This Tuesday’s tip is about something we all, not just writers, struggle with: How to be positive.
It’s hard to be positive; after all, our brains are innately hardwired to be negative. That doesn’t mean we can’t be optimistic, it just means it requires some effort.
I’ve always considered myself to be a positive person, but the last couple years (weeks even) have really proven it.
For those of you are negatively inclined, Here’s a quick course in optimism.
Tell yourself it will be OK
This sounds like a placating lie you tell to children, but consider repeating this to yourself when you feel down. Remember the last time you felt this way. Everything probably worked itself out or wasn’t as bad as you thought it was.
Rate your problem
On a scale of mole hill to mountain, how big really is your problem? Did you spill your coffee? Break a shoelace? Smear some lipstick on your face? I’d file these in the mole hill category.
Start your day in a positive way
How you start your day sets the tone. Repeat positive affirmations, set your alarm to play your favorite song, call your favorite person on your way to work.
Like a good story, the end is just as important as the beginning. Think of only the good things that happened that day. Don’t dwell on worries before going to sleep.
Fine something positive in any negative situation
This can be difficult. How do you find a silver lining in a bad situation?
Here are some examples from my personal life.
Mom has cancer: Our family spends more time together. She is responding to treatment. We have more time than we were told initially. We don’t take things for granted.
Office closed: Found a job that pays more and has benefits.
Ended a relationship: I live with my sister (it’s like a sleepover every night). I see my son more. I have more money and time. I have more freedom and control over my life.
Remove negative influences
Who is the most negative person in your life?
Divorce them, block their number, break up with them, remove them from social media, avoid them like the plague.
What are you doing when you feel the most negative?
Facebook? Watching TV? Stop doing those things or limit your time doing them.
Don’t stress the small stuff
I cannot stress this enough. Pun intended. Going back to the rating scale, if your problem is a molehill, don’t make a mountain of it. If you lost a five dollar bill. Move on. You dropped some food on your shirt. Deal with it. Some toilet paper followed you out of the bathroom on your shoe. Carry on.
Make a list
If negative thoughts are swimming around in your head, get them out of your mind and put them on paper. Listing your problems helps you sort them.
Be a positive influence
Negativity spreads like the flu. Luckily so does optimism. I’ve had customers enter my store with a frown and leave with a smile because of my sunny disposition.
Have a laugh
Laugh until you sound and look like a seal.
Watch a comedy, go to I waste so much time.com or ifunny. Spend time with people who make you laugh. Heck, my mom makes me laugh about cancer.
Enjoy this funny video that sums it up the message of this post.