I try to be a positive person. I’ve written about how to not feel like a total failure, not because I’m an expert on the feeling, but because I am trying very hard not to feel that way about myself. I think sometimes the best way to change your behavior is to write about what you want to change. So here are my tips on how to be a positive person.
It’s okay to feel bad, even if what makes you feel bad may make another person roll their eyes and say, “Really? Seriously?” Yes, really, and yes, seriously. No one is allowed to tell you how to feel. So take the time to let those feelings out. But,
Sometimes we can’t help having panic attacks. Something awful will happen — someone we love may die, for example — and sometimes it’s just too hard to fight a panic attack. But if you feel yourself starting to have a panic attack over getting a parking ticket, it’s more useful and helpful to you to overcome that panic. So how can you do that?
What’s the worst thing that could happen when getting a parking ticket? I mean the absolute worst. Let’s say the ticket is $1,000 and it’s your last chance before your car gets impounded or packed into a tiny cube and you’ll never get to drive again and you’ll be poor for the rest of your life. Good news is that that’s probably not what’s happening or is going to happen. By picturing the worst, you can realize it’s not as bad as you think it is.
Whether it’s a therapist or a friend, just talking to someone can make everything better. Sometimes it’s even better when they talk to you, with either a pep talk or a “time to get real” talk. I like to listen to Ilsa, AKA “The Water Whispers” to help me unwind and calm down at night before sleeping. She makes videos called ASMR videos AKA “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response” videos. Basically you listen to them if you need help sleeping or relaxing. Ilsa’s feature her talking in a quiet, soothing voice about how everything is going to be okay. Or you can listen to her helping you in a simulated situation, like cutting your hair or painting your face. It sounds totally bizarre, but listening to these sounds is oddly soothing.
You may have a mantra, a repeated word or phrase, without realizing it. You may not say it out loud, but you may repeat it in your head without even realizing it. For example, maybe you think to yourself, “life sucks”, over and over. Replace that with “life is good to me.” It may feel like a lie at first, and that’s okay. But in order to be a positive person, you have to have positive thoughts, and those positive thoughts have to come from somewhere. So start with your mantra. Make it something good.
Thinking about the good times in your life may make you want to cry, but they may also make you want to smile and be grateful that they happened (wow, that sounds cheesy. But it’s true!). And don’t just think of the past — think of the good times ahead. Don’t have any? Plan some! Plan to see friends or a movie over the weekend. It’s always good to have something to look forward to, even if it’s just a new episode of How I Met Your Mother.
And dance the fuck out of it.
Are you guys rolling your eyes, or feeling empowered to be positive? Share your positivity tips!
Photo: Marlene Dietrich by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1928, via LIFE photo archives for Google.
Almie Rose is a writer from Los Angeles. She has a blog, Apocalypstick. In addition to Dating & Hookup she also writes for Hello Giggles, The Frisky, Thought Catalog, and Genlux Magazine. Her book, I Forgot To Be Famous, is out now. You can follow her on twitter @apocalypstick. Her favorite pastime is eating and drinking and sleeping and then eating again.
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