This article was originally published July 17, 2019.
Everyone goes through tough times. That is unfortunately one aspect of life that no one can escape. It can seem almost impossible to find any positives during this time. It really is too easy to focus on all of the negatives. But, in order to get through these bad times, it is important to remember the good.
There still is good happening to you, good that has happened to you, and good that will happen to you again.
It may not seem like it now, but it is true. Focusing completely on the negative will only make things worse. That’s why it is important to find the positives in the midst of the negatives. Here are some ways to help you do just that.
How To Find The Positives In The Midst Of The Negatives
1. Make a “Grateful List” Every Night
Before you go to bed, take out a journal or a piece of paper, and write down things in life that you are grateful for having.
It can be as elaborate as family members you are fortunate enough to be close with or as simple as that ice cream you had as a snack. It could be an article from Neuropedia that helped you achieve your peak focus during the day. Anything that puts a smile on your face, write it down.
Then read it to yourself. After you have a couple of night’s worth of gratitude notes, go back and read them to yourself again.
Remind yourself that there is good things in your life. Writing it down validates this and having the ability to re-read these lists further shows you that you have had things daily that have given you a jolt of happiness, even if only for a second or two.
2. Reach Out To People
Your close friends are your close friends for a reason. Reach out to them. Surround yourself with them. If you cannot be physically with them, keep them in the loop as to what is going on so they can be there for you and be a positive in your life.
They may not fully understand what you are going through, but they can be there to lean on and to remind you of how strong you really are. All it takes is a simple “I love you” or “thinking of you” text message to remind you that you are loved and that these people are positives in your life. They likely do want to help you, even if they are unable actually to do so.
3. Think About The Good Times
Was there a trip you went on last summer that you enjoyed? Think back to that and about how happy you were on it. Are you missing a loved one? Think about them and cherish the memories that you had with them.
Do you have plans for a year from now already that you are looking forward to? Focus on that for a little.
Remember all of the times that you were happy and laughing and know that these times will come to you again. Maybe not right now, but they will. You have had happiness and positivity in the past, and you will again in the future.
4. Look at Old Photos
If just thinking about these happier times is not enough, look at old photos. You’re bound to find at least one photo of yourself smiling in front of something cool or standing next to someone you love. That smile is likely one of true happiness.
Capturing memories like these are a good thing to reflect upon when you’re in the midst of negativity. They help to remind you and to actually show you of all the positives in your life. Think about all of the new memories and photographs you will be able to capture once you get through this.
5. Order Your Favorite Food
Calories during tough times don’t count (or at least that is what I like to tell myself). Order (or if you’re up to it, cook) your favorite meal — that comfort food that always gives you a warm feeling.
Enjoying it could bring back fond memories of other times you have eaten it, or it can simply put a smile on your face since you’re having something that you love. And remember to write it down in your grateful list before going to bed, too.
It is really easy to solely focus on the negatives during rough times. But there are still many positives out there. The above are just a few small steps to finding positives during this negative time. At least one of the above should help put a smile on your face, even if it’s just for a second or two.
It’s okay to be sad and to be not okay, just try not to drown in it completely. Remember that there are still positives in your life is an important and very helpful way to get you through this time.
If you are experiencing persistent sadness, loss of interest in your normal activities, or thoughts of suicide reach out to your physician right away.
What are some ways that you try to focus on the positives during negative times?