Staying positive

Staying positive can be somewhat challenging. No one is happy all the time, that’s just a sad fact about life. Our mood affects us in many ways. However, striving to stay positive is something we all should keep doing. Becoming a positive person is something that takes time and effort, the really good thing about it though (except that it makes you happy) is that it becomes easier the more you do it. A positive mindset can help you in a lot of different ways, everything from releasing a clogged up mind, finding new learning opportunities, or just getting through the day. Set aside some time and begin, because just like with everything, practice makes perfect!

Rephrasing

Rephrasing is just what it sounds like and it is a really easy and useful tool. Just take the word “impossible” and make it “I’m possible” and your done! Jokes aside, the idea of rephrasing is similar. Isolate an occurrence and change it’s point of view. Make it a habit to always use a positive perspective. Let me give you an example:

“I’m so frustrated with my partner, he/she is so busy I only get to see him/her twice this week.”

Alright, let us rephrase that:

“I’m so excited, I haven’t seen my partner in like forever since he/she has been busy. This week I get to spend not one but two evenings with him/her.”

This example might be just a tad excessive but you get the point. By making rephrasing a part of your mental habits you can actually become a happier and more positive person. Me myself, try to do this as often as possible and it has actually made me realize something quite disturbing. Sometimes we tend to let negative thoughts take over and we fabricate difficult situations in life when we didn't need to. That is just plain stupid if you ask me.

Why not just be grumpy?

Okay, so I mentioned rephrasing as a simple but effective method to become a bit more positive. But why should you? Why can’t we all be like this grumpy cat and complain about the things that bother us? The simple answer is; we absolutely, most certainly can and a lot of people are doing just that.

However, before you decide to walk down the road of a grumpy old man please hear me out. Just like actively trying to be positive can get you into an upward spiral to the clouds and beyond, a negative attitude can just as easily take you down. Of course not being positive is not the same as being negative.Nevertheless I would like to tell you something about what negativity and angry thoughts can do to you. Remember that staying positive implies not being negative though.

When we are angry, irritated, or just annoyed, thoughts stay longer in our short term memory and blocks other thoughts to enter the scene. It is much harder to get rid of angry thoughts than positive thoughts. If you are like me and gets through life having to process a lot of different thoughts, ideas and emotions on a daily basis, staying positive can really help you keep that short term memory unclogged and that helps us stay focused. It unlocks our brains and makes it easier to change perspectives. As you might have learned through life, moods are infectious and sometimes spread like wild fire. A simple smile can brighten up everyone's day. However, the most contagious thoughts are the angry ones. Keep that in mind when spreading your thought germs around you, as CGP Grey likes to call them. He made a really interesting video about this a while back and if you have 7 minutes over, give it a viewing.

Help out when you can

You can also help out others to become happier and more positive by rephrasing for them. The next time your colleague complains about the workload, help them rephrase by telling them they would not have so much to do if they weren’t great at their job, or tell them it is an opportunity to learn how to be more efficient, or how it might be a long way to go but the work they do is important and helps out a lot of people and that’s what is important. All these ways can help people find and interpret things from a more positive perspective. Which, in the long run, helps them manage those things better.

Make positivity your trade mark.

Make positivity your trade mark.

Positivity has a very high impact in group dynamics and your peers. Everyone loves a positive person. People will seek you out when they need help rephrasing situations in life or when they just need their spirits lifted.

“Positive group dynamics are associated with good teamwork, inclusivity, few cliques or solitary individuals, positive conflict resolution, group resilience and peer support.” [source]

I’ll leave you with an example from my life when, why and how you can be more positive. You know those people who think they know it best. They won’t listen to what anybody else has to say and are just full of themselves thinking they know it all. Normally I can’t stand close minded people like this. However, there is a story of how they become those persons they are. So the first step is to be empathic and try not to be annoyed with them. If you can’t find empathy, try rephrasing, this might be an unpleasant encounter but it might just be your only unpleasant encounter this week (yes, I rephrased that for you), so you might just be a little bit curious (or at least play the part of being curious) about what this nasty human being has to say. The second step is to actually start listening to them, this is the most important step and might also be the most difficult. This person probably doesn’t know it all, but he/she might just know something you don’t. So there is your opportunity to learn, right there! It is really easy if you just manage to not clog your mind with un positive thoughts. You certainly don’t have to become friends with this person, just don’t let negative thoughts block you from learning opportunities!

I try to keep these things in my mind to stay positive in as many situations as I can. I believe it even helps me manage situations in ways I don’t even understand jet. I’m telling you, being positive is a sharp tool you’ll want to master!

I’ll strive to be as positive as I can and tho help everyone around me as well, will you join me in this endeavor?

Don’t walk around with weights in your shoes and thank you for reading! You can find all of my articles via my profile Jonas Johansson.