Keeping a positive outlook in life comes naturally to some, but not all. As working adults, we often overlook positivity in favour of being grounded in reality to avoid getting disappointed. When it comes to your career, however, being cheerful and optimistic can actually help you a lot. If you find yourself having trouble thinking more about the good things in life, we’ve listed some of the ways you can change your state of mind.
1. Monitor thoughts by keeping a journal
We all have bad days and go through rough patches in life–it cannot be avoided. When the times are tough, staying optimistic is often the last thing we have in mind. By keeping a journal, you can keep track of your thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas. You can then look back at what you’ve written and proceed to assess your mental state. Ever seen a Facebook status you wrote years ago pop up on your FB Memories? A lot of people cringe at their older selves for posting such stuff when they were younger, and keeping a journal is exactly like that. You can reminisce about all the good things that have happened, and remind yourself of what you’ve learned from your past mistakes and misfortunes. Some people maintain specific journals, like a “gratitude journal” to remind themselves of what to be thankful for, some people keep a dream journal and so on. Keeping a journal is also a healthy way of airing out your thoughts while still keeping your privacy.
2. Practice using affirmative language
Instead of saying “I can’t”, there are positive ways to approach tasks and situations. You can repeat the following phrases to yourself, or just keep them in mind to help motivate you:
- “I know I can do it.”
- “I can beat any challenge.”
- “I’m one day closer to my goals.”
- “If I believe it, I can achieve it.”
Using this as a mantra helps set your mind in working towards your goals and keeps you in focus.
3. Dedicate a few minutes to power posing
A new study has revealed that holding a power pose for as short as two minutes can help boost your confidence and performance. In a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy, body language and non-verbal communication significantly affects and reflects our attitude and behaviour. By tweaking the way we use our body, we can project a stronger character that our brains can later adapt into. As she puts it, “fake it ‘til you make it.” Amy advises that this trick can be easily applied to real-life situations such as getting a confidence boost before a job interview or giving a speech. Power posing can raise testosterone levels by 20% and decrease cortisol levels (a hormone released by the body when under stress) by 25%.
4. Change the way you approach challenges
Whenever you hit a particularly difficult part of your life, or when things don’t go according to what you’ve expected, think of it as a simple detour. To quote Aaron Burr from Hamilton: An American musical, “I am the one thing in life I can control.” There are a lot of things that are beyond our control, but we can always incite changes within ourselves. Re-frame your challenges by thinking of failures as mere redirections instead of dead-ends: when one door closes, another one will open.
These are just a few ways on how you can maintain a positive attitude. When practised regularly, it will be just as easy as breathing.
Did you enjoy reading this article? You can check out this one for tips on how to spice up your work life.