It has reached that point in the semester that the weather is changing, due dates for projects and papers are suddenly HERE, and exams seem to be around every corner. Everyone on campus is ready for fall and winter break, and the short amount of time separating us from some much-needed time at home can feel much longer than a few short weeks. It is easy to let the outside world impact your inner mood and create negativity in your head.
Having a negative attitude has been shown to decrease productivity and creativity, as well as change how we handle situations and make decisions. In my own experience, having a negative attitude is just downright draining! But the bright side is that a positive attitude and positive responses can be practiced and learned until they turn into a habit. Therefore, I believe having a positive attitude is beneficial for surviving not only the tail end of semesters, but for life in general. Here are a list of 6 tips that could help anyone to get back on positive track. [TR1]
1. Surround yourself with like-minded people
Off the top of our head, you can probably name one or two people that seem to always have a problem for every solution. Negativity is the type of emotion that can also impact others, dampening moods and creating an environment that, for lack of better words, just isn’t that great. I am not saying you need to completely remove negative people from your life, but you may find it helpful to distance yourself.
**We all have bad days, but it is important that you don’t confuse negativity/ ”bad moods” with more serious issues like anxiety and depression. Check in on your friends and family if you know they are having issues in their lives, or if you notice mood changes. More information can be found online. Great sources include https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ and https://adaa.org/.
2. Work to see the positive/positives in situations As hard as it can be, this is a really simple way to force yourself to at least find one good part in a situation. The point of this practice is to simply get you out of a slump and remind yourself that maybe what is going on isn’t so bad. For example: Cloudy day when you’re trying to take picture? Great, the lighting is probably awesome! Do bad on a test? Now you can see where your weaknesses are and can work on them for the next test. Can’t find a parking spot close to a door? There are likely ones a little farther out, plus you get a little bit of exercise.
If finding a positive for every situation is difficult at first, start by finding positives for each day.
3. Use the right language
Negative self-talk messes with your head and influences how you see the world and how you react to situations. Even small changes in how you speak, and think can change your whole outlook. A day could be filled with tasks and chores, or it can be filled with opportunities. Which of those phrases do you choose to use?
4. Be nice We all know the golden rule; treat others as you would like to be treated. Doing something kind triggers a response in our brains that makes us feel good, and often when we are nice others will mimic that behavior and become happy as well. Something as simple as a compliment or a friendly conversation with someone can change their mood..
5. Remember nothing is owed to you by anything or anyone This is more of a tough love approach that we need to remember sometimes. Life is simply not fair, and it is not going to ever suddenly become fair. Not being aware of this can lead to entitlement, victimhood, and blame for when something doesn’t go your way. Complaining also fits under this tip, as complaining does nothing but give fuel to a negative and pessimistic fire. There is only so much that you can control.
6. Fake it till you make it!
This phrase is often associated with confidence, but it can also be applied to positivity. It is impossible to be in a good, positive, cheery mood 100% of the time. You can’t control your situation, but you can control your mindset and emotions. Use that to your advantage. Dreading a test? Fake it. Don’t feel excited to go to work, class, a meeting, the gym, any other venue? Fake it. Now obviously you do not want to be a hypocrite, so be cognizant of other’s emotions, and obviously this is situational. Just like confidence, the more you fake your positivity in the hard situations, the easier it will be, to be positive in every day settings. Your brain and those around you will thank you!
Hopefully you were able to find at least one useful piece of advice from these tips, and I also hope that you will try and apply them soon to your daily life, as well. So get out there and be positive, and as Helen Keller once said; “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow!”