You are not alone when you are feeling down and discouraged. We have all struggled with staying positive at some point in our lives. It is easy to let our own problems and the heaviness of the world cast a dark cloud over our lives. Every single day has something positive in it, some days you just have to look a bit harder to find it. Whether you are just having a bad day or are struggling with clinical depression (which we recommend consulting a doctor for), we are here to help you find ways to improve your mood and use positive psychology in your own life.
Write in a Gratitude Journal. Take 5 minutes each day to write about something that went well for you. Whether it is 5 minutes on one thing or 5 minutes spent writing about a bunch of different things doesn’t matter as long as you are focused on something good that happened. Make sure to be specific, details help the mind to remember the experience and boost your mood for longer. Focusing on being grateful is linked with increasing positive emotions and overall life satisfaction.
Be Mindful. Staying aware of your thought process and thinking style will help you learn what you need to adjust. Challenge the negative thoughts that come up and ask yourself how you can make them positive. Training your mind to be optimistic improves overall health and well-being. It will also help make adapting to new situations easier.
Have Self-Compassion. Most often, we are much harder on ourselves than anyone around us and more than we need to be. We focus on our imperfections, no matter how small, and amplify them into something that inhibits us from having positive experiences. It is important to notice your needs and give yourself a break. Do compassionate self-talk, talk to yourself like you would a friend who needs to be uplifted. Treat yourself with kindness. We all have imperfections, it is okay to acknowledge those and it is okay to struggle, just be sure to love yourself even when it’s tough.
Use Positive Affirmations. Spend a few minutes each morning thinking about your best qualities to start your day off on the right foot. Positive affirmations help raise levels of self-esteem and stimulate the areas of the brain that influence us to make positive health changes. Having a higher and stronger sense of self-worth promotes self-care and positive feelings.
Meditate. Spend some time daily having a moment of peace and tranquility. Setting aside 7 minutes a day to meditate improves moods, increases sleep quality, and decreases stress. Meditation also helps you to become more self-aware and improves focus. This is a practice of self-care that takes little time and no materials. Take a moment to breathe, relax, and stop overthinking and your mood will improve.
Listen to Music. Music activates the part of the brain that releases dopamine which relaxes the body and produces positive emotions. Spend time finding music you enjoy and that makes you feel happy. Making a playlist of happy songs to listen to when you are feeling down is an effective way to brighten your day and uplift your spirits.
Share Positivity. Writing a letter or an email to say thank you is a simple act of kindness that can reduce symptoms of depression. Participating in kind acts boosts levels of happiness and increases the levels of joy in the people we serve. Kindness releases oxytocin in our brains which increases our self-esteem and optimism. Through giving our time to benefit someone else we increase our life-satisfaction and improve our overall joy.
Find Your Passion. Take time to do something you love and that excites you. Following your dreams gives you a greater sense of self-awareness and self-confidence. When we are participating in something we are passionate about we feel free and empowered. When our lives are filled with love, passion, and freedom, we feel more fulfilled and our emotional wellbeing is greatly improved.
Be Flexible. Life is full of unexpected curveballs. Being flexible and open to accepting new challenges and facing your fears helps you to stay in control of your emotions and keeps negativity from ruling over you. Negativity is normal, take a moment to recognize it, understand what is causing it, and then give it space by focusing your attention on something else. If you need a break or need to change activities to keep yourself in a good mood, go for it! You are in charge of making your best life a reality.