One of the most common questions that pops up in my DMs is: “How are you always so positive?”
The truth is I am naturally a very positive and optimistic person. I mean, my blood group is B Positive. Seriously, it actually is! But I do also make a conscious effort to have a positive outlook on life.
So what can you do to be generally more positive?
1.Be realistic about whether it was really a bad day, or just a bad five minutes that you let ruin your whole day
How many times has something got on your nerves early in the day that you’ve still felt annoyed or upset about by the time you go to bed hours later? Chances are it’s pretty often because we seem to somehow be programmed to hold on to the negative things.
Just think about any time you’ve asked someone how a gig or show was, or even how a weekend break was. Most people seem to fixate on the negatives, no matter how insignificant they may be. So even if a gig was incredible, if there was a 45 minute queue for a taxi at the end then it’s highly likely they’ll spend loads of time moaning about that, rather than saying how great the band was.
I’m not sure why we do this – maybe it’s something ingrained in a lot of us. But I do my best not to be this way.
You are responsible for how long you let what hurt you haunt you.
So if it’s something that in the grand scheme of things is insignificant, let it go. Let it gooooooo. Sorry, I can’t think of those words without wanting to start singing.
Seriously though, think about how long you’re going to let whatever it was that got on your nerves annoy you. Does it really deserve to ruin your whole day? Or are you going to allot maybe just five minutes to feel annoyed before you move on from it and get on with your day?
If it won’t matter in five years, or even five months, don’t spend more than five minutes worrying about it. Stop holding on to crap which doesn’t deserve to steal your happiness.
On the other side of things though, if it is something big, don’t feel bad for needing time to get over it.
2.Stop being so hard on yourself
I’ve lost count of the amount of times people have apologised to me for getting upset about something while they’re telling me. I do it too, but that doesn’t make it ok.
If something big has happened – even if it’s just big to you and not to anyone else, stop feeling bad for getting upset about it.
You are entitled to feel however you need to feel to get over it. Sometimes we all need a good cry or rant to let it all out. Holding it all in and pretending to be ok 24/7 might work for some, but I think most of us need to talk about our feelings to help get it off our chests and keep looking forward.
Nobody has to be positive 100% of the time. We are all human, and shit happens. So allow yourself however much time you need to feel ok again.
Also, please don’t feel bad or embarrassed if you ever need to seek professional help to deal with something in your life.
Getting counselling does not mean you are weak, it actually means the opposite because you’ve been strong enough to open up and take a huge step towards moving on.
3. Be grateful for the good things in your life
I want to take a minute to explain that I’m not saying feeling upset means you’re an ungrateful person, or anything daft like that. I’m just saying that trying to remember all of the things you’re grateful for can help any time you’re feeling pretty crappy.
So for example, if we break the key parts of our lives down into sections, most of us would have:
- Love life
So if you’re having a pretty crappy time with work and you’ve maybe been facing a difficult time in your love life, just think about all of the wonderful family and friends you’ve got, and be grateful that your health is strong.
Having an issue in one part of your life doesn’t have to affect the rest of it. So when something goes wrong, just remember all of the people, places and things in your life that make you happy (no matter how small).
4. Make time for the things that bring you joy
If something makes you happy, find a way to keep it in your life. Whether it’s a person, an activity or a place, make time for it.
The issue a lot of people face once we become adults is getting stuck in the routine of just working, eating and sleeping. I’ll admit that eating and sleeping are pretty damn great, but I definitely want more than just that in my life.
So many people say they’ve got no time to have fun right now as they’re going to work their asses off for the next few years to make sure they are earning a certain amount of money and can afford a particular car or house, etc. THEN once they’ve achieved all of that they will take time out to have fun.
Whereas I have the mentality (as morbid as some people think it is) of thinking none of us know how long we will be here for. So why put off living when you can do it now?
Why plan to spend the next five or ten years doing nothing but working and sleeping, when you could make some time every week to enjoy your life now?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying we should all be irresponsible and just give up work and spend all of our time playing, because that would be crazy. I’m just saying there’s no reason why you can’t find even just half an hour each week for the things you enjoy. Half an hour each day may well be difficult for many people, particularly parents of little ones (I’ve been there)…but surely you can free up at least half an hour each week to just have fun!
If you make it a priority then you’ll find time. And I certainly believe that your happiness should be a priority, if it’s not already!
Think about it this way… If someone who you aren’t particularly interested in romantically asked you out, you would probably be unlikely to clear time in your schedule for them. But if someone came along who you clicked with and WANTED to spend time with, you’d find the time. You know you would. And making time for the things that make you happy in general is no different.
So create time for whatever, or whoever, brings out your inner sparkle.
And remember, positivity doesn’t mean being super happy all the time (because even the most positive person in the world has bad times). It just means having a generally happy and optimistic approach to life, and accepting and learning from the bad times.
Get out there and spread positivity like it’s peanut butter!