings be more smooth.
3. Find time in your day to exercise
As much as I hate to admit it, exercise seems to be the answer to just about any stress-related problem out there. No matter what you enjoy doing in the gym, get there! Run on the treadmill, lift weights or bust out some sit-ups! Whatever it may be, working out will not only help you get better sleep: it will also help boost your energy and mood.
4. Surround yourself with more optimistic people
It's just a fact that you start to reflect behaviors of the people you spend the most time around, whether you may realize it or not. If you are constantly spending time with people who are negative, lazy or unmotivated, you will become the same. Why try to change the way you think if the people you call your "best friends," aren't? Seek out the optimist in a group. If you don't think there is one, become one!
5. Find the positive in every situation
This might seem simple or cliche, but is actually one of the hardest things for someone who has a habit of thinking negatively to do. It's a challenge, but a challenge that is do-able. No matter what situation you're faced with, you can find something positive. You just have to try. You might not it right away, but eventually, you will. The more you practice this, the easier it will become and soon it will just be natural to see the positive.
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While there are about 20 other things everyone can do on a daily or weekly basis to be more positive, these are the ones I am putting the most focus on for my personal life.
I want to pride myself on being an optimist. That is not to say that there won't be bad days or that I should live in a false reality where everything is glitter and rainbows. There will be bad days, but it's all about perspective.