Okay, I don’t want to sound like someone with their head in the sand, but there are a million and one good things happening all around us every single day. Understandably, t can be difficult to recognize and acknowledge the positives in our lives when we’re in a jam.
No doubt, our world is plagued by negativity, but that doesn’t mean it is all doom and gloom. In this quick post, I’ll share some of my top tips to help you focus on the good things in life.
To be clear, these tips won’t make your challenges go away, but they’ll help you stay level-headed and positive despite the obstacles.
Ease Into Your Day
Many of us can’t see all the good happening around us because we’ve trained our minds to focus on the negative. And we do this from the moment we wake up.
As we drift off to sleep, we let go of our fears, worries, and pains and embrace the ease and calm that comes with sleep.
Interestingly, we pick up right where we left off as soon as we open our eyes in the morning. We forget that the same ease and calm we enjoyed while we slept still exist within us throughout our waking moments.
The trick to staying positive for most of the day is to start the day on the right footing. This means consciously connecting with the feelings of ease and calm as quickly as possible when we wake up.
I recommend any of these practices to help you start your day off right:
- Meditation: Sit in silence for about 5 to 15 minutes, focusing on your breath, the energy coursing through your body, and allowing any insight to flow to you. Want to learn more about meditation? Check out this article.
- Mentally prepare for the day: If meditation sounds a bit off for you, simply sit for a few minutes when you wake up, ensuring you are completely relaxed and not focused on worrisome thoughts. Use this quiet time to think through the fun things you hope to do for the day (avoid thinking about stress-inducing activities). You can make a gratitude list now or later in the day.
- Physically prepare for the day: After your alone time (meditating or relaxing), get yourself ready to face the day. Exercise, shower, eat breakfast (if that’s something you like to do), and start the day’s activities.
By easing into your day, instead of rushing into it, you start the day on a high note, leading to a more optimistic approach to life.
Make a Gratitude List
Whenever you have trouble identifying the good things in life ― if all you see are difficulties, fears, and worries ― realize that your focus is on things that can pull you down and plunge you into a downward spiral of negative thoughts.
Left unchecked, negative focus can increase your stress level.
Here’s what I suggest to address this: whip out your journal and write down the things you are grateful for.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re thankful for a huge inheritance you just came into or the pen you are using to make your list; the most important thing is shifting your focus from negativity to positivity at that moment.
But is focusing on the things you’re thankful for really effective? Can positive thinking make any significant impact on your life?
Research shows positive thinking can help reduce negative self-talk, lower stress, and improve overall health.
And one of the quickest ways to shift gears into positivity is by making a gratitude list. Remember to connect with the feeling of gratitude when you make your list.
Take Regular Breaks
Working hard and being highly productive is great and all, but you will have to contend with negative consequences if you overwork yourself.
Schedule regular breaks throughout the day to allow you to rest, recharge, and refocus. A thousand good things could be happening right before your eyes, but you’ll not be able to recognize them if you are exhausted.
Exhaustion is a state of extreme mental or physical tiredness, and you can’t be in a positive state of mind when you are extremely tired.
The thing is, you have to be in a good frame of mind to see the good things in life. Make sure to take breaks and relax several times a day. Trust me; your world won’t fall apart because you rested for a few minutes.
And while we are still on the subject of taking breaks, keep in mind that multitasking doesn’t make you more productive. If anything, it leads to overworking, which can increase your stress level.
A better way to work is to focus on one task at a time (single-tasking) until you complete it. Single-tasking is one of the mindfulness challenges I recommend for staying focused.
Help Others in Whatever Way You Can
Sometimes, challenges can dampen your spirit and make it difficult to see anything good in your life.
Here’s a secret I use when I catch myself focusing on problems: I actively look for ways to help or assist others, including strangers.
This shifts my focus from worrisome thoughts and puts me in a benevolent mindset. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you feel benevolent, right?
Volunteer in your community if you have to or donate to a cause you believe in. By supporting others, you create joy for them and yourself.
Your body releases endorphins to boost your mood when you exercise. The opposite is true when you are idle for too long; you get into a bad mood.
I strongly recommend making exercise a regular thing in your life to help keep your spirits up. And if that’s something too difficult for you (perhaps because of a physical condition), you can engage in a hobby.
Get occupied with your favorite hobby or hit the gym (if you can) whenever you feel negative thoughts or emotions creeping in.
The beautiful and positive thing about exercising with this mindset is getting the best of both worlds. You are taking care of your physical health at the same time keeping your mind healthy.
And even if you can’t do physical exercises, you can fill your thoughts with uplifting thoughts while doing the things you enjoy to achieve a more positive outlook.
Staying positive and focused can be pretty challenging, especially in a world where negative news travels faster than good news. However, you can develop a more optimistic outlook on life by practicing the tips and little things I’ve shared.
I invite you to check out this article for more tips on how to train your mind to focus on the good things in life.