The world can often seem like a scary place. Right now, we’re living through what feels like some of the darkest years yet. Our challenge now is how to stay positive in a negative world. From horrifying world news to disturbing local news, from negativity at school to pessimism at home, sometimes it feels like we’re constantly surrounded by bad things.
Staying positive in a negative world is possible, though! Here, we discuss how to stay positive in a negative situation and a negative world. Ready to learn how to adjust your mindset? Read on for our nine best tips. But first, let's discuss if you have a positive or negative outlook.
Do you have a positive or negative outlook?
In general, do you have a positive or negative outlook? During hard times, and in such a negative world, it can be challenging to maintain your positive outlook. Thankfully, no matter how negative the world might be, you do have some control over how you react to it.
You can stay positive; it just might take some more dedication during tough times than easy ones.
The benefits of staying positive in a negative world
Having a positive outlook doesn’t just make your life more pleasant. It’s good for both your mental and physical well-being. There are actual, proven health benefits to positive thinking, including:
- Lower rates of depression and stress
- Better cardiovascular health
- Higher resistance to illness
- Reduced risk of death from cancer, respiratory conditions, and infections
- An increased life span
After seeing these benefits, who wouldn’t want to learn how to stay positive in a negative situation!
When staying positive in a negative world, beware of toxic positivity
Keeping a positive outlook during negative times isn’t about pretending hard things don’t exist or about covering up your negative emotions. That’s toxic positivity – the attitude that you must maintain a positive outlook no matter how dire the circumstance. Toxic positivity denies all emotions that aren’t positive or happy, and it can be very dangerous to your mental health.
Instead of toxic positivity, what we’re talking about here is using positive psychology techniques to help you manage your emotions and get through all types of circumstances.
These techniques help you enjoy the good times but can also be used during times of stress and grief. In fact, practicing them can help you develop resilience and prepare you for making it through especially hard times.
How to stay positive in a negative world: 9 Essential ways
So no matter how destructive the world is right now, you can get more positivity in your life today. Try out one or more of the following tips and you’ll start to see changes in your outlook almost immediately. Here are the most effective ways how to stay positive in a negative situation:
1. Exercise and eat well
A healthy body helps to create a healthy, positive mind. Exercise really can change your mind and increase your levels of happiness and positivity. Whether it’s a walk at lunchtime or an exercise class after work, vow to move your body every day to keep up your levels of positivity.
If you’re feeling low, your first instinct might be to reach for a pint of ice cream. But, the best way to overcome those feelings is not through sweets but rather through healthy eating. Studies have shown that eating healthy foods like vegetables, salmon and even dark chocolate (yes!) can increase your mental health and overall happiness.
If you want to learn how to stay positive in a negative world, changing your diet is one way to do just that.
2. Celebrate yourself
Does it feel like there aren’t many things to celebrate in the world right now? The truth is, there’s almost always going to be something bad going on; that’s just life. But there’s also almost always something good going on, too. And that something often starts with you.
When was the last time you celebrated yourself? It was probably a significant milestone, like your wedding or graduation. Why not take a moment and celebrate yourself right now? It can be for anything – perhaps a presentation at work went well, or you achieved a personal best time on your at-home spin bike.
No matter what else is going on, don’t forget to celebrate your own wins, big and small. It will help you focus on the good that’s all around you, which there is plenty of.
3. Have more fun
Fun isn’t just for kids, but many adults forget this important fact. We get too involved in our jobs, running our households, and making sure everyone else has what they need. When that happens, fun is usually one of the first things that women, especially, forgo.
But fun and play are essential for decreasing your stress levels, improving your mood, stimulating your mind, and, yes, remaining optimistic in an otherwise pessimistic world. If you haven’t carved out some time for fun in a long time, try doing something fun (and free) with friends or with your family during a night in.
4. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a key way how to stay positive in a negative world. A gratitude practice is one of the simplest and most effective ways to cultivate a positive mindset. No matter who you are or where you are in life, there is something to be grateful for, and you can learn to appreciate the little things in life.
All you need is a journal and five minutes to jot down what you are thankful for, and you’ll be well on your way to increasing your positivity.
Need some guidance on where or how to start? A great way is by participating in a thirty-day challenge. You’ll develop the habit of practicing gratitude and stick with it well beyond those thirty days.
5. Cut out negative self-talk
The voice you hear the most is your own. And when that voice is constantly speaking negatively, it affects your entire outlook. We are already living in a negative world, don’t compound that with negative self-talk inside your own head, too.
It can be difficult to challenge negative thoughts and change your mindset, but it can be done. The first step is being aware of how you speak to yourself. Do you tell yourself things you would never say to a friend or even someone you disliked? If you’re like most women, you probably do, at least occasionally.
Once you realize how you’re speaking to yourself, try being kinder to yourself by practicing positive affirmations for self-love. Remember that positivity starts from within.
6. Surround yourself with uplifting people
Just like you don’t want to talk to yourself negatively all day, you also don’t want to be around others who speak poorly. Take stock of who you spend the most time with. Are these people who are building you up and making you feel better, or are they bringing you down?
If you are surrounded by too much negativity, it might be time to set some boundaries in your friendships. You don’t have to cut people out completely, but make a concerted effort to spend more time with those who have a positive outlook on life and who will help you maintain your positivity, too.
7. Start a daily routine
Having a daily routine will help reduce your stress levels and increase your overall happiness. What is the secret to how to stay positive in a negative situation? By creating structure and a routine for yourself.
When there is so much negativity around, it can feel like we are out of control, which can cause you to spiral. While you can’t control everything in life or the world, there are some things that you can control, like your morning routine. Having consistency in your day will help you remain positive in an ever-changing and challenging world.
8. Stop “doomscrolling”
Stopping yourself from constantly "doomscrolling" is one of the best ways for how to stay positive in a negative world! Are you guilty of doomscrolling – spending an excessive amount of time on your phone or computer consuming negative news? If so, you are not alone. Doomscrolling is reaching new heights, with everyone seemingly attached to their devices 24/7 and with a constant stream of terrible news.
Doomscrolling is harmful to your mental health and doesn’t actually help end any of the negativity you’re consuming. Instead of doomscrolling, ask yourself if there is something you can do.
Instead of focusing on negative news that you can’t do anything about, focus on what you can do. Is there something you can do to help? Donate to a cause? Attend a protest? Uplift those who are in your immediate environment?
9. Give back
Lots of these tips have been focused on looking inward and on changes you can make in your own mental and physical life. But looking outside of yourself can help bring about more positivity, too. That’s especially true when you give your time to helping others who are less fortunate.
People who give back are better equipped at handling stress and are overall more happy, positive people. If you already have a cause or an organization you donate to, keep it up.
If you’re looking for a way to give back (without even having to spend any money), volunteering or donating extra supplies are just two of the many ways to do just that.
Leverage these tips to learn how to stay positive in a negative world!
At times, it might feel like it’s easier to join the rest of the world and drown yourself in negativity. Hopefully, though, you’ve seen that staying positive in a negative world is beneficial to your overall health and happiness. So use these tips to help you become more positive starting now!