There are many perks of keeping a positive mindset in the face of adversity; how you think can actually contribute in turning your situation around. Focusing on the good in any situation not only enables one to take control of things that are in one’s hands, but also helps in managing stress. Research has found that positive thinking also plays an important role in overall health and well-being. (Also read: How to make positive affirmations work; tips by psychologist)
“Positive mindset, or a cheerful attitude, is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. It can have a great impact on your mental health as well as physical health. That doesn’t mean you’re ignoring reality or taking problems easier. Positive mindset can be achieved through different techniques such as positive self-talk and positive representation,” says Dr. Pallavi Joshi, Consultant Psychologist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, New Delhi.
Here are some tips on how people can keep a positive mindset while facing challenges
Focus on the good things
Challenging situations and hurdles are a part of life. When you are faced with one, focus on the good things no matter how small or apparently insignificant they seem. If you look for it, you can always find the silver lining in every cloud. For example, if someone cancels plans, understand his or her situation and focus on how it frees up time for you to catch up on a TV show or do another activity you love.
Practice gratitude for others
Practicing gratitude is always helpful in reducing stress, improving self-esteem, and fostering resilience even in very difficult situations. Think about the people, moments, or things that bring you some kind of comfort, happiness or love.
Keep a gratitude journal in your day
Studies show that writing down the things you are grateful for can improve your hope and sense of well-being. You can do this by writing in a gratitude journal every day or every week, or jotting down a list of things you are grateful for so that they make you smile when you are having a hard time.
Open up yourself to laugh
Studies show that laughter reduces stress, anxiety and depression. It is also helpful in improving coping skills, mood and self-esteem. Be open to humour in all situations, especially in the difficult ones, and give permission to yourself to laugh. It instantly brightens the mood and makes things seem a little less harder.
Keep distance from negative people
Negativity and positivity can be infectious. While spending time with a positive person has a good and joyous effect on one, a person with bad mood can spoil everyone’s mood. This is the reason you must choose your company with care. Surrounding yourself with positive people can also help improve self-esteem and increase your chances of reaching goals. Keep yourself with people who will lift you up and help you see the bright side of yours.
Practice positive self-talk
Sometimes we tend to be the hardest on ourselves and we make ourselves our own worst critic. This can cause you to form a negative opinion of yourself that can be hard to reduce. To overcome this, you’ll need to be mindful of the voice in your head and respond with positive thoughts, this is called positive self-talk. Research has found that even a small change in the way you talk to yourself can change your personality and ability to manage your feelings, thoughts, behaviour and stress.
Identify your own patterns of negativity
Take a look at your life and identify that part within yourself that promotes negativity in you. If you are not sure, you may ask your trusted friend or colleague. They will help you to know your negative sides. And then try to improve one angle at a time. This will help you to think positively.