Let’s face it, the pandemic and life’s worrisome events have often made it a challenge to remain positive. But as the new year gets closer, it’s possible to start fresh, making a decision to focus on appreciating the roses in your life rather than thinking of the thorns. This doesn’t mean pretending to be happy when you’re not. If you’re upset, it’s important to deal with and talk about your feelings. By choosing to fill your mind with positive thoughts, however, you’ll create a more calm and hopeful attitude, feel better about yourself and others, and feel more competent to handle everyday challenges. Here’s how to start thinking more positively:
- Reason with facts, not feelings. Changes in your life can make you feel uncertain and anxious, making you fear the worst. If you’ve experienced a setback, slow down, get the facts, and review your options. Then ask yourself, “If this was happening to somebody else, what advice would I give them?”
- Stay connected. Keep in touch with friends and loved ones and be open to developing new friendships. Volunteering your time and keeping active in clubs or groups will help you focus on others more than on yourself. Spend time with positive people who are living active, fulfilled lives.
- Schedule time for pleasurable activities. This can boost your spirit and give you something to look forward to.
- Become a problem-solver. Instead of wishing problems would go away, take steps to solve them as quickly as possible, asking for support and help from others if needed.
- Find the silver lining. Give yourself time to adjust to change or loss. Change can bring new opportunities: Be open to them, realizing that while your life may not be the same, it can be better than what you imagine.
- Question your deeply held beliefs. Screen out the negatives. For example, if you have a recurring dread of aging triggered when you misplace something, don’t dismiss it as “just old age,” or a faded memory. The real reason for what you are experiencing could be only temporary — such as tiredness, hunger, or having a lot on your mind.