By Yashvi Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader
In challenging times, it’s easy to succumb to a negative perspective, and I’ve found myself guilty of this tendency. Whether you get into a fender bender or receive a disappointing exam grade, it’s tempting to perceive the world as harsh and seemingly devoid of solutions. During such moments, I often repeat to myself that “time will pass,” trudging through a period where it feels like nothing is going right.
However, it’s crucial to remind myself that things could be worse. Adopting a more positive outlook and acknowledging the positives in my life provides me with a much-needed shift in perspective. Instead of dwelling on hardships, I aim to cultivate an attitude that embraces the positive aspects of my journey.
I firmly believe that the energy we project into the world has a reciprocal effect on our experiences. By fostering a positive mindset and actively seeking out the good, I’m not only changing my outlook but also influencing the energy that surrounds me. This mindset shift not only helps me navigate challenges with resilience but also contributes to a more optimistic and fulfilling life.
There is a plethora of benefits of shifting into a more positive way of thinking and behaving. A positive outlook can help you cope with stress, live longer, and even increase your resilience. Research has shown that optimistic thinkers tend to not only experience less stress but also be able to cope with it more affectively and have a lower risk of death and longer lifespan.
So, what is this positive energy and how can we shift or maintain a positive frame of mind? It refers to an attitude that is encouraging, productive, and beneficial. To achieve that, I’ve curated a list of strategies you can incorporate for maintaining positive energy.
Listening to music with a soothing melody and a positive message can help you develop a sense of positive energy, offering various psychological benefits, including stress relief. Consider how lyrics, when positive and inspirational, can boost your mood in the morning, setting a positive tone for the day.
Explore books on strength, personal power, or enlightenment to fill yourself with positive energy. Self-help books provide valuable resources for changing your outlook and self-talk. One of my favorites is “Grit, the power of passion and perseverance,” by Angela Duckworth gifted to me by my uncle in my junior year of high school around when the college application process started. My uncle gifted me the book to highlight one of my strengths, which is my hard work and perseverance. I always tell my family how things don’t come to me easy and that I am not naturally “smart”, but I will always put in extra effort to keep up with everyone else. If you need a reminder, you can get a book that tells you how to home on your strengths to reach your maximum potential.
Surrounding yourself with positive individuals is important for maintaining positive energy. Assess whether your friends uplift or bring you down, and whether they offer criticism or compliments. Positive friendships provide support, fun, and wisdom. Redirect your energy towards friends who encourage and inspire you, not put you down or only show up when you want to go out to have fun. There is a difference between friends being with you and those that are there for you. Friends who show up when times are rough and you’re at a low are the ones you should hold close to your heart.
Incorporate positive affirmations into your routine to shift your perspective from negative to positive. Affirmations focus on possibilities rather than limitations, helping you concentrate on solutions over problems. They can also serve as a reminder of how strong you are and the wonderful qualities you possess. These positive statements help in overcoming self-sabotage and negative thoughts, essentially reframing your mindset with inspiration, positivity, and encouragement to act on and realize your goals. Again, this emphasizes your strengths over your weaknesses and can help you redirect your energy to mitigate your problems. This practice reduces stress, improves your mindset, and infuses positive energy into various aspects of your life.