The benefits of a positive attitude have been extensively documented both anecdotally and by researchers. Someone who tends to be more positive in life is likely to be more motivated, healthier and happier. It can even extend life expectancy and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Not only does fostering a positive attitude benefit a person him or herself, but it affects everyone around him or her. People will show a person more respect, be more helpful just generally respond better to someone who knows how to be see the glass as half full.
There are plenty of reasons to be more positive in life, but it can be hard, almost impossible sometimes, to stay positive in a world that seems to focus so much on failure. In school, at home and in the workplace, perfection is considered to be the standard, and so we rarely ever hear anything from the powers that be unless it is to tell us how badly we screwed up. We all work at full-steam one hundred percent of the time with little to no positive reinforcement, it is no wonder that so many find it hard to be more positive in life.
Unfortunately, we just can not count on society to become more appreciative any time soon, so it is up to us as individuals to immerse ourselves in a more positive environment both for ourselves and for our friends, family and co-workers. So listed below are several easy behavioral changes you can make to help you be more positive in life and to foster a more positive atmosphere for everyone.
3 Easy Ways to Be More Positive in Life
In order to be more positive in life, we need to start showing each other that we value one another. A little compliment here and there can really brighten a persons day. Not only that, but social protocol almost demands a compliment in return. Even if the person doesn’t have a compliment waiting in their back pocket, you will at least have positive feeling that you made someone else feel good.
When complimenting someone, the more meaningful the better. Superficial compliments are frequently brushed off by the cynical masses. Telling someone that their hair looks nice or that you like their shoes will just seem like sucking up. Adding some meaningful detail will show you are actually taking the time to admire something about them, like noting the change in color or cut of her hair, or the snazzy tassels on that new pair of shoes.
Find something with substance to compliment, such as the quality of their work or some other observable talent. Maybe you saw their band play at the bar, or they really kicked your butt at volleyball at the company picnic. Remember, you don’t have totally like someone or something to compliment them, you just have to be able to find something positive about them. By consciously complimenting others you will start to be more positive in life yourself.
Remember Your Own Strengths
Many of us find ourselves stuck in jobs that do not make use of our true talents and abilities. This is especially true for upcoming grads who probably majored in something like history, or literature or political science with a dream of changing the world, many of whom find themselves under employed, under appreciated and very under paid. Feeling trapped and undervalued at work is one of the most difficult barriers to overcome when trying to be more positive in life.
While we all do what we must to pay our bills, if we want to be more positive in life we have to keep with us little reminders of who we actually are, the dreams that frequently seem so far off, and of the talents we possess that make us great. For some that may be a beloved book or poem just lying on the desk, or some memento from that incredible summer internship.
Don’t ever be embarrassed by talents or skills you possess- show them off, not because you want the admiration of others, but because doing what you love makes you feel good and gives you cause to be more positive in life.
The whole idea of a positive affirmation may seem kind of hokey or tired. The whole idea of telling yourself “good job” can seem cliche. Yet a positive affirmation need not be cookie cutter and rehearsed, as it’s really any compliment you give yourself that helps you to be more positive in life.
When you look in the mirror, check yourself out like you would somebody at the bar or the club. If you like what you see tell yourself so. When you complete a project, large or small, at work or at home, cheer for yourself. You are awesome! That TPS report is going to blow your boss away! Even little victories deserve to be celebrated, like choosing an apple for a snack over a brownie, working for an hour on that novel you have been putting off instead of watching that reality show you secretly enjoy as a guilty pleasure. You will start to appreciate yourself more and you will find it much easier to be more positive in life.
Some of these suggestions might feel silly at first, but that is just cynicism talking. We are used to being sarcastic and dour all the time, so being complimentary to ourselves or others can feel less than genuine. When you are confident in yourself though, other people will start to notice too, and a cycle of positive reinforcement will emerge, encouraging you to be more positive in life overall.