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You think the best is ultimately going to happen, not the worst. You believe you have, or can get, the resources you need to overcome challenges. You have a self-belief that gives you confidence in your ability to overcome and resolve problems and you can focus on the bigger picture: the learning and development, the meaning and purpose and the silver lining in the grey cloud.

So how do you maintain positivity, even on the hard days?

  • Check and challenge your thinking regularly. If you find yourself being negative, stop, and start your thinking again. Find the gratitude, check if this really matters, get perspective on your situation and move on.
  • Stop watching and listening to the news (or at least, watch it much less). The media we consume is traumatising and stressful and nearly always negative. We are not designed to carry the weight of the world, as we have enough stress already on our own personal plates.
  • Watch your use of social media, as it can be just as impactful as the news. It creates a culture of comparison and resentment, and it is difficult to feel positive when you’re comparing your reality to somebody else’s highlight reel of enhanced beach photographs for example.
  • Focus on the opportunity to learn, grow and develop by viewing crises as an uncomfortable opportunity to learn new skills, strengthen relationships and stretch your resilience.
  • Surround yourself with positive people – always.
  • Stay in your lanedon’t compete with others and don’t compare. Measure your own success and be accountable to your own goals.
  • Exercise – you literally burn off the stress and negativity. There is not much that a run, swim, walk, cycle, dance, skip or stretch can’t fix.
  • Play happy music deliberately. When you feel flat or down, use music to shift your mood. In fact, you should have a happy playlist on your phone to use whenever you need to.
  • Read the stories or watch the movies of overcomers. People who have survived or achieved extraordinary things are very inspiring and give us great perspective on our own lives. Usually if we were asked whose problems we would like, ours or somebody else’s, we choose our own!
  • Write a gratitude list, every night. Note down three different things a day for which you are grateful – this has an immediate impact on your mental health.
  • Watch your self-talk. Tell yourself all the time that you’re a positive person, who has a positive impact on the world. It won’t be long before you believe it.

Did you know that what you eat can affect your positivity and mental health as well? Read our next newsletter to find out more.

Yours in Positivity,

The Sasfin team

About the Author

Tracy Helps
Kaelo, Clinical Social Worker

Tracy is also a counsellor, interventionist, supervisor and facilitator. She has a special interest in mental health, addiction and trauma and has 25 years’ experience working in South Africa, the USA and London.