Looking on the Bright Side Tips and Tricks
So before I really get into this, let me tell you that I understand how difficult looking on the bright side can be. I was the girl a few years ago that complained that the silver lining can’t be all that great if a dark cloud is in the middle. When something good was happening, I was the first to point out that we really shouldn’t get all that excited about it, because all good things come to an end. Yep, a real cheery person. When my friends called me on it, I called myself a “realist,” because it made me feel practical and justified. But in reality I was more of a “pessimist.”
The kind of attitude I had wasn’t healthy. I expected the worst of people and didn’t trust anyone. I stayed in often because I assumed every situation and social event was going to go badly or I was going to mess up somehow. In some ways I thought it was a smart attitude, because expecting the worst made all the good that happened a pleasant surprise, and when something bad happened I could say “I told you so.” However, the pessimism caused me an unhealthy amount of stress and I soon realized it was alienating to the people around me. I vowed to cut out the unhealthy variables in my life and be a more cheery person.
Here are some tips, with some help from http://www.operationbeautiful.com, that helped me change my outlook on life, and I hope you can take them to heart to
1. Count your blessings. Thanksgiving just ended, so you probably heard this one already, but it still remains one of the most important things you can do for your outlook on life. Even on your worst days, there are things to be thankful for. Got both legs? A family who loves you? A dog that licks your face when you come home? A job? A car? Your life? Make some new blessings too. Go watch a sunset or make yourself a pot of your favorite coffee. Anything to remind yourself of all the big and small things in your life that make it worth living.
2. Don’t measure your happiness by comparing your life to others. Saying “My life isn’t as bad as my neighbors, so it must be good,” or “My life isn’t as good as my neighbors, so it must be bad” are subjective and can lead to a sense of guilt or feeling unfulfilled. Happiness is not a competition; it is about finding the best in your own life, and making any adjustments accordingly.
3. Be nice to people. I don’t mean you have to go work at a charity, though that will definitely give you a sense of fulfilment, I mean just treat the people you meet on the street nicely. Smile at a stranger. You would be surprised how much this tiny connection can brighten your day. Give change to that Santa in front of the store. Who knew how happy 50 cents can make you feel? Call a family member that you know would love to talk to you, like a parent or grandparent. Even if they kind of annoy you (I don’t have any family like that *cough*), you can hang up with the knowledge that there is someone out there that hangs on your every word and treats you like a celebrity every time you call.
4. Limit the negative influences in your life. We all know those people that open their months and complaints and negative gossip tumble out. These happiness vampires suck away your positive energy and you feel exhausted after dealing with them. They will try to get you to join them in their complaining because misery loves company. I know complaining feels nice, but the healthiest thing you can do is counter their negativity with even more positivity or simply disengage. One of two things will happen: They will get annoyed with your lack of engagement with the dark thoughts and stop forcing their complaints on you, or they will think twice about their negative outlook and have an epiphany about their attitude. Either way, you win and get to keep you positive energy.
5. Fake it until you make it. Even if you have to "pretend" to be positive, do it. Practice smiling and eventually you will feel like smiling. Looking on the brightside of life can sometimes take a little bit of work, but it is worth it. Need help? Take five minutes and look up jokes or funny cat pictures online. Can anyone really be unhappy after looking at funny cat pictures?
6. Never say "I can’t." You can do anything. Really. But you’re never going to accomplishment a single thing if you think it’s impossible. Saying “I can’t” often just means “I don’t want to,” in which case that is fine and you shouldn’t let anyone force you to do what you don’t want to do. Living your life purely by other’s standards won’t exactly make you happy either. However, if your “I can’t” means more “I don’t know how,” or “That’s too much work,” take a moment to reevaluate it. If it is something you realize you want to do, make a list of all the things you can do, and eventually you will realize your “can do’s” add up and you can do just about anything if you truly set your mind to it.
How do you keep positive? Write me a comment below and let me know.