13 Tips to Achieving a Positive Mindset
Enrich your life with the power of positive thinking!
With life throwing us unexpected curveballs at times, it may be difficult to maintain a positive outlook on life but never despair! The most important thing you must do to lead a happy life and achieve your goals is to always stay positive.
Besides lowering the rates of anxiety, a positive mindset also aids with physical well-being and helps you cope better when it comes to stressful situations.
While the circumstances and challenges we face are beyond our control, the one thing we can control is how we react to them. Here are 13 tips on how you can successfully achieve a positive outlook on life.
1. Ask yourself the right questions
Switch your focus from the bad to the good, and lead your thoughts in the right direction.
Do you ever ask yourself the question, “Why is this happening to me?” Most of us do, especially when things aren’t going the way we want them to or we’re dealing with something that’s difficult or painful.
Instead of asking ourselves, “Why is this happening to me?” we could instead ask, “Why is this happening for me?” There’s a world of difference in those two questions.
The first question leads us down a path of victimhood, martyrdom, or feeling as though there’s something wrong with us. Whereas the second steers our mind in the direction of deeper growth, awareness, appreciation, responsibility, and healing. When we start to make sense of the situations and adjust our mindset to look at the positives, it allows us to reframe our thoughts and become more open-minded.
2. Take criticism with a pinch of salt
None of us enjoys being criticised, but it is undeniably part and parcel of our everyday life. Sometimes, it can be hard to digest other people’s opinions about you. Fortunately, the choice of how to handle negative input is yours.
The first step in benefiting from criticism is to be open to it. Actively listen to what is being said and take time to absorb the information. Don’t jump to the conclusion that the person delivering the critique is out to get you. Instead, assume that they are honest and have good intentions.
Whether it’s coming from a mentor, colleague, or relative, learn to accept criticism with grace and remind yourself that everyone will always have their own opinions to share, so don’t take it to heart.
3. Surround yourself with positive people
Your inner circle has a great impact on your attitude.
When you surround yourself with positive people, you're more likely to adopt empowering beliefs and see life as happening for you instead of to you.
If you’re spending time with people who complain, procrastinate, and always make excuses, you’ll start to follow suit in your own daily activities and life. However, if you’re surrounded by others who push themselves, have uplifting attitudes, and always strive for their best, these qualities will also start to seep into your daily life and character.
Having the support you need from others makes all the difference in boosting your self-confidence and motivation, so be sure to choose your inner circle wisely.
4. Celebrate small wins
Managed to finish your knitting or painting project, completed a book you’ve always wanted to read, or kept to your exercise routine? Whatever the achievement, be sure to celebrate and give yourself a pat on the back!
When you acknowledge these small wins, it gives you a sense of motivation to work harder towards your bigger goals and guides you to feel positive. Even at the workplace, it’s worthwhile to note down your professional accomplishments (regardless of your peers noticing it or not) as this will give you greater pleasure in pursuing other challenging tasks.
Once you get used to finding joy in the little things, you’ll find yourself not getting discouraged easily over the other setbacks. Additionally, these little wins also serve as a reminder for you to keep going and stay positive.
5. Be grateful for what you have
If you are more grateful, you will see the world in a more positive way.
We agree that there may be an infinite number of things to be upset, angry, and sad about. But what about the infinite number of things to be happy, grateful, and appreciative for?
Training your mind to practice gratitude puts you in a better place mentally and emotionally. It allows you to focus your attention on the people and things you should be thankful for.
By expressing your gratitude to helpful and caring colleagues, or telling your loved ones just how lucky you are to have them in your life, you can also foster good relationships with them. If you prefer keeping it personal, we suggest penning these thoughts down daily in a journal and include everything you’re grateful for, even if it’s the smallest thing as this will help you focus on the good.
6. Have an emotional outlet
It’s impossible to always have a positive state of mind and there will be times when negativity will get the better of us. Therefore, it is important to have an emotional outlet where you can release and express your emotions.
Whether it’s playing an instrument, taking a walk by the beach, speaking to your closest friend or loved one, finding ways to let go of all the negative emotions is beneficial to living a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
You’ll come to realise that it’s easier to have a positive outlook when you channel your energy on the positive things happening in your life, instead of the negative.
7. Lead an active lifestyle
A healthy body makes a healthy mind.
You know that feeling when you just finished a workout, and you feel so much better than before? Sometimes, even when you're not motivated to exercise, the promise of that feeling is enough to motivate you.
