How to: Positivity

As 2015 is coming to a close, I have decided to talk about a topic that is extremely important to me, and should be to everyone.

Let me start off by apologizing for my brief absence, I was in a play and it was consuming much of my time. Also, I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired, another reason for this post.

Being positive is something that I struggled greatly with when I began high school. As a freshman I was mainly concerned about being known by as many people as possible. I was involved with so much friend drama that year and I even dated a guy I didn’t like in the slightest. Honestly, if my freshman year self walked by me on the street I’d have no clue who she was. I didn’t even wear the clothes I wanted to wear out of fear of people “judging me”, which I’ll get to later.

Long story short: I was the biggest pessimist that year plus I had absolutely no confidence, because when it came down to it most of my problems stemmed from a fear of being myself, to put it in the most cliche terms.

Write:

I remember the very day I decided I was tired of living pessimistically. It was January of sophomore year and that winter was terrible in New England which caused many school cancelations. One day I came home from school after finding out we were to have 3 snow days and I sat down and wrote in this journal I had barely used.

I wrote down all my goals and the people who I was talking to/ friends with at the time, people who made and still make me happy. The people in your life are the first step to being positive. If you surround yourself with negative people, or people who you just do not mesh well with, then it is extremely hard to be happy.

Writing is a great strategy for people who feel like their head is just full of thoughts that consume their everyday life. I am a very closed book, so writing down my thoughts etc. is very helpful. Also having your thoughts written down allows you to visually see how much you have grown throughout the years.

Goals:

Going along with writing, write down goals for yourself! It doesn’t have to be the start of a new year for you to change your ways, start on a snowy January afternoon, or at 2 am when you’re cleaning out your closet and have some epiphany about life. It is never too late to become who you want to be.

I remember in sophomore year I found a list of goals for myself that I had stuffed in my pillowcase. I was nervous to read them, as up until then I had little confidence in myself especially concerning making progress in, well everything. After reading my goals I was amazed I had accomplished nearly all of them. Those are what still keep me going in terms of self improvement.

Keep separate lists of goals too. Make one for each week, for each term of school, for each year, and for each five years. With each goal accomplished you’ll feel more and more inspired.

Helping Out:

Helping out others is a perfect way to stay positive. This doesn’t mean the community service you are required to do for school or what have you, you can help someone out everyday without making a powerpoint about it.

Look up places in your area in need of your help such as a food pantry or an animal shelter. Help out the person who drops their groceries in the same aisle you happen to be in. Smile at someone in the hall, or involve someone in a conversation. Little things and big things add up, and although it’s arguable that karma is an actual circumstance or not, something positive will come out of helping others.

I volunteer at an animal shelter and for a little while my family fostered dogs from there. That winter we fostered this one black lab who just couldn’t get adopted and since my parents are suckers they ended up adopting him. He is the sweetest dog I’ve ever met and if I never volunteered, my family would never have adopted him.

The Silver Lining:

Learning to look at the brighter side of everything is something you MUST do if you’re looking to become more positive, always understand that everything happens for a reason. In some cases these reasons are hard to see at first, but over time you’ll understand why something happened.

Of course, not everything bad thing comes with good outcomes, but that’s just simply how life is sometimes. It is people with positivity that keep the world from brooding over all things wrong.

Happiness with Yourself:

Always understand that the first person your positive outlook should influence is yourself. If you’re scared to wear something or cut your hair a certain way or even act a certain way, don’t be. I know, easier said than done, but just keep in the back of your mind: people are usually very self absorbed and if they realize you don’t care what they think, they’ll waste their breath talking about someone else.

Push yourself to try knew things and never hold back from living the life you want to. All exaggeration aside, you literally can create the outcome for your life, so go out and try new food, or talk to new people. Make spontaneous plans with your friends, and pet every dog until your fingers fall off (kidding that’s a little weird). Push those insecurities aside, because one day you’ll wake up at the age of 87 are regret the times you couldn’t go get ice cream because you were scared you were “fat”.

And lastly, understand if you’re not where you want to be at this moment, you’ll get there. Wanting to change and wanting to improve is the hardest part, but once you get that motivation and the positive life outlook, getting there will be fun, not a chore.

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