I am a very positive and open-minded person. My glass is almost always full to the brim, which might be a very annoying characteristic to some, but I can’t change, and won’t change who I am. In my mind being positive and being grateful go hand in hand.
We live in a very divisive world where the pendulum is constantly swinging from one extreme to the other with little middle ground, making it difficult to stay positive and be grateful. As with everything else, it takes practice. To “practice” positivity and gratitude may sound strange at first, but you can.
Here are some of the techniques I use to stay positive:
- The best way to express positive energy is to show genuine interest in others. We all crave recognition and connection
- Constructive comments are great but try also to give positive feedback.
- Complement people with real complements—tell them why/how they make your life better. We all need affirmations; you can never run out of love or compliments.
- Stop complaining. Complaining is the perfect way to ask for negative attention, negative attention creates victims and becoming a victim is always a downwards spiral.
- Don’t criticize or condemn. It’s hard to know what the next person is, or has been, going through. Challenge yourself to stop complaining and criticizing and try sending out love and compassion instead.
- Stop yourself when you feel the urge to gossip or speak negatively about other people.
- Stay present and don’t overthink things–often people have anxiety when their mind is re-playing scenarios, thinking that the worst is going to happen.
- Think about the lessons you can take away from stressful situations instead of solely focusing on the stress you’re feeling. Try to see the silver lining (what can you learn) in a bad situation. Stop asking “why me?” and focus on how this can help you going forward.
- Give freely of your smile and kindness–it is sometimes difficult to smile at strangers, but be sure to smile at your neighbor, co-worker, your family, and friends. It might just make their day.
- Keep a gratitude journal–I have personally never put pen to paper to write these things down, but I reflect on what I’m grateful for, especially when I meditate, and it fills me up with so much love and thankfulness.
- Stop and take time to appreciate nature and all the little things you may routinely miss when you’re outside, going from place to place.
- First thing when you wake up in the morning, think about someone you are thankful for and why. Focus on seeing the beauty in life.
So, what has positivity done for me?
I feel blessed all the time. I have a wonderful life and I am extremely grateful, but it is not by chance. My wife and I often talk about how we want our lives to be—today, tomorrow, in two years, five years and beyond. When you have a positive outlook, a plan for your life and how you are going to get there, your mind is consciously and unconsciously working towards those positive goals.
Being positive and grateful helps me to share love and kindness. I guarantee it is worth it.