We all have periods in our life that fluctuate between good times, difficulties and challenges.  The good times are great, we feel positive and are energised.  The difficulties can make us feel vulnerable and question ourselves.  It is during these times, that we seek to cope to find our inner strength and life’s learning.

To feel positive can boost self esteem, find happiness and improve our well being.  However, it needs to be realistic to one’s personal situation and experience.  Positive psychologist Dr Suzy Green warns about seeing the world through rose coloured glasses, and suggests we pursue ‘realistic optimism’ in the face of one’s situation and challenges.

To feel positive is a perspective to a situation, and is a choice.  In the article, we explore the 10 tips to help feel positive.

1. Appreciate your gifts

The first step to happiness is to focus on what you have, rather than what you do not have.  Many can take their life gifts for granted.

Write a gratitude list of 5 things you are grateful for.  Examples include:  appreciating your close family and friends, working in a position that you enjoy, being healthy, spending time doing what you enjoy, or buying a gift for a friend’s birthday.

You can show appreciation by writing thank yous, recognising ‘little things’, reciprocating, or going out of your way for another.  These gestures will help you to begin to ‘shift’ your attitude.

2. Appreciate your unique self

We all are blessed with strengths and attributes.  We have a physical and inner beauty.  We may like our brown curly hair, our smile, or the ability to be thoughtful and intuitive.  Appreciate we also have areas or issues to address to grow as a person, gain insight and over time, acquire wisdom.  These qualities make us who we are with a unique place in the world.

3. Find meaning and purpose

Meaning is felt when we connect with something bigger than ourselves.  For some, it may take a spiritual dimension.

A central feature of our life is to search for personal meaning by expressing our unique gifts.  Our purpose is our life goal and the focus of our energy.

4. Do things for others

Many are taught over their life, to focus and look after themselves.  There is truth and a place for this.  But there is also a place to shift our thinking from being self focussed or absorbed about our own life, to know what someone else is about, and consider their needs.  This is the basis of a deep and meaningful relationship.  As you help another, you actually help yourself!  This is rewarding and makes you feel good in the inside.  Your self esteem rises, and you feel happier.

5. Aim to be positive, reframe a situation

For some it is easier than for others on developing a positive attitude.  It is their temperament, whilst others need to work on it.  It is your decision to choose how you feel.

When a situation or your thoughts are negative, look at it from a broader perspective and a ‘higher level.’  It may be by speaking with a trusted person.  Turn the situation or your thoughts around by seeing the positive.  You can do this by ‘reframing’ the negative to find 1 or 2 positives.  It requires a refocus and a positive mindset.  It is not always easy, but the positive exists.  Over time, being positive will define your thoughts and behaviour.  You will feel better about yourself and your future prospects.

6. Do some exercise, go for a walk

Exercise is vital for good health, wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle.  A short walk will increase the flow of oxygen to your brain.  This will help to shift the energy level, and  take in your surroundings to appreciate the world around you.

When you walk with a family member, friend or colleague, you spend time together and it may encourage you to walk further.  It will help raise your self esteem and to feel more positive.

7. Meet with a special person or group of friends

Family and friends who are supportive accept you, and show positive feelings.  It will help you feel good about yourself, and raise your self esteem.  Happiness comes from surrounding yourself with positive people where you are appreciated.

8. Focus on the beauty in the world

We are surrounded by beauty; we just need to see it.  My favourites are appreciating the laughter of my grand-daughter, or walking along the beach where I absorb the beauty of the beach, people walking and exercising, or just sitting and enjoying their surroundings.  For others, beauty comes from other sources.  Where does your beauty come from?

9. Be creative – listen to music, see art

The left and right sides of our brain control different types of thinking.  A person who is “left-brained” is often said to be more logical, analytical, and objective, while a person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective.As individuals have a preference for the right or left side of the brain, balance your equilibrium, and aim to incorporate personal meaning in music, art, and colour.

10. Affirmations

Affirmations are short and power statements.  When you say or think them or even hear them, they become the thoughts that create your reality.  So let’s end with an affirmation about the article topic.

‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ James Dean

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