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I used to wake up and feel like life sucked and nothing was going to change. I would jolt out of sleep from my obnoxious alarm, cuss to myself about having to go to work (I don’t need this job, I need sleeeeep), drag myself into the shower, and then b**** the whole commute to and from work until I could finally be done with the day. It was exhausting going through the same routine, the same thought processes, and just expecting life to change for me.
DON’T BE ME!!
Waking up and already claiming your day to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day sets you up for failure before you’ve even brushed your teeth (How many of you know what childhood book I’m referencing to? Brings up old memories as we try to take a crack at adulting, right?). This is a trap into thinking that you’re stagnant and that you have no control over your life experiences.
YOU CONTROL YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE. PERIOD! Not to be harsh (it’s really just tough love) but plain and simple, the world does not owe you a d*** thing!
If you want anything in life, you have to go out and claim it! You have to be the one to say enough is enough and change how you go about life to be able to change the quality of it. This all starts with these 10 simple steps:
Bully Your Negative Thoughts
No one likes a bully but in this case a bully is most definitely needed. Any chance you get you need to kill the negativity. Think of it as the one thing that can make or break you because it is (negative thoughts to human beings can be like kryptonite to Superman).
As soon as a negative thought crosses your mind, immediately think of a positive one to counteract it and defeat it (I’m imagining a fight between superheroes and villains so just go with it). The positive thought could be something as simple as “You Can Do It” but it still needs to be thought of or said.
If you’re constantly running over all of the negative thoughts in your mind, your feeding the negativity and propelling it to make your life seem negative… Keyword: seem. You’re life is not negative, you’re being negative so it seems that way. (**cough**cough**Mind. Over. Matter.)
I know this is basic but your thoughts have a lot of control over how you feel about yourself and the people around you. We all have those days when negative thoughts bombard our minds about ourselves and our current situations but you need combat them with equally positive thoughts as well. You’re never stuck and you can always move onward and upward to a better life.
You cannot allow the negativity in your life to have more power than the positive things going on for you. Be your own Superhero and kick negativity’s a**!
A Smile Goes a Long Way
A smile can be a small but powerful thing! Before my mom passed away, all anyone could talk about was her big, beautiful smile. How she smiled even on her worst days and always had enough of them to go around. To me, her smile made you think she was happy and made you want to be just as happy as her. When she passed away, that was still one of the only things people could talk about!
A smile really goes a long way and puts out beautiful energy into the world that cannot be bought.
Even if you don’t feel like smiling, do it anyway (fake it ‘til you make it)! There is so many things to be grateful for whether it’s having a roof over your head, good health, a well-paying job, or a supportive family, there is something to always be grateful for and to smile about.
Being nice is simple: it makes you feel good and it makes other people feel good, too! Many people, including myself in the past, has used anger as a defense mechanism. A way not to be vulnerable and to prove to the world that you’re tough and can’t be messed with.
But you don’t need to prove that to anyone because you are tough in your own right! You’ve overcome struggles that most probably wouldn’t be able to if they were placed in your shoes! You are a warrior and no one can take that from you but being a b**** doesn’t stop people from trying to mess with you, either.
Whatever you put out into the world always comes back to you. Being mean will generally result in people being nasty right back to you. Being nice runs the risk of someone else still being rude to you but 9 times out of 10, people are usually nice to people who are nice to them.
Who knows, you could uplift someone and turn their whole life around just by simply being nice to them.
Learn to Accept Compliments
I can not say this enough…please learn to accept a compliment, sis. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this (I raised two hands btw)!
Someone walks by and says, “Cute jacket, I would never be able to wear that!” or “That nail color only looks nice on you!” Your hands get clammy and you get flustered all because someone actually complimented your style (*smacks forehead in disappointment*).
Don’t act awkward or dismiss the compliment! All we want is to feel beautiful as women, right? It takes hard work to get out of bed and put everything together to look kind of presentable for work, right? We want to be noticed when we change our hair color or buy a new outfit because we feel good about ourselves, right? So why make someone else feel awkward because we can’t accept a compliment?
Even if they’re being ingenuine like in ‘Mean Girls’ when Regina George says she thinks Cady’s bracelet is cute even though she hated it… so WHAT?! YOU love it so who cares? Take words as words, accept the compliment, let it brighten your day for a few moments, and then keep it pushing. You got this and everyone knows it!
