how to remain positive

Holding on to the silver lining: How to remain positive in tough times

Staying positive can help you stay calm during tough situations, deal with the challenges and live life with a little less worry.

We are living in unprecedented times. Every day we hear news about a new variant that affects our mindset and makes our future look uncertain. We don’t know whether we should work from home or go back to the office. Our vacation plans have been put on hold. We have so many questions that our lives have become big puzzles that we can’t solve. In light of this, it is only natural to feel a little less positive with each passing day.

However, even though it may seem difficult, positivity is exactly what we need to get through this difficult time. With a positive attitude, we can find the silver lining even in the darkest clouds. We can find reasons to stay happy when things aren’t going our way. And we can find ways to stay calm during tough situations, deal with the challenges and live life with hope and optimism.

The 1984 Olympic gold-medallist gymnast Mary Lou Retton once said, “Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.” If you too are having a tough time and looking for suggestions on how to remain positive during trying times, these tips can help you maintain a positive outlook in life.

Practice mindfulness meditation

When things aren’t going your way, staying positive can be incredibly hard. Your mind gets occupied with endless thoughts—Am I doing things the right way? What if something happens? What should I do next? Such thoughts prevent you from thinking clearly and taking action. Eventually, you are left feeling frustrated, which allows negative feelings to take over your life.

So, how do you deal with this? Start with practising mindfulness meditation. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Learning to live more in the present is especially helpful when the future is uncertain.” This form of meditation sharpens your focus by training your mind to focus on the present. You experience feelings of calmness and contentment because you are not thinking about the past or the future. This lessens your stress, improves your attention span, and makes you feel more positive.

Take help from others

Oftentimes, when you face a challenging situation that can turn your life upside down, you need some extra motivation to keep going. In such times, if you are around positive, like-minded people, they can help you in more ways than one. You can find warmth and inspiration in their words that can inspire you to stay positive even in the darkest of times. You will find the strength to fight your battles, and even if you fail, negativity won’t come near you because your friends and family members will be there to support you.

Practice self-care every day

Self-care is anything you do to keep yourself healthy—physically, mentally and spiritually. From taking a walk in the morning to reading your favourite book to enjoying a cup of tea, engaging in a self-care routine can help you stay happy and positive when the going gets tough. These simple relaxing activities help relieve the pressures of everyday life and bring joy. When you are in your happy place, you embrace positivity and find a way to keep negativity at bay.

Stay physically active

Exercising regularly doesn’t just improve your health physically, but mentally as well. A study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, found, “As little as 10-min physical activity per week or 1 day of doing exercise per week might result in increased levels of happiness.” So, the next time you are upset about something, don’t wallow in self-pity. Start moving. Get to the gym, put on your running shoes and go for a run, or simply step out of your house and take a stroll in nature.

Know what is not in your control

In life, you will come across situations when no matter what you do or how hard you try, things simply don’t work out as planned. It’s easy to get frustrated in such situations because it is something beyond your control. But worrying about it all the time can be damaging to your mental health. Chances are you may get overwhelmed and anxious thinking about it. Hence, to preserve your mental health, you must come to terms with what you can and cannot control. Use your energy doing things that are within your reach. Don’t overthink. This way, you can make positive changes in different aspects of your life and remain optimistic when things aren’t going your way.

Be kind to others

When you help others, be it by offering to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbour or holding the door open for someone in the office, make it a point to notice how you feel. Research suggests that “people who volunteer their time tend to be happier than those who don’t.” If you feel the same way, then you should continue doing the good work. This way, you might feel more fulfilled and develop a more positive attitude in the long run.

Cut yourself some slack

Don’t forget that you are human and people make mistakes. Don’t berate yourself if you fall short of your target once in a while. You can always learn from the experience and grow as a person. When you change the way you see failures, you make room for growth. This change in perspective can help you stay positive even when things don’t work in your favour.


How can mindfulness meditation help during tough times?

Practicing mindfulness meditation can help you stay focused on the present, reducing stress and fostering feelings of calmness and contentment.

How can surrounding yourself with positive people be beneficial?

Being around positive, like-minded people can provide inspiration, motivation, and support during challenging times, helping you stay positive and resilient.

How does self-care contribute to a positive outlook?

Engaging in self-care activities boosts happiness and helps you stay positive by relieving everyday pressures and promoting a sense of joy.

How does being kind to others impact positivity?

Helping others and volunteering can lead to increased happiness, fostering a positive attitude and a sense of fulfilment.


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