Telling anyone to ‘cheer up!’ or ‘think more positively’ will often result in an icy glare.
And rightly so – whether you’re just in a bad mood, or suffering with a mental health problem, thinking more positively isn’t as easy as such flippant remarks make it sound.
Nevertheless, there are a few pro-active things you can do to improve your mood and outlook – yes! There are ways to be more positive!
The Power of Music
Listen to whatever music puts you in a good mood, whether it’s 80’s power ballads or heavy metal. Music is a stimulant for our brains, and listening to something upbeat can be effective in lifting mood.
Set Goals, And Focus On Them
When you’re feeling low, it can make you feel detached and directionless. Having goals gives you something to focus on and work towards, giving you a sense of doing something constructive, and looking forward to a better future rather than concentrating on what’s making you unhappy in the present.
Fill Your Life With Positive People
Do you have a friend who brings you down? It could be someone with whom the friendship is mostly one-sided (i.e. someone who needs a lot of attention and support but isn’t prepared to reciprocate), or it could be someone who’s generally negative in their comments. You don’t need people like that in your life.
You don’t need to be mean, but find a way of filtering negative people out of your life and you’ll find that you feel lighter and more positive as a result.
Ask Yourself “Does This Really Matter?”
Whenever something gets you down, ask yourself this question. If the answer is ‘no’, then let go of the issue. Accept what has happened and move forward.
If the answer is ‘yes’, then you can focus on constructive ways of fixing whatever is making you unhappy. By asking yourself the question, you can save yourself the wasted energy spent on problems not worth worrying about!
Remember, You Always Have A Choice
If you’re in a situation that makes you unhappy, be it work or a personal relationship, you have the choice to exit that situation. It doesn’t always feel like it, but you do have the choice to quit the job that makes you miserable, or leave the partner who puts you down, or leave the party when you’re not enjoying yourself.
The only person who can make that choice is you, and while the choice may be a difficult one – maybe you rely on the income, or live with the partner, or have social obligations – but you do have the power to put your own well-being first and leave.