How to Stay Positive

How to Stay Positive in Stressful and Difficult Situations

How to Stay Positive

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Life oftentimes can be quite unpredictable and from time to time, we run into some unprecedented obstacles. Be it financial issues, the loss of a loved one, or hardships faced in the workplace, we have all gone through hardships. The best way to overcome them is to stay positive. But how to stay positive, you may be asking. Let’s find out!

With enough patience, practice, and persistence, there are numerous ways to stay positive. The way we perceive and respond to our surroundings has a massive impact on our experiences in life. When you are going through tough challenges and are experiencing negative feelings, you can get rid of them by interpreting and responding to them with a positive mindset.

Staying positive during stressful and difficult situations is easier said than done. However, learning to stay positive can be extremely helpful for us both mentally and physically. If you want to know more about the ways to be positive about life, I cover all about it in the rest of the article.

Why You Might Be Going Through a Tough Time

We all have those days when nothing goes as planned and you feel like you’ve been struggling for a while. During such times, it’s easy to catch onto negative thoughts, and getting back up can seem difficult. Negativity and sadness are quite complex and can be influenced by numerous factors.

If you want to start thinking positively, it is first important to find out what you are fighting against. Sometimes it is easy to pinpoint exactly why someone is struggling with negative thoughts. However, there are also times when it seems almost impossible to come up with a specific reason. Some common reasons behind your tough times might be:

Conflict with Others

We all have people we consider important to our lives. There are times when we get into conflicts or disagreements with them and it is inevitable. No matter how petty the reason for disagreement or conflict may be, it can prove to be quite difficult for us.

However, the other party doesn’t always need to be someone close for us to feel awful about getting into a conflict with them. Conflicts, in general, can often cause us to feel unpleasant and trigger negative thoughts. Working or living in a hostile or conflicting environment can also be the reason behind feeling terrible about life.

Loss of Someone or Something Significant

Losing someone significant, be it a friend, family member, or loved one can heavily influence our lives. The loss of job or major lifestyle changes can also trigger a stressful situation for us.

Such events are not easy to handle for any of us. No matter how hard we try to move on or accept the loss, it is easier to develop a pessimistic outlook on life.

Sudden Big Changes in Life

Graduating from school, getting married, or landing a job might be huge positive changes in life. Even so, such huge changes can be confusing and end up giving birth to negative thoughts instead. We know how big of a change such events can be and brings out our innermost insecurities.

Sometimes, it is simply not easy for the change to take effect. You may end up wondering if you are even ready to handle the new circumstances.  So instead of feeling happy, we feel more stressed out.

Physical Issues

We are all well aware of the old saying “Healthy mind resides in a healthy body”. Physical illness can be a huge reason behind our emotional suffering.

If we don’t feel well physically, it’s hard to feel better about our lives. So if you wish to improve your mental health and feel optimistic about life, it’s important to take care of your body.

Fighting with Addiction

Addiction is a double-edged sword. While it may be fueled by emotional suffering, addiction to various substances can also be the cause behind it.

Almost 30% of people addicted to alcohol or any other substances suffer from or have a history of clinical depression. The best way to get over it is to get immediate help from a psychotherapist, physician, or a hotline.


One of the major reasons behind developing negative thoughts can be having a history of suffering from abuse. Many have suffered from abuse emotionally, physically, or sexually or are currently suffering from it.

Unfortunately, they are also at a bigger risk of suffering from negative thoughts or even depression. Moreover, personal trauma can often lead to depression and negative outlooks on life.

Lack of Self-respect

Not all of us are perfect and some people tend to focus more on their imperfections than their positive sides. If you can relate to the tendency to constantly belittle or disrespect yourself, there’s a great chance your outlook on almost everything is negative.

Lack of self-esteem can often lead to a pessimistic view of life. So no matter how positive or great an event or opportunity is, you fail to look at the brighter side.

15 Tips to Stay Positive during Difficult Times

No matter what your case is, it’s a must to remember that negativity is not a permanent part of ourselves. Regardless of the cause behind your stressful and difficult times, it is you who decides who you wish to be and how you perceive the world. We all can take small and steady steps towards dealing with negativity.

Thinking positively can be achieved through numerous techniques that have been proven to be helpful. If you want to train your brain to think positively, here are some tips that can help you get started:

Focus On the Positive Side of Everything

Challenges and obstacles will always be a part of your life. Sadly, you cannot control what happens in your life. But what you can control is how you perceive it. When you find yourself before a challenging situation, look for the positive side no matter how insignificant it may be.

Remember, you have the power to look at the right side of everything and react positively. For example, if someone cancels plans with you, take it as an opportunity to spend some time on your favorite activities.

Surround Yourself in a Positive Environment

If you want to stay positive, it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people as well. Even during negative situations, positive peers around you help you to stay calm and collected. If the people around you are more focused on dragging you down when you are in some dire need of positivity, it’s easy to fall deeper into despair.

If you find yourself surrounded by such people, it’s time to start spending less time with them or better yet, cut them off. Surround yourself with those who lift you and make you feel like you can open up to them when in need.

