Life is not a bed of roses. Instead, it makes us travel on various paths and encounter different experiences. Some of the experiences rejuvenate our souls, while some experiences make us stand on the brink of emotional instability. So often, people find themselves in situations where it’s hard to stay positive and see the bright side of things.
No matter how optimistic you are, some things are just really hard to deal with. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find the positive side of things and use positivity to help you cope with hard times and make it through them with your sanity intact. Positivity can be challenging to maintain during hard times, but staying positive and thriving is possible, even when you feel like things are falling apart.
Life does not throw the same hurdles in everyone’s way. Everyone is uniquely tested by life. For example, some people go through an emotionally difficult time, such as a divorce or the death of someone close to them. Some struggle with illness, addiction, or depression. However, when you feel depressed or emotionally weak, the best thing you can do is start learning to stay positive during challenging times to surmount your troubles. Here are five tips that will help you stay positive and rise above the negative feelings that often accompany difficult circumstances.
Maintain a Gratitude Journal
One way of staying positive during hard times is to focus on what you have, not what you don’t. This can be as simple as keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, write down three things that made you grateful.
If you have trouble coming up with an answer for your first entries, ask family members or friends who love and support you for help. Hopefully, their responses will make it easier for you to keep going daily. It may sound like a small thing, but studies show that writing in a gratitude journal each night helps us sleep better and boosts our immune systems.
When you do not want to be surrounded by the company of your loved ones, try meditation as a therapy. It helps you discover the hidden part of yourself and leads you to better options for making yourself cheerful and content. However, mediation does not mean sitting for a while and then jumping on another activity.
Mediation requires time; if you want to reap long-term benefits from meditation, experts recommend dedicating at least 11 minutes per day to practice. This will help create new neural pathways in your brain, making you less reactive to stress and more resilient when times get tough. Take, for example, a 2016 review of studies which found that 20 minutes of meditation is optimal for beneficial outcomes—and most people don’t last more than seven minutes.
One of the best ways to stay positive during challenging times is through exercise. Not only does exercise release endorphins that naturally boost your mood, but it also releases dopamine, which makes you feel optimistic. So if you’re having a rough day or week, consider taking a short walk or doing some other form of light activity; these are easy activities that anyone can fit into their schedules.
However, if you need more motivation than that, try finding an exercise buddy or joining a group class. Other people will motivate you to work harder and stick with your workout routine—or vice versa.
It is often difficult to maintain positive emotions when someone is under a lot of stress. However, if you find yourself in a negative state of mind, spend a few minutes doing something that makes you feel relaxed and happy.
Take a moment to think about your goals or values. Focus on how they make you feel positive about yourself. Taking care of yourself will help keep you motivated during trying times.
Utilize Energy Healing Methods
While under stress, some people look at alternative medicine and claim it’s unscientific. These methods have been developed over thousands of years of practice—long before our modern understanding of science came into being.
Energy healing is one way to stay positive during hard times because the human body has its own innate ability to heal itself. Rather than simply taking a pill for your physical ailments, try meditation or guided relaxation; it may be exactly what you need to feel better.
When you are under stress, paying attention to your breathing is essential because stress can change how you breathe. People who are stressed often take short, shallow breaths in and out. The problem with these stress breaths is that they don’t allow our bodies enough oxygen.
If you start feeling overwhelmed or stressed, bring your focus back on how you’re breathing. Take a few deep, slow breaths in through your nose (and hold them for a second or two), then exhale slowly through your mouth—you should feel yourself relax a little more as you do so.