From magazines to social media, everyone wants us to be happy. But sometimes, that's a lot harder than it sounds. Modern life means we face a plethora of stresses and anxieties that have to be managed on a daily basis. And though we try to practice mindfulness and live in the moment, those negative feelings can still creep in.
There are many ways you can resolve to be a more positive person in 2018. We've gathered some real-world tips to help you overhaul your outlook for 2018 and tools to help you deal with negative feelings when they arise.
When it comes to being happy, it's smart to listen to what flight attendants say on every trip: only help others with their oxygen masks once you've put on yours. Meaning, if you neglect your health and well-being, stress hormones can spike and interfere with maintaining positive feelings each day. Make sure to eat healthy, get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly to help keep your body and mind feeling good.
Choose your company wisely
We all know that one pessimistic co-worker or acquaintance who has a tendency to try to shift their negative feelings onto us! We pick up on the moods and emotions of those we surround ourselves with, so don't feel bad about minimizing time spent with these individuals. Instead, spend time with those who inspire and motivate you and whose company brings you joy.
Look for underlying causes
Stress can be acute in the moment, but it also has a nasty, lasting effect. Something may irritate us in the morning, and even though that event is over with, the stress can linger throughout the rest of the day. Other times, stress can be sneaky, and worries and concerns can damper our daily mood without us even realizing the cause. When stress strikes, don't just try to power through it, hoping it will go away. Instead, take a moment to thoughtfully reflect on your feelings and what underlying issues could possibly be causing your negative feelings.
"Expressing gratitude is a surefire way to lift your mood."
Give thanks regularly
Expressing gratitude is a surefire way to lift your mood and develop a more positive outlook on life. Lifestyle blog Simply Oli recommends focusing on what you're thankful for and all the good things going right in your life. One way to cultivate a more appreciative spirit is by keeping a gratitude journal. Write one thing you're thankful for each morning in your journal before you go to work or at night before you go to bed.
Embrace positive thinking
Human beings have a funny way of thinking themselves into self-fulfilling prophecies. If we are negative about a certain situation, it's more likely that situation will actually end up being upsetting. Positive thoughts bring positive results.
"It's a universal law, just like gravity," said Lori Dennis, a Toronto-based psychotherapist, in an interview with Canadian Living. "If you tell yourself your life is bad, it will be. It's that simple."
Instead, visualize positive outcomes to the situations that stress you out. Doing so lifts your mood and puts you in a better mood and mental state for dealing with challenges.
There are many aspects of modern life that cause stress and unhappiness. With a conscious effort to change your outlook and help from the tips above, however, you can be a more positive person in 2018.