We’ve all had those days.
Whether it’s dealing with difficult customers, having your website crash, realizing your startup is one step away from failing, or getting into a screaming match with your spouse, life is full of stressful and negative moments.
While in some circumstances it would be acceptable to dwell in negativity and crawl into a hole, the fact of the matter is that being positive will help you more. Practicing a positive mindset can help you achieve a higher level of success both personally and professionally. It will not only help us overcome our fears, but a positive mentality can grow our social circles, reduce stress, and keep us motivated.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. But, these five simple steps will put you well on your way to achieving a better attitude.
1. Start your mornings off right.
Start each morning on a positive note. It may take some discipline at first, but you’ll quickly notice that this will become a habit. Once it does, you’ll be on your way to achieving a better attitude. I like to take a few minutes while exercising to reflect on the people and things that bring happiness to my life. By focusing on positive moments and memories, it puts me in the right frame of mind to tackle the day.
2. Choose happiness.
This could easily be one of the hardest steps to take, but happiness is in fact a choice. During the day, I incorporate things that are designed to make me happy.
For example, I’m a huge fan of music, so I listen to upbeat songs while I’m working. I also make sure I smile at everyone I come across throughout the day and look for ways that I can help others choose to be happy. This could mean sharing a silly joke or a funny story.
When you realize happiness is a choice (and you have the power to choose), you’ll no longer harp on negativity and point fingers. Instead, you’ll make the best out of any situation. When you are happy, share it with others. Happiness is contagious.
3. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
How do you expect to be happy when there is so much negativity in your life? You may feel that you simply can’t. That’s why you need to remove the negativity in your life and replace it with positivity.
One of the first places I started is with those around me. It wasn’t worth it to me to have people in my life that complain or focus on the negative. Over time, I weeded these people out of my social circles and avoided them in professional circumstances. Instead, I have a core group of friends who are optimistic, upbeat, and supportive.
My wife and I also work to ensure we only enjoy music, movies, TV shows or books that are positive, because these put us in a great mood and leave a positive impact on our perspectives as individuals and as a couple.
It’s important to turn your negative thoughts around. For example, instead of saying, “I don’t have the resources” when starting a project, say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” You can also tell yourself things like, “I’m okay, or I’m doing okay, or I can do this.” My defining moment was realizing I was the only one that could keep myself in a positive frame of mind.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others.
We’ve all been guilty of comparing ourselves to others. However, it will ruin you and everyone around you. I’ve had to learn to just love myself, no matter what others are doing and how successful they’ve become.
Rather than focusing on how I wished I had that car or lifestyle my friend has, I’ve redirected any yearnings to thinking about how happy I am to be surrounded by those I care about who are doing well for themselves. Celebrating their success instead of secretly wishing I had it provides me with a much better outlook on life. I am also reminded of what’s really important in life. It’s not about things; it’s about people and the experiences you enjoy together.
5. Change your vocabulary.
For me, it’s helpful to think about positive words I can use to describe a situation. I tend to be rather enthusiastic about life anyways, so it becomes a fun game for me to think of the best phrases to repeat to others around me. The more unique the words and phrases, the better, because it tends to make others laugh or, at the very least, smile.
These five steps definitely help me to have a better attitude about life, but it comes from an overall outlook in my perspective. This perspective tells me that life is too short to focus on the negative.
With what brief time I’m given, I choose to make the most of each day. It’s this focus that has gotten me through many challenges and helped those around me to remain on a positive course.
This article has been edited and condensed.
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