Some call that feeling an endorphin rush — which is not entirely untrue, but it turns out that exercise makes you happier in many ways. Exercise lowers stress levels, reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation, and helps people relieve anxiety, among other benefits.
For people who deal with rumination and worrying, something as simple as going for a walk or a bike ride can give tremendous relief because it invites the mind to shift to more positive, and peaceful thoughts.
8. Indulge in “me-time”
Have you been giving yourself enough alone time? If your answer is no, don’t fall into that trap!
Balancing education, jobs, parenting, social life, daily chores, health and even sleep can seem like an impossible task at times. However, giving yourself a compulsory time out, even for just an hour a week, will allow you to decompress, get rid of some stress, relax for a bit, and get back to everyday life with a clearer mind.
Indulging in some “me-time” alleviates concerns about pleasing others and provides an opportunity to engage in restful activities such as reading, journaling, and meditating. Time without distractions also allows your mind to clear out and restore its focus.
Additionally, taking time for ourselves and acknowledging that we are worth taking care of has amazing psychological benefits, including an improvement in self-esteem and overall happiness.
9. Give back to society
Doing good for others is a fantastic way to increase your positivity.
Always wanted to take part in community clean-up programmes to keep our parks and beaches clean, or volunteer your time to help at a nursing home? Now’s the time! It’s true that volunteering or doing charity work can give you internal peace and a huge dose of positivity.
When you contribute your time and effort to making a difference in other people’s lives, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and will also appreciate all the things you have.
Helping others also keeps you happy especially during tough and uncertain times, so it’s a good idea to invest your time in this as you’ll end up gaining so much more than a positive mind in return!
10. Focus on upgrading yourself
Planning on starting a hobby or learning a new language? Go after the things that excite you as these new additions in your life will keep you happy and feeling positive.
Learning something new adds to your skillset and knowledge, and helps you develop feelings of competency, which can alleviate feelings of stress as well as build confidence. It is also an effective way to distract yourself from the mundanity of everyday life, while helping you respond better to whatever unexpected challenges that may come your way.
Remember, it’s easier to be curious, investigative, and playful when your mind is occupied with the things that you enjoy and make you happy!
11. Step away from unnecessary pressure
From peer pressure to the unrealistic expectations set on social media, it can be hard to cast off societal demands.
Instead of comparing yourself to others or feeling influenced by what you see online, embrace who you are and focus on your own strengths. As difficult as it may be at times, remind yourself that you don’t need to change or give in to any of the pressure just to ‘fit in’.
Be it online or in real life, it doesn’t matter where the pressure comes from. What’s important is that you avoid setting impractical goals as that will make it harder for you to cultivate a positive mindset. So, instead of fuelling a negative mind, try staying off social media from time to time and away from peers who tend to have a negative attitude. This is an excellent way for you to recharge and brush the pressure away!
12. Smile your way to happiness
When you smile, magic happens!
Ever had someone tell you to cheer up and smile? It’s probably not the most welcomed advice, especially when you’re feeling sick, tired, or just plain down in the dumps. But there’s a good reason to turn that frown upside down.
Probably the easiest tip there is, smiling is a great way to put you in good spirits. Apart from helping you fight stress, smiling can lift your mood and increase positive thoughts. Just like exercising, smiling spurs a chemical reaction to the brain which releases certain hormones that make you feel good!
In other words, smiling can trick your brain into believing you’re happy which can then spur actual feelings of happiness.
13. Practice positive self-talk
Self-talk is basically your inner voice, the voice in your mind that says the things you don’t necessarily say out loud. Positive self-talk makes you feel good about yourself and the things that are going on in your life. It’s like having an optimistic voice in your head that always looks on the bright side.
Change begins with you so why wait for others to compliment or praise you to feel good about yourself? Self-affirmations are a great way to inject a dose of positivity and motivation to your everyday life.
Start your day on the right note by telling yourself ‘Today, I choose to be happy and not let the negativity of others get to me’ or ‘I accept and love myself completely’. Constant reminders like these keep negative thoughts at bay and give you the reassurance that you are good enough.
There’s no way you’ll wake up tomorrow with a 100% positive mindset, so take it slow.
While it may take you time to adjust to life’s changes, small steps can lead to a good cycle of success breeding success as you establish habits and hit mini goals. Remember, even small positive shifts in thinking, create huge results if you are consistent in your effort.