Invest in 1 Thing You Like to Do
What do you like to do for fun? You don’t know? Well, figure it out, girl! Try a new sport, volunteer for a good cause, go to some local events coming up (food truck festivals give me life), or try a new restaurant with your girlfriends! Do something to brighten your spirit.
What are you good at? Try a new hobby or expand on a special skill that you have (I am really good at crocheting, oddly enough). Focusing on your skills and your talents are great ways to boost your confidence and have something to look forward to: GETTING BETTER.
Whether you’re going bowling every Thursday or taking a pottery class on Fridays, you’re investing in everything you like and since you like to do them that means they make you happy.
Keep doing MORE of what makes you happy!
Make a List of Positive Affirmations (And Read Them EVERYDAY!)
If you can’t think of any positive thoughts then research them, write them down, and look at it EVERYDAY! Read it, say it, chant it, whatever you have to do to get it into your brain that you are a boss, a Queen, and everything in between!
Once you start this habit (people say it takes 21 days to make a habit), it is kind of hard to stop pumping yourself up. You have to be your biggest cheerleader as you make the biggest impact on your life! You’re trying your best and you’re always better than you were the day before so please remember that.
Check out this post for my list of positive affirmations!
Meditate and Elevate
Take some time to really be in silence and learn to be at peace with yourself. You have to learn to take a break from your thoughts and settle your mind so that in time you can do this in even your most anxious moments.
Set a timer for just a couple of minutes or even use a guided meditation app to play calming sounds and literally guide you into a calmer, more positive state of mind.
Once your mind is not crowded and is more at ease, you can start tackling things you want/need to do and be more motivated to do them!
Start Exercising (And Make it a Habit)
If you didn’t know, let me be the first to tell you…Exercising releases endorphins that literally make you feel more positive and happier!
I’m not going to lie and say I love working out because I DON’T! I’m always brat, crying, kicking and screaming as I’m going in to my workout but I always love how I feel when I’m finished with my session.
I feel better about my body, I feel accomplished, and I do feel happier! Even if you can’t work out for 30 minutes or an hour everyday, working out 10-15 minutes 3-5x/week is bound to still release those positive endorphins and give you that emotional high that you need (I do high intensity boxing 3-4x/week for 15-20 minutes and I sweat more than if I did a low-intensity workout for an hour). Read this article from Women’s Health Magazine for more information about the benefits of 15-minute workouts!
Change Your Music, Change Your Mood
I can not stress this enough: MUSIC IS THERAPY! Music is definitely not the only type of therapy but is a cheap starting point to boosting how you feel and changing your negative view on life.
Months after graduating college and going through the ups and downs of looking for jobs and working at temp agencies, I would drive to work for an hour and just be so down about life, myself, and basically everything. I was depressed and a lot of the music I was listening to on my drives in the mornings were not the most uplifting.
Even if you love some melancholy songs, play them in small increments and not very frequently. We’re trying to be more positive and these break-up songs you’ve been playing are not going to help, girl!
Download new songs or make a playlist of all the upbeat, “feel good” music you have in your library, press play, and put it on repeat. With all those positive vibes surrounding you, it makes it a little easier to break up those negative thoughts in your head (especially during a long commute to job you don’t really like).
Find 1 Thing You Love When You Look in the Mirror
It’s really easy to look in the mirror and pick apart every little thing about yourself. To me, the longer you stare into the mirror, the more flaws you see in your reflection…
Well, if you’re going to look in the mirror, at least point out one good thing for every bad thing you hate about yourself. No one looks like the next person and we weren’t made to be.
You are unique and beautiful and special in your own way so appreciate that! You were made with all of the tools necessary to succeed in life and achieve your purpose. Appreciate all of the things that make you who you are because no one else has that. No one else has your nose, your eyes, your hair, your smile, your personality, your skills, or your experiences. No one else. And that right there is what makes you beautiful!
All in all, re-wire your mind into being more forgiving of yourself and brighten up your day in any way possible. If that means taking time to yourself to focus on your goals then so be it. You have to be selfish sometimes and take care of yourself, girl! You can’t invest and pour your heart into other people if you’re not pouring back into yourself as well.
Remember, you are the brightest light in your life, you just have to change the bulb every once in a while!
How do you plan on being more positive in your life? Also, check out this post on daily positive affirmations for inspiration on starting your day off on the right foot!