Slow Down

Sometimes, we try to talk, think, eat, work or just move around the world too fast. Rushing to get everything done and trying too hard to be productive can result in stress building up too fast as well. When you are in a hurry to work on everything around you, it’s also easy to forget about working on yourself.

Furthermore, if you fail to catch your goals at the pace you want to, negative thoughts start creeping up. You feel a significant lack of self-esteem and devalue anything you have already achieved.

So it’s important to simply slow down. Even if you need to force yourself, take a few minutes to slow down. Only then can your body and mind slow down as well. Taking a step back helps to think about everything clearly and makes it easier to find the positive and constructive way of things.

Be Grateful For What You Have

A quick and simple way to boost positivity into your life is to simply start being grateful for what you have. If you feel like everything is breaking down around you, take a look at all the things you can be grateful for.

Some studies show that people tend to focus on negative elements of life. So even though it’s hard to look beyond the negativities during a stressful situation, remember what you still have. No matter how terrible your performance at work or school may be, we have people or things in life that others may not have.

So it’s important to focus a bit more on good things. A great way to do this can be to write down everything you are grateful for. Consider writing down a list of things you are thankful for in a gratitude journal when things seem too rough.

Take Part in Soothing Activities

There are many activities out there that can be extremely relaxing. We all have stressful moments. Engaging in relaxing activities momentarily helps to get your mind off of all the difficulties you may be facing. These activities can be doing crafts, practicing yoga, reading a book, watching your favorite show, or anything that simply lets you relax.

For example, you may be experiencing some stress because of a long day at work. To get your mind off of it, set aside an hour or two to just focus on doing yoga.

Focus on Your Health

Being positive isn’t just about starting to think differently. It also includes taking better care of our physical self. After all, we are well aware of the undeniable connection between our mind and body. So if you want to be a bit more positive about your life, it’s important to develop a workout routine, eat a balanced diet and overall take care of your body.

Mismanaging your body can easily lead to negative thoughts popping up more often. When we don’t feel better in our bodies, our minds cannot be at ease either. So don’t forget to drink enough water, eat healthy food, and work out regularly to care for your physical self the correct way.

Start Your Day the Right Way

How you start your morning can set the tone for how you will spend the rest of your day. Can you imagine a day going well if stressful thoughts invade your mind right from the morning? So consider coming up with a ritual to start each day with some uplifting and positive thoughts.

Right after opening your eyes, tackle an activity or task that gets you in a great mood. You can start the day by telling yourself about how great your day is going to be or other positive affirmations. You can also put on some happy music to feel better. Believe me, when you start your day with a smile, it spreads throughout the day.

Help Those in Need

If you want to start feeling positive, you can start doing charity or volunteer work. These activities help to improve your spiritual health and reward you with internal peace. When you contribute to the improvement of others, it also helps you realize how fortunate you are compared to others. This leads you to be grateful for what you have and for yourself.

Helping others can also have a huge impact on our happiness. Since you have a significant amount of focus on how you are of service to others, you pay less attention to all the negativities around you. Helping others doesn’t always have to be something big.

You can start by helping out your kids, spouse, neighbors, or even strangers. Doing a good deed for others can drive your worries away. Especially during difficult and uncertain times, bringing happiness to those around you can make your life feel a lot more enjoyable.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is always important for our body and mind. If you are not sleeping well, negativity can easily take over your mind. We go through a lot of stress every day and our body needs to recover from it properly. So if you want to maintain vibrant health, a good mood, and an optimistic attitude, consider making sleep a priority.

Researches shows that the hippocampus, a part of our brain, starts working less when we don’t get proper sleep. Hippocampus mainly processes happy and positive thoughts. When we neglect sleep, it cannot work properly and we start thinking more negative thoughts than usual.

If you want to sleep better, stop using social media at night, practice gratitude, and stop worrying about everything. Consider developing a routine to at least get seven to eight hours regularly. People who sleep regularly feel less stressed and angry.

Take Small Steps towards a Solution

Sometimes when facing a difficult situation, it’s easy to get stuck. Instead of tackling the obstacle, we feel too afraid to face it and waste time sitting around doing nothing. This simply builds up more stress and makes us feel more negatively about the situation.

However, all we need during such times is a simple push. If you are having trouble with taking action for anything, ask yourself what can be the smallest step that you can take at that moment. Without thinking about anything, take the smallest step possible.

No matter how small it may be, it’s bound to have a huge impact on your mood and thoughts. That small step can help you start thinking more positively about your abilities and help to take bigger steps tomorrow. No matter how tiny your step is, what’s important is to move forward slowly.

Open Yourself up to Humor

Did you know that laughing more has a significant effect on your mental health? Laughter has the power to lower your anxiety, stress, and depression. It also has the ability to boost your mood, self-esteem and improve your coping skills. So if you find yourself in a difficult situation, remember to be open to humor.

In any situation, especially stressful ones, give yourself the permission to be open to humor and laugh without any worries. Laughter can be unique as it instantly lightens up the mood and makes everything seem a bit less serious and gloomy. Even if you don’t feel like it, you can pretend to laugh to boost your mood and reduce stress.

