January 13th, 2020
Life can be very unpredictable. We run into obstacles in life that make it difficult to stay afloat. Whether it is the loss of a loved one or financial problems, everyone has gone through hardships. It may be difficult to stay positive when there is a never-ending depressing news cycle in today's society. In addition to that, the stress of daily tasks and work may make it challenging for one to stay hopeful.
Being happy is good for you and your brain. Happiness comes with many benefits that often go unrecognized. A few of the many benefits include better relationships with people, more focus and concentration, more confidence, the ability to combat stress more effectively, and a stronger immune system. An overall healthier lifestyle can help reduce pain and increase life longevity.
Being happy is easier said than done. At times, we are expected to juggle 100 things at once, and remaining positive is the least of our worries. Even though this can be difficult, it doesn’t make being positive any less important.
Below are some suggestions on how to remain positive during trying times...
1. Learn more about yourself
Having an understanding of your emotions and how you react to certain stressors is very important when trying to remain positive. The ability to predict when you are becoming overwhelmed or anxious is the first step. By being aware of your emotions, you will be better able to prevent certain emotions from heavily impacting your life and essentially, remain positive.
For example, you can incorporate coping mechanisms or self-care activities that specifically work for you. For example, listening to music or going on a walk could help calm you down and help you think rationally and optimistically.
2. Keep a Strengths Perspective
When you are feeling down, do you ever feel like nothing is going well in your life? Being able to identify strengths in your life is very important for one’s mental health and overall outlook on life. No matter how big or small the strength is, it is important to acknowledge them when you are feeling down.
For example, having a supportive family or a healthy relationship is a strength. Other strengths can range from time management skills, social aspects of life, academics, and much more. Having gratitude is good for your health.
3. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep to increase positivity may seem too good to be true. Getting the right amount of sleep comes with many benefits. Sleep is a time to process emotions and recharge physically and mentally for the next day. Without doing so, one will not have the emotional resilience to bounce back from the troubles they face.
Sleep comes with many other benefits that can indirectly impact your happiness and positivity such as: improvement in relationships, better work performance, increased ability to control pain, and much more.
4. Add positivity to someone else’s life
The amount of happiness you give out to people tends to be returned back to you. You know how people say, “treat others how you want to be treated?” Well, how you treat and think about others also has an influence on how you treat and think about yourself.
For example, doing an act of kindness will not only make another person feel better but you as well. Some ways that you can help spread positivity include helping others, listening to others, and being uplifting and encouraging.
5. Take a breather then challenge your negative thinking
During difficult situations, it is sometimes difficult to remain calm. Giving yourself a minute to regroup and look at the bigger picture, whether your strategy is deep breathing or going on a walk, can be beneficial. Once you are in a calm state, ask yourself, “what could I do to be more positive about this?” Challenge yourself. Try to think of different options or optimistic outcomes, rather than only the negatives.
6. Learn how to take criticism in a healthy way
Many people fear being criticized which can prevent them from living how they want to. Listening to someone critique you or speak negatively about you may hurt your feelings and be upsetting.
Taking criticism in a healthy way can reduce feelings of pessimism and negativity. When listening to criticism, assume that the person criticizing has good intentions. Try not to get defensive or makeup excuses for what you did, it’s important to see criticism as a learning experience and to be open to change. Lastly, remember to never be too hard on yourself and that everyone makes mistakes.
7. Determine what is out of your control
Worrying about things that are out of your control can be very damaging to one’s mental health. You may get overwhelmed or anxious spending so much time on something that you can not change.
It is important to come to terms with what you can and can not control, then stop putting so much effort into what is out of your control. This will only exhaust you and make you feel hopeless. Instead, try to make positive changes in the aspects of your life that are within your reach and go from there.
At Clarity Clinic, we have highly trained staff who specialize in psychotherapy and psychiatry services. To learn more about how we can support your mental health, call Clarity Clinic at (312) 815-9660 or schedule an appointment today.
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