In times where life becomes difficult, it can be tough when experiencing stressors, struggles, and pressures, and it's easy to focus on the negative. Nevertheless, it is well-known that we aren’t likely to experience a content and fulfilled life if we focus on the negative. It isn’t always easy, but it’s important to look on the bright side of life- both for our well-being and our overall satisfaction with our lives.
If you’re not sure how to go about it, take a look at a few ways that we’ve found can help you to look on the bright side and thereby start increasing your levels of happiness, health, and life satisfaction.
Highlight the positive
It may sometimes be easier said than done, but it helps to accentuate the positive things in your life. When something good happens, think deeply about it and how wonderful it is that this came about. If you find it difficult to stay focused on the positive things that have happened, keep a journal of the good things and the things that you have enjoyed, and concentrate on them. Consider how those situations arose and what you can do to keep them coming.
Eliminate the negative
Try not to ruminate on negative thoughts and situations. If you cannot control the negative thing that you’re thinking about, there’s nothing you can do so it wouldn’t do you any good to focus on it. When you find yourself in this situation, do something to ‘short-circuit’ this train of thought. Do something that will lift your spirits like turning on your favourite music or song, reread a novel you’ve particularly enjoyed, get in touch with a good friend or family member, or anything else that makes you feel happy and positive.
Focus on what you can control
Rather than worrying about what you can’t control, like not always being able to single-handedly influence global affairs, so something small that can still make a positive change. For example, clean out your closet (and get your friends to do so as well), and donate clothes you don’t need to a relief organization, get involved with the cleaning or replanting of a neighbourhood park, volunteer at an after-school program. These are all examples of things that you can control and can help lift your spirits while doing the same for others.
Go easy on yourself
Most optimists share a characteristic known as self-compassion. There are many ways to be kind to yourself, any many reasons for it, too! You can be kind to yourself by taking care of your body (exercising, getting enough restful sleep, eating well), forgiving yourself for past transgressions and move on, or taking stock of all of your positive traits and assets. Reminding yourself of the positive things you have can help to lift your mood and remember that life is worth living!
Learn how to be mindful
Mindfulness is a great tool to have when you’re trying to be optimistic. It involves purposefully focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. It can go a long way in helping you deal with events that are unpleasant and can help you to make peace with them. If you need help learning and practising mindfulness, there are many resources online (videos, apps, etc.) as well as books and professionals in health centres where you can teach yourself or ask for others to teach you.
There are a plethora of other methods to help you on your journey to looking on the bright side of life, and if you’ve found any that are particularly helpful, please share them with us! At Clinical24, we’ve got a positive outlook on life and we take this with us every day throughout our engagement with our team. Do you want to join a positive team? Of course you do, so browse through our latest vacancies and get in touch!