Persevering Toward Positivity, Part 2
Have you ever felt like you were your own worst enemy?
I’ve found that if I dwell on, or expect, a negative outcome, then that is the result I get.
It’s been hard for me to build a more positive mindset. I’m not there yet, but I do believe I’m much farther along than I was even at this time last year.
I visited my dad this week. It was a good visit, and we had a really good conversation about my mom and how we were both doing as we continue to grieve for her and her passing.
One thing that came out of this conversation for me was that I have found myself being more positive and more focused on trying to achieve, and expect, positive outcomes. This has been a big change for me. I’ve written before about how I used to consider myself a “realist.” This began to change for me in the last year, and especially so after mom passed.
I’ve learned that there is nothing to be gained from negativity. Expecting the worst, or, at least, a bad outcome, doesn’t help. Yes, you can consider the pros and cons of different scenarios, and yes, it’s good to plan for eventualities that you may not want. But that is different than just expecting the worst.
I’ve had to work at this. I admire people who are positive and I want to be more like them. As I learn and grow, here are 3 things I do daily that help me have (and build) a more positive mindset.
I wish I could write that I stopped complaining. I will get there one day, but for now, I focus on minimizing complaining. And I’m happy with this growth.
I am becoming more aware of when and why I complain, and I’ve been able to reduce complaining because of this. I’ve also been able to catch myself in the middle of a complaint and stop it cold.
Not every time, of course. I don’t want to imply that I’ve become perfect with this. But change is growth, and I’m building forward momentum with it.
Complaining is nothing more than dwelling on what’s negative, so minimizing (or stopping) complaining will help you build more positivity in your life.
Track what I’m thankful for.
When I’m negative, I’m overlooking what I’m thankful for. It’s that simple. If I’m complaining about how hot my house is, I’m overlooking that the weather has become warm enough for us to spend more time outside. (In fact, I’m writing this outside, on my back deck, overlooking the city park behind us and enjoying a nice cup of coffee.)
It’s been helpful for me to write out 3-5 things each day that I’m thankful for. I try to push myself to write 5 things. It is easy to find 3 things; it can be a bit more challenging to find 5 things. If you’re like me and struggling to be more positive, pushing yourself to uncover more things you are thankful for will help you focus even more on gratitude.
Gratitude helps to push away negativity.
Spend 15 minutes before bed in silence.
Finally, I spend the last few minutes of my day by myself sitting in silence. I sometimes listen to a specific song that helps me focus.
But this is “me” time. This is time for me to focus on my day and on myself. I don’t run through what I did or did not do during the day. Instead, I focus on how I felt during the day–what things caused me anxiety? What brought me joy?
This exercise helps me to check in with myself. I can catch negative emotions that are creeping in and dismiss them. I can remind myself of the things I am thankful for.
Then, with a clear mind, I can go to bed and fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly.
These are 3 things that help me to be more positive. Try them and see how they work for you!