Staying positive in a world of constant change can be challenging, particularly when dealing with difficult situations. Yet having an optimistic attitude and emitting positive energy is required in order to attract and create better life circumstances. Laurie, my Spiritual Seekers writing partner, wrote about 4 Ways to Produce Positive Energy recently. I’m going to add to these insights with tips on how to stay positive during difficult times.
First, a quip from Thich Nhat Hanh:
“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong…Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”
According to the Abraham-Hicks law of attraction teachings, which focus using your emotions as a guidance system to let you know what your point of attraction is, it’s not easy to jump from feeling hopeless and powerless up to feeling joyful and enthusiastic in one step. They recommend using realistic and positive thoughts to help you move one step at a time up the ladder of emotions from the heavier, denser ones until you reach the higher, lighter ones. For more information on this powerful process, read The Astonishing Power of Emotions: Let Your Feelings Be Your Guide.
As you shift your thoughts, attitude and emotions in an upward direction, you will feel more optimistic and you will naturally start to attract wonderful circumstances into your life. Here are some tips on how to do this.
How to Stay Positive During Difficult Situations
Practice acceptance. When we are accepting and non-resistant we feel lighter, more trusting, and it’s easier to access our humor, joy and enthusiasm. When we judge, criticize or resist what’s happening we shut down, block the natural flow of energy in our body and attract negativity (remember, like attracts like). The next time you are about to judge or criticize something, stop for a moment and accept yourself, the other person, or situation as it is. It doesn’t mean you condone it or even agree with it, just that you are accepting the reality of it instead of denying or fighting it. This will keep your mind and heart open to positive energy.
Be mindful. Mindfulness is a practice where you bring your attention and awareness to each thought, feeling and activity as it is occurring. This way you can catch negative thoughts before they take over and drag you down with them. You can notice heavier emotions and breathe into them, allowing them to process and release. Our natural state is light and joyful, but if we are not mindful we may cover this up by dwelling on unpleasant thoughts and feelings. Be in the present moment every moment and be aware of the bigger picture, not just the current difficult situation.
Focus on what’s going well. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, people tend to focus on what’s wrong when they could try to see positive things. Life is full of ups and downs and it’s your choice what you focus on. If you spend most of your time talking about your physical aches and pains, the chaos in the world, the bills you have to pay, your noisy neighbor and any number of possible problems, you will naturally feel down and depleted. But if you choose to notice what’s going well in your life, what parts of your body feel comfortable, the good that’s taking place in the world, the services like electricity, internet, and phone access you are fortunate to have, and the kind, helpful people in your neighborhood or community, you will feel uplifted and energized.
Be good to yourself. It feels great when someone treats us with a compliment, gift or words of support, but it feels even better when we do this for ourselves. Make it a habit each day to compliment yourself, pamper yourself and treat yourself to something that nurtures and nourishes you – this will definitely put a smile on your face, especially during difficult times.
Touch into the essence of joy. When we connect with the core of our being, we discover our natural state of joy. Not the happiness that results from temporary external circumstances, but the internal essence of who we really are: a joyful, divine, spiritual being. You can move into this state during meditation, but you can also take 5 minute breaks throughout the day to close your eyes, let go of the external world and touch into your true essence. Feel for the tiny bubbles of joy and let them expand to fill your whole body.
I’ve also discovered that The Sedona Methodoffers wonderful tools for letting go of painful or difficult feelings – you might want to try their complimentary CDs or MP3 downloads.
What supports you to stay positive? Please share your comments below.