How to Stay Positive When Things Aren’t Going Your Way

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Sometimes when things aren’t going your way it’s hard to see anything positive. Everything seems to be going wrong and your world is just upside down — at least you believe it is. If you change your way of thinking and redirect your focus you can remain positive in any situation. I used to have a hard time doing exactly this. 

My mornings would start off bad which would, in turn, lead to my afternoons being bad and before you know it my whole day was trash. That’s because I focused on that one minuscule negative thing/situation that happened in the morning. Therefore it manifested into more negative things happening. Or, rather, me focusing on the negative things going on around me. 

Positive Thinking

It’s ok to acknowledge the negative but if you are putting all your energy into pondering on it that’s not going to do you any good. This is when positive thinking comes into play. Positive thinking is not ignoring all the negative things going on in your life but rather acknowledging the negative and being optimistic in that something positive will come out of it. Think of it as rearranging your thought process. So that instead of engaging in negative self-talk, you adjust your focus to something positive that happened as a result of the negative situation.

For instance, you failed a test even though you studied hard for it. This is something you have no control over, you tried your best and you put all your effort into it. You have done all you can do for THAT test, there is no reason to dwell on it. Instead, talk with your professor about what answers you got wrong so you can better study for the next one. This will result in your professor putting a face to your name and they might be inclined to give you more note-taking/study tips. 

Gratitude Journal

Positive thinking is just the first step to remaining positive. There are many tasks that aid in this. One of them being a gratitude list/journal. Writing down what you’re grateful for has a number of psychological benefits. For instance, if you find yourself in the comparison trap that induces negative thinking start writing or typing up in your phone what you are grateful for. Often times we lose sight of what we are actually blessed with because we are focusing on the blessings of others. 

Create a Positive Environment

Another way to remain positive in adverse situations is to create a positive environment. This can mean lighting your favorite candle, blasting your favorite song, working out or immersing yourself in The Word. My positive environment includes catching up on my tv shows uninterrupted, binge reading devotionals on The Bible App, or writing my feelings out on paper. Your positive environment can be you physically removing yourself or escaping somewhere else mentally for a little while. Whatever it takes to get you back on the path of positivity!

Help Those in Need

A sure-fire way to adjust your thinking and feelings towards life is to help others. Helping others lets you see how other people live and how they choose to overcome the negative going on in their lives. To see other people’s struggles or adversities and how happy and positive they remain will impact you greatly. Instead of focusing on the negative going on in your life use that same energy towards the betterment of others. This can be helping a family member with chores around the house or going to shelter and volunteering when needed. 

Work out

Exercise, exercise, exercise! We all know being active and getting that blood flowing has lots of positive benefits. So when something negative happens, literally work it out. I very rarely do this so I’m one to preach but I’m still aware of the benefits. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, it can be a 15-minute youtube workout in your living room or going to a yoga class. Whatever it takes to release those endorphins — do it! It may be daunting in the beginning but when you’re done you’ll be happy and proud of yourself. 

Scriptures and Positive Quotes

One of my favorite and easiest things to do is find scriptures or positive quotes to copy and paste everywhere. Literally google them and write them down in your journal, on a sticky note, or in a notes folder on your phone to refer to. After you’re done googling you’ll have no room for whatever negative thing just happened to you. You’ve used all that energy up researching positive things and now you have them at your disposal for the future.

Creating and Repeating Affirmations

Lastly is affirmations. An affirmation is an action or process of affirming something or being affirmed. Before you even allow anything negative to affect you or your day, wake up and repeat some positive affirmations. Here are some examples to get you started: 

  • I am going to have a great day.
  • I am going to meet my goal for the day.
  • I am going to be productive. 
  • I will not let minor setbacks affect me or my goals. 
  • I will remain positive regardless of the things going on around me.
  • I won’t allow the opinions of others to distract me from my path.

All affirmations begin with I am, I will, I won’t allow, etc. When you wake up in the morning or something goes left during the day, look in the mirror or close your eyes and repeat those positive affirmations. 

Once you learn to change your thinking and how you react to certain situations things will change for you. I’m speaking from experience. Sometimes when I’m scrolling through social media I’ll fall into this bout of negative self-talk. Or if one thing goes wrong in the morning it will negatively affect the rest of my day. There are many ways to remain positive in light of negative thinking and situations. The goal is to not dwell on them to further bring on more negativity but to turn those situations into something positive.

How do you stay positive when things aren’t going your way? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear it! 

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20 comments

  1. Really appreciate this. I have stepkids who have a tough time trying to stay positive; they often seem anxious. You share good pointers that I hope to impart with them.

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  2. I think especially during this time, it’s hard for some of us to find things to be positive about. I know I’ve had difficulty with it, but you gave me some great ideas on how to practice positivity! Great post!

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  3. What a great list that we can all benefit from. I love the, help those in needs. We can all do our part in spreading positivity and being more helpful (especially now).

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  4. I really needed this motivating post.Praying is really important to me. We all need to read something like this to remain positive during this tough time.

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  5. I love reading this and such a perfect timing I was finding some positivity and I found this thanks for the motivation

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  6. Great tips and a nice article to read. Thank you for sharing these tips. Often times, we really feel down but still we need to find a reason to move on and go on as life flows.

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  7. I have noticed since I started looking on the bright side of everything life has gotten better. I used to be the negative nancy and always saying no. I saw that once I started saying yes to things more, we have done more as a family, we moved to the big city. I think you definitely attract what you put into the world. I am not saying you can’t have a bad day, but don’t let it consume you. Great post thank you for sharing!

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