Let’s face it: Life can be tough sometimes, and these last three years have been especially challenging. After all, we’ve faced political unrest, economic volatility, and the worst public health crisis of the modern era.

Here’s the thing, though: We’ve endured. If you’re reading this, it means you’ve weathered the storm. That means that, quite literally, you’re a survivor. 

No matter how difficult things have been, no matter what challenges remain, and no matter what challenges may arise in the future, the simple reality is that you are here. You are breathing. You are alive, and where there is life, there is hope. 

The key, though, to finding hope and peace, and happiness even in difficult times lies in your perspective. Learning to adopt a more optimistic mindset can, indeed, bring more positivity into your life. We’ll show you how!

You Can Be Positive without Being a Pollyanna

Being positive doesn’t mean you have to live in denial. You don’t have to go all Pollyanna and simply shut your eyes to the hurts of the world. Bad things happen. There are challenges and disappointments and fears and emotional and physical wounds that we must all face sometimes.

The important thing, though, is not to let those experiences define you. Rather, let them drive you to build something better. Very often, our worst moments in life can also bring our greatest opportunities. 

However, you have to be willing and able to look for those lights in the darkness, no matter how small they may at first seem. Once you find them, seize on them. Grow them until they expel the darkness at last. 

Of course, this probably sounds like a lovely metaphor and a quaint motto, but it may seem like it has little connection to reality. It may seem like an idea that’s far easier said than done.

In fact, this isn’t just a peppy abstraction, but an actionable truth, as can be seen in the vast and growing research on the benefits of positive cognitive change have shown. There is significant evidence, for instance, that those who keep a daily gratitude journal report lower rates of depression and anxiety and experience higher levels of subjective happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect than those who don’t.

In other words, no matter how difficult your day, week, or month may be, when you shift your focus from the hardships to the blessings, you’re going to find that those blessings proliferate. In essence, you enlarge and cultivate what you give your time and attention to. What you don’t attend to withers and recedes. 

So use every tool at your disposal, from gratitude journaling to meditation and mindfulness, to help you shift your focus away from the negative to the positive. When you do, you’re going to find even more gifts and joys to be grateful for.

Stop Comparing Yourself

There’s an adage that says that comparison is the thief of joy. True, this may be a cliche, but cliches often become so for a reason. This is especially true when it comes to the all too common habit we humans have of comparing our lives to the social masks that others wear.

Unfortunately, in the age of the internet, we now have millions of opportunities to compare our realities with the gilded facades that we see online and, in particular, on social media. A powerful example of this can be seen in the emerging trend of influencer real estate marketing. Studies have shown that this social media phenomenon seems to derive its greatest power from the perception of wealth that social media influencers can so easily cultivate. 

On the one hand, this can be advantageous if you’re using such content to inspire and motivate you to pursue your dreams and goals in life. If, on the other hand, such content simply makes you feel helpless, discontented, and inferior, then it’s critical to change your mindset and recognize the futility of comparing your reality to what is nothing more than an illusion, one against which no one’s life can hold up. 

Change Your Environment

Many of us can’t just go about dramatically changing our lives in an instant. It takes time to progress and evolve from where you are to where you want to be. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t make changes in your life right now that will help you cultivate a more positive mindset.

One of the best ways to do this is to create a living environment that inspires, comforts, and uplifts you. For example, if your home feels small and cramped, consider giving it a fresh new coat of paint, using light, bright colors to give you a sense of space and airiness. This way, you will always have a space that nurtures and encourages you, a space that makes you feel more positive. 

Such a living space can infuse you with the sense of optimism you need to move forward into the world, overcome the stressors of the day, and continue to pave the way to the brighter tomorrow you deserve and have come to expect.

The Takeaway

Life can be tough, but adopting a positive mindset can make it much easier. Fortunately, there are many simple steps you can take today to help you create a happier tomorrow!