Do you think your life is terrible? Maybe your life just seems really bad because you're always focused on the negative; did you ever think about that?! We're happy girls, so today we're sharing some of our favorite tips for staying positive to help you develop a better outlook on life.
Tips for Staying Positive: Our Top Do's & Don'ts
Do get a daily workout: It sounds like basic advice, but never underestimate the power of physical activity. Even 20 minutes per day is beneficial! Regular exercise improves your mood, increases energy and stamina, and reduces stress levels.
Do spend time helping others: It's difficult to feel down about your life when you're helping someone else. It takes the focus off of you and forces you to put it on another person's troubles. No matter how bad off you are, there's usually someone in a situation worse than you. A good motto is: Always leave people better than you found them. This is especially true for those who are unable to help themselves, such as the elderly or disabled.
Do check in often with friends & family: It took us way too long to realize we shouldn't stay friends with people who never ask how we're doing. It also made us realize how often we're guilty of neglecting to check in on those we love. It only takes a few seconds to text a friend and let them know you're thinking about them. Make a point to check on one friend each day, and call your parents as often as you can.
Do keep track of your successes: Many years ago, we started a tradition we dubbed our “Pile of Success”. At the end of each day we wrote down three things we'd accomplished. Some days were filled with huge wins and other times we struggled to come up with something as basic as “Made it out of bed.” Ha! That's life for ya, though. Whenever we have a bad day, it's fun to look back through our list of accomplishments and see how far we've come.
Do surround yourself with positivity: If you find yourself getting down during the day, ask yourself why. When you begin to see a trend, take steps towards eliminating that problem or situation. For example: Who are the most negative people you spend time with each week? Begin distancing yourself from them whenever possible. Use your free time to try new things and seek out positive and uplifting experiences.
Do find a hobby you love: Hobbies are beneficial because they allow you to spend time connecting with others who have similar interests. They also force you to take breaks from work, which in turn reduces your stress levels, lowers blood pressure, and helps reduce anxiety and depression.
Do smile frequently: When you smile, your mouth sends signals to your brain that Life.Is.Good. That's right; the mere act of smiling transmits neuropeptides that fight off stress. Smiling also releases endorphins and serotonin, which can reduce depression. Are we suggesting you walk around smiling like an idiot all the time? Well…yes! 🙂 Why not?! Try it next time you're in a bad mood, and see if you don't laugh at yourself!
Do spend time outdoors: When you're feeling tired or overwhelmed, sometimes the best thing you can do is head outdoors and soak up some vitamin D, which may help lower depression levels. Try closing your eyes right now and imagine yourself sitting in a garden with butterflies flittering about. Ahhhh…isn't that peaceful? Well guess what? It's even more relaxing if you actually go outside and DO IT.
Do keep a gratitude journal: A gratitude journal helps lower stress levels and bring about a greater sense of calm. It can also help you determine what is and isn't working in your life so you'll know what needs to be eliminated. Much like our “Pile of Success”, it's fun to look back over a gratitude journal on low days to have an instant reminder of all the good things in your life.
Do get rid of clutter: Banish extra baggage in your life by decluttering your surroundings, and chances are good you'll breathe a huge sigh of relief once you're done. We're major fans of the KonMari method and have used Marie Kondo's sage advice to clear the clutter from our lives. If you haven't read it yet, we highly recommend you pick up her book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
Don't worry about pleasing others: Caring too much about what others think can lead to overanalyzing every aspect of your life, and that can have a paralyzing affect. When you're overly concerned with how your next move will be perceived, you tend to freeze and then you never get anywhere! Instead, focus on developing confidence in your own choices and do what makes you happy.
Don't compare yourself to others: Comparison is the thief of joy, so spend less time worrying about what others are doing and more time focusing on improving yourself. You'll be doing yourself a huge favor!
Don't resent others' success: Envy is typically a sign of insecurity, so the next time you find yourself feeling jealous about another person's success, instead ask yourself how they got there. Was it their work ethic? Their level of education? Did they take creative risks? Examine their path to success and see if you can emulate any steps to level up your own life.
Don't be afraid to say no: If you've ever said yes to someone and immediately regretted it, then you know how draining it is to be a people pleaser. Learning to say “no” can be a liberating feeling. If you don't want to do something, don't have time to do it, aren't the best person for the job, or if the task doesn't add value to your life, then you're probably better off saying no. (Unless it's your job and your boss is the one doing the asking!)
Don't worry about things beyond your control: It's pointless to let your happiness be controlled by anything beyond your control. Don't do it.
Hopefully these tips for staying positive have been helpful! Do you have any you'd add? If so, please let us know in the comments. You never know who you might help with your advice!