It’s so easy to focus on the bad things that are happening in our lives, and the bad thoughts that are running through our minds. Negative self talk is easy to accept and can be really hard to kick, but if we only allow ourselves to see the slip ups, we never fully appreciate the great things we have going for us. Here are a few ways to maximize the positives in your life, and embrace the bright side.
1. Embrace change.
Change is scary. Whether it’s sending your child off to college, making a big presentation at work, asking for a promotion, or anticipating that big move, change can have an intense ripple effect across your life. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If nothing ever changes, and everything always stays the same, then life doesn’t hold much excitement, right? Stuff has to change to get better. Being laid off at your job means you can finally have time to pursue a career that excites you. Finding out you have to move house means you can move to that neighborhood you’ve always loved, or downsize/upsize depending on your family. There’s always a silver lining to life’s mishaps, and embracing change means that the stress will be manageable, and the new parts of your life are an adventure, rather than a burden.
2. Leave toxic people behind.
It can be hard to part ways with friends whom you’ve known for a long time or that are a big part of your life. Maybe you work with them or they are related too you in some way. But having people who are always down about their lives (and possibly yours too) doesn’t bring anything but negativity into your life. If your friend is always complaining about how bad things are, how they never get what they want and how the universe is out to get them, slowly but surely they will bring you down to their negative headspace. And that dark mindset is not a good place to be. You don’t have to be unkind to toxic people, but not making them a large or important part of your life means you can focus on more positive people, those who want you to succeed and who see the good.
3. Surround yourself with beautiful people.
Beautiful on the inside, that is. In the same way that you don’t want toxic people having a negative influence on your life, you need to have goodhearted people around you to inspire and delight you. Seek people who laugh. Who travel for adventure. Who follow their passions. And who don’t waste time with negativity or bad vibes. Their positive energy will rub off on you, so choose wisely.
4. Be grateful for what you have.
The grass is always greener on the other side, but it’s important to realize that what you have is pretty amazing too. Whether it’s a job you love, a family that supports you, and/or a roof over your head, being grateful for the good things in your life is far better than being upset about what you don’t have. Practice an attitude of gratitude, and write down three things every day that you’re grateful for. It can be as simple as that delicious Starbucks order that arrived just on time this morning, or as grand as the amazing kids or grandkids you’ve been blessed with. The more you notice the good things in your life, the happier you will be.
5. Forgive and forget.
Holding grudges might make sense in the moment, but in the long run hate or hurt can have adverse effects on your health. Have you ever heard the phrase that holding on to resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die? Not allowing yourself to move on means that you’re holding yourself back from being truly happy, and you’re the only one who’s suffering. So do what you have to do to forgive and forget, whether you seek the person out for closure, write all your feelings down in a journal or letter (that you don’t have to send them) or talk it out with someone.
6. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Social media makes this really hard to do, because we’re constantly seeing how happy everyone else is; in their relationships, their work, their travel, etc. But realizing that people are putting their best face forward on social, and that they may also be feeling low and lacking self-esteem and using social as a boost is important to take into account too. Everyone has their own trials and tribulations in life, and understanding that you can’t know what’s going on behind closed doors is the first step to realizing that no one is perfect, even if they look that way in their social posts. So turn your focus inwards, and start working on bettering yourself, instead of worrying what other people are doing.