Don’t Let Unrealistic Ideals Hold You Back

When you want to obtain a positive outlook on life, you may end up thinking that everything about you has to be perfectly optimized. To obtain a perfect outlook on everything, you may even want to do everything perfectly. This is a common mistake and dangerous most of us face when changing our outlook on life.

Not only does this stop us from being positive, but it can also become harmful for us instead. You don’t have to set an impossible standard for yourself when going from being a pessimist to being an optimist. You can take your time to change your attitude. You may slip, stumble or even fail. But this will only strengthen your positive outlook a lot more with time.

So focus on gradually changing your thoughts. Gradual improvement is more sustainable in the long run than setting impossible standards for yourself.

Share Your Worries with Others

In our life, we go through a lot every day. Some experiences are positive while some are negative. More often than not, we only end up sharing positive experiences while holding back the worries within ourselves. With time, these worries can become too heavy for us to carry around. It’s important to express them with others.

Only when we express our emotions, worries, and thoughts can we feel relieved. As humans, we need someone trustworthy and understanding enough to talk to. But if you feel like you don’t have anyone like that, you can always write down your thoughts in a journal.

Listen to Some Music

Music is probably the simplest and quickest way to bring some positivity back into your life. Whenever you’re feeling stressed, music can be the most wonderful tool to immediately boost your mood. The best part is that there are countless good songs and playlists out there. Listening to them can immediately get you singing and dancing on your feet.

With some good music, it’s always easy to forget whatever you were upset about even a few moments ago. In fact, studies have proven that listening to music can help to release dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is the chemical that makes us feel good.

Stop Overthinking

Overthinking is a dangerous habit that is both destructive and powerful enough to take over anyone’s life. If you want to start thinking positively and move forward in life, overthinking might be the biggest obstacle that you must overcome. But how can you stop this destructive habit?

An effective way to stop overthinking is to ask yourself whether any of your worries have ever happened in reality. Most likely, the answer is going to be only a few of them. The truth is that most of the horrifying things that lurk around in your will most probably never happen. They are simple monsters or nightmares that you have made up in your mind.

The question helps you to come back to reality, calms yourself down, and helps you realize that all that you are overthinking about is just in your imagination. Another way you can stop overthinking is to focus on the solutions to your worries and take small steps to move forward. The more you remain stuck and inactive, the more you are bound to overthink.

The Benefits of Thinking Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking does not come naturally or easily for everyone. Even so, there are countless reasons why you should maintain a sense of optimism despite all the obstacles in life. The best benefits of thinking positively are:

Best Way to Cope with Stress

We have all faced stressful situations in our day-to-day lives. The most common reasons can be trouble at home, difficult time at work, conflict with co-workers, pressure from ensuing exams, and many more. But these are still only a few stressful situations you may face at any time. How one perceives these situations highly depend on their outlook on life.

For example, positive thinkers tend to cope better with stressful situations than pessimists. When you think positively, you stop dwelling over frustrating things that you cannot change. Instead, you think of a plan to take action to overcome the situation or ask other people for advice and help.

Pessimists are more likely to feel overwhelmed thinking the situation is already out of their control. Thinking positively lets you effectively deal with stress.

Improved Mental Health

When you think about everything in a positive light, you are less likely to develop mental health issues. Be it anxiety, depression, or any other psychological issues, positive thinkers deal with it better and have better mental health compared to pessimists.

When you learn to obtain a positive outlook on life, you can constructively explain situations and events. So it’s easier to deal with such events. This way your mind stays fresh and strong rather than dealing with constant battles with negativity.

Boosts Your Physical Health

People drowning in negative thoughts are less likely to engage in any healthy activities. Thinking positively helps you push yourself to engage better in healthy activities as well. You are more motivated to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.

Furthermore, since optimistic people can cope with stress better, it affects their bodies less. So positive thinkers have better and healthier bodies than negative thinkers. Optimists tend to have better immune systems and they recover faster from any injuries or illnesses.

Helps You Maintain a Solid Social Life

Naturally, people like to be around cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat people. Hardly anyone wants to be around those who perceive everything negatively, complain constantly and have a foul mood.

So those who have a positive attitude also enjoy a better social life. Laughter is contagious and people love to be around you if you have positive energy around you.

Positivity Brings More Success

In general, positive people are more successful in life. Especially in their job life, optimists obtain better results. They are less likely to quit or give up when they encounter work-related issues and tend to describe a confident future when talking about their careers. Compared to negative emotions that narrow down our perspective, positive ones broaden it.

Positive thinking allows you to broaden your vision and examine all available options to select the ideal one at that moment. Positive emotions also allow you to work with others in a workplace cooperatively. So both at home and the workplace, the power of positivity brings you more success.


Thinking about life in a positive light is not easy for everyone. Some days, it’s easy to find yourself spiraling into constant negative self-talk sessions and unable to focus on anything positive. To help you get back up, I have shared all about how to stay positive in this article.

I hope the article has helped you learn how to think positively, especially in stressful and difficult situations. Thank you for reading till the end & have a nice day!