We all have that friend who sees the silver lining in every rain cloud. It may seem like positivity is a character trait — something you’re born with or without — but it’s also something you can cultivate. 

Life can be tough at times, but it’s just too short to spend it under the shadow of negativity. We all have baggage and life certainly has a way of knocking us down, but you have the power to shape your reality through the power of positive thinking. If you want to make 2021 a year to remember, take control of your attitude and your outlook on life to start seeing things in a more positive light.

We all have a running dialogue

going through our heads,

day in and day out.

Follow these six tips to practice positivity in 2021:

  1. Challenge negative self-talk.

Though you may not be conscious of it all the time, we all have a running dialogue going through our heads, day in and day out. It’s called self-talk and it can actually shape the way you perceive and experience your world. Self-talk is influenced by your subconscious mind, so you can’t always control it. But you can learn to recognize when your thoughts and feelings are trending negative and choose to turn them around. When you find yourself thinking negatively, pause and reframe the dialogue in a more positive, or at least constructive, way.

  1. Practice gratitude on a daily basis.

Practicing gratitude has been shown to improve self-esteem and reduce stress. It can also help you cultivate an attitude of positivity. Even when times are tough, there are bound to be things you can be grateful for. It could be as simple as a kind word from a stranger or spending time with a friend. Start writing down the things you’re thankful for in a gratitude journal to practice positivity on a daily basis.

  1. Spend more time with positive people.

Negativity can be contagious, but so is positivity. Take a look at your relationships and consider whether the people you spend time with are lifting you up or bringing you down. Surround yourself with people who love and support you, and distance yourself from toxic relationships. Even if you don’t feel comfortable spending time with friends in person, you can stay connected via phone or email.

  1. Do something nice for someone else.

Sometimes you just can’t muster the energy to see the positive in a difficult situation, or you may grow weary of countering negative self-talk. When you’re having trouble staying positive, take yourself out of the equation and do something nice for someone else instead. At the very least, it will distract you from your negative thoughts. And if you’re lucky, spreading a little cheer will reflect back on you and boost your mood as well!

  1. Take care of your physical and mental health.

Your physical health is closely related to your mental health, and vice versa. If you want to cultivate an attitude of positivity, start by taking better care of your body. Eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can help you feel better physically, which is a big step toward feeling better mentally. When you start to feel overwhelmed, take some time off for a little self-care. We all need a break from time to time and there’s nothing selfish about caring for yourself.

  1. Seek support and get help when you need it.

Acknowledging and addressing patterns of negativity can be challenging, but it’s an essential step if you want to move forward. Sometimes it helps to share your concerns with a trusted friend or family member who can lend you their support. If you’re struggling to overcome anxiety or depression, a licensed counselor or psychiatrist may be the best option. Talk to your doctor to get the help you need.

Though you can’t control every detail of your life, you can control how you respond to the challenges life throws your way. You can choose to go through life with a positive outlook or stay stuck in the doldrums of negativity. If you’re ready to turn your life around and make the most of 2021, choose positivity and put these simple tips to work in making that choice a reality. 

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