5 Ways Of Finding Positivity In Times Of Trial

There are times in life when everything seems to rush in all at once. A tornado of obstacles, trials, and unexpected life change is hurled at a speed so quick you’re left standing in the dust, wondering what on earth to do. Life has a bizarre way of twisting in and out of ease — sometimes you’re coasting downhill, wind at your back, other times it seems as though you’re swimming upstream. Personally, these last few months have been hard — it seems as though life is throwing non-stop curve balls.

I would consider myself a positive person — I like to look for the good in everything. But when life gets hard, staying positive becomes a challenge. Recently, my family and I have been through a series of rough times. From the loss of a loved one to unexpected health diagnoses, I’ve been left to wonder if I’m capable of remaining positive. Problems come in all shapes and sizes and no one person’s are more important than another’s. Though your emotions can’t turn on a dime and it’s unhealthy to push down what you’re really feeling, the following five points have helped me remain positive through challenging times:

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Adjust your perspective: When times get tough it’s easy to sink into negativity and dwell on the unfortunate circumstances. When I lost someone close to me, I grieved and would find myself thinking only of how much I was going to miss them in my life. Yes, grieving is very healthy and necessary but I decided to change my perspective and begin to think of all of the beautiful memories we shared and how they shaped my life. You can also change your perspective by seeking solutions and taking calculated risks; if you can identify the problem, you will likely find a solution. For example, when I moved to NYC I battled times of loneliness, which would often lead to negative thoughts. I would combat them by taking risks: Attending music shows or exploring museums by myself, not to necessarily meet anyone, but to simply change my perspective. Have faith that changing the way you look at tough situations will lead to more positivity in your life.

Do something nice for someone else: There really is no better feeling than doing something kind for another person. Though I love me some shopping, the joy of helping or giving to another is much more lasting than the fleeting feel-good emotion of buying new shoes or another pair of jeans. Giving to others is a surefire way for me stay positive in challenging times. There are many different ways to extend yourself to those around you: Start with a simple “hello” or smile at a stranger, lend an ear without judgement to a friend, bring coffee to your co-workers on Monday morning… text your mom that you love her. You’ll be amazed at how giving and helping others really actually helps you.

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Notice, capture, and release negative thoughts: My dad once taught me that recognizing negative thoughts is half the battle. The other half is choosing to release those thoughts. As humans, it’s easy to dwell in negativity but once you notice yourself thinking poorly, you have a choice to capture that thought, release it, and choose a positive one. It’s a difficult thing and one that will take practice but I guarantee that you are strong enough to choose positive thoughts.

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Do what you love! In times of trouble, don’t forget what you love to do and go do it! If you love journaling, write! If you love music, turn it up! Get outside and hike, breathe the fresh air and look at the beauty around you! If affirmations are your thing, then post them up around your home. Break out your sketch pad and draw… paint… doodle. If you’re an active person, then by all means go take a run… dance… surf. When you get back to doing the things you love, your spirit is lifted and you radiate positivity.

Don’t be too hard on yourself: Unreasonable expectations can take a toll on your mindset. It’s important to give yourself a break sometimes. Forgiving others is an important aspect to staying positive but don’t forget to forgive yourself too!

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As I mentioned before, this isn’t a quick check off list that leads to sunshine. Life is tough and sometimes it may seem like we’re left at the bottom of a valley and our journey is only uphill. But, with one foot after another, the journey up the mountain is well worth it. Just think of the view from the top.

+ If you have any ways that help keep you in positive spirits, please let us know in the comments!

Comments

  1. I loved this post. I’ve been struggling myself the past few months, but I’ve started a gratitude journal. Every time I’m feeling negative, I write about all the things I’m thankful for: shelter, clean water to drink, the sunshine. I came to find that the things I would normally take for granted became very powerful when I acknowledged them.

  2. This post couldn’t come at a better time. My boyfriend and I just broke up yesterday, and it’s hard to feel positive about my future. These are great ideas to try out, so thank you

  3. Wonderful post! Sometimes we need these reminders that we’re not alone and there is a way to find comfort in tough times. Thank you.

  4. Great post. I lost my Dad a year and a half ago, and grieving is hard. My family is one that “deals” with bad things by completely ignoring them, so I never learned what healthy grieving is. I like your idea of remembering the good times when you’re missing them.
    When I feel lonely I pet my cats, or go online to socialize that way. And music… That’s the best. It can totally change my mood for the better.

  5. Doing what you love is so important! Too many people get stuck doing something they really don’t enjoy and that takes its toll on your mental health after a while.

  6. such a wonderful post. yes I find that trying to find the good in the “bad” always seems to help me. talking to a good friend, meditation and spirituality are very helpful to me as well. And I love being in the outdoors – there’s something about going on a hike and being out in nature that I find to be very healing.

    The Weaver Of Words….give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale…
    http://www.averyfairytale.wordpress.com

  7. Wow, thank you all for sharing. Courtney Rose, I love the idea of a gratitude journal. We have so much to be grateful for that we often overlook. Thank you xx

  8. It is hard to get yourself into the right mindset for sure when dealing with a barrage of difficult life events. When I lost someone close to me I did not think I would be able to cope. I soon found though that talking to others who have gone through similar situations or reading relatable stories, blog posts, etc helped me feel less alone and less hopeless. I want to recommend a book that helped me out immensely during this time called “Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased” by Dr. Jamie Turndorf. This book is a God send to anyone struggling with the grief of losing someone. Dr. Turndorf truly understands the feeling of loss and it is conveyed through each lovingly written page. She lost her husband and you can tell that this book was a way for her to grieve as well and help others. She has created a method that enables those who grieve to reconnect rather than say goodbye. I always have felt that the people I have lost could communicate with and watch over me in their own way, and this book confirms it for me. I really hope you will give it a read and my heart goes out to all who are going through tough times

  9. Great post! It helps remind me that there is always someone out there giving us the support and guidance to get through our challenges,when we’re looking for it. Thank you.

  10. Here’s a lighthearted suggestion. I have a theme song. Whenever I have a mild attack of the blues I make myself sing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah. It’s a song from a very old Disney movie, but it works for me. After singing a few bars I cannot help but smile.
    I enjoyed your post!

  11. Take control of what you can control. These are words that I’ve learned to live by and repeat to myself daily. Great post, thank you for sharing.

  12. Just found this blog and had to read. I can relate to this blog in so many ways especially right now. Thanks for the positive read. Sometimes I can forget that other people go through similar situations as well.
    X

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