How To Think Positive & Be Optimistic When Life Just Sucks

Angela G. writes...

"Jeff, hey. My life stinks right now. Nothing is going the way it should and all I want to do is sleep. Advice from you would  help me a lot. Thanks a million. :("

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Replies (18)
    • Hi Angela.

      Head up!

      Let's start off by acknowledging you may be depressed. Please click here for super helpful advice.

      Now, onto "positive thinking."

      Your outlook on life is so important, and yet many people never give it much thought.

      It may be difficult to be positive when everything around you seems to be falling to pieces, but keeping the faith is the only way to trudge through hard times and see yourself clear to better days.

      Your mindset will determine your level of success, or lack thereof. If you're positive, it will open doors for you and lead to a happier life. However, if you're negative, you face the opposite future.

      Being optimistic might seem like an enormous task, but there are simple things you can do to improve your outlook.

      If you practice each day, you'll be doing yourself a great favor, since your mindset is the very foundation for achieving success and fulfillment.

      Below are great ideas, tips and solutions to be more optimistic.

      Think more positive thoughts and solve your problem, click here.

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      • Four secrets to positive thinking.


        When you can latch onto this simple little secret, you will be amazed at the change you’ll notice within yourself. You’ll no longer feel so angry all the time. You will start to give people the benefit of the doubt. Best of all, you will learn to forgive and not hold grudges.


        What’s the first thing that happens when you see someone make a mistake? Are you immediately judgmental? Do you think to yourself that they had it coming to them? Negative thoughts like these are detrimental, not only to the other person, but more so to you. Allow for mistakes, and refer back to Secret #1.


        Just because you consider yourself to be a good person, that doesn’t exclude you from having anything bad happen to you. All too often, a negative and pessimistic attitude is brought on because of seemingly one bad thing happening after another. Life is filled with bad things and disappointments. It is up to you to choose how to react to them, though.


        You really can determine how your life will turn out, based on your way of thinking. If you constantly look for bad things to happen, guess what? Bad things will most likely happen to you. But if you turn your thoughts to a more positive nature, and find the good in everything, you’ll soon become a happier person and live a much happier life.

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        • Avoid feeling sorry for yourself.

          Feeling sorry for yourself only wastes precious brainpower and it's not going to help you out in the long run. Instead, strive to gain the wisdom to accept your situation and focus on solutions, instead of sorrow or worry. Everyone has to travel through tough times at some point; it's just a part of life!

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          • Reflect on the past.

            Surely you've encountered seemingly insurmountable situations in the past. How have you succeeded in the most unpleasant scenarios? Clearly, your ability to overcome these situations speaks loudly for your strength and abilities.

            In some situations, you may be able to emulate your past solutions by adapting them to fit your current situation. Other times, you'll be able to learn what not to do from past trials and tribulations.

            The past needn't dictate your future. It's possible to reflect without working up old, unresolved feelings. This is a positive exercise. If you begin to feel negative emotions, move onto another technique, which can help you increase self-confidence in your abilities.

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            • Find the life lesson.

              It may be hard to find the silver lining, but it's almost always hiding somewhere. All of your experiences - both good and bad - contribute to your life's knowledge. Be thankful for what you know!

              Reflect on the fact that you've gained wisdom and knowledge that may help you make better decisions and cope well in the future.

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              • Stop worrying.

                When you're going through a tough situation, sometimes your worries can overtake you. The future might seem scary and bleak and you're not sure what you should do. As you know, worrying isn't going to help the situation in the least. Instead, the moment worry creeps in, redirect your mind onto something positive or reassuring.

                Stay calm and start brainstorming some practical solutions.

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                • Be brave about change.

                  Change is inevitable and most often you don't even notice that it's happening. During tough times, however, you're likely more sensitive to the changes that are taking place.

                  Think about change as an exciting adventure. You'll never know what you can discover and learn until you're open to change.

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                  • Act immediately.

                    Rather than retreating into your personal cocoon when a situation becomes intimidating, address it immediately. The longer you allow a situation to sit without attention, the more urgent it will become. A perfect example is debt.

                    Avoid cornering yourself with urgency by creating a proactive plan now. Or, better yet, have a just-in-case plan before the event ever happens. It's okay to take a few hours to create a plan of attack. But, if you're still brainstorming weeks from today, you may be stalling.

                    Only you can be the source of a solution. You are in charge of managing your life and ensuring its success. Take pride in this power. After all, you're free - no one commands you! Your life is what you make it. And you can use your power to start off on the right foot each and every day.

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                    • Start small.

                      Take some time to reflect on the difficult situation. If you're having trouble finding a positive manner of thinking, just start by smiling at yourself in the mirror. You might not feel happy right away, but it sure will be hard not to feel happy when you see a beautiful smiling face staring back at you!

                      You can also consider the use of positive affirmations to help you through tough times. The more frequently you repeat your affirmations, the sooner you'll ingrain the positive beliefs into your subconscious.

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                      • Believe it.

                        You will make it through. You've found your way out of a tough situation before. You'll do it now and again sometime in the future. There is always a way to get your head above the water - always. You'll get better at it once you gain experience.

                        • You have a fan base of supporters. Your children, spouse, and extended family are cheering you on every day. Chances are that no one doubts your abilities the way you do. In fact, they have faith in your abilities because you've proven your strength time and time again.

                        • As Bernice Johnson Reagon once said, "Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are."

                        • Now is as good of a time as any to show yourself what you're made of. Confirm to yourself that you're as strong and tenacious as you suspect yourself to be.
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                        • Avoid getting hung up on one thing.

                          Sometimes you may feel like there's one situation that's holding you back. Maybe there's just one thing that has seemingly ruined your day. Resolve to let it go so it doesn't bother you anymore. After all, there's a whole world out there just waiting for you to experience!

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                          • Be thankful.

                            Make a list of all the things you're thankful for in your life. Include even the smallest things, like the lucky penny you found on the street or the loving hug your partner gave you today. You'll most likely end up with a long list that you can look to whenever you feel like you're slipping into negativity.

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                            • Surround yourself with positive people.

                              Humans are social beings that can feel the energy of others. Have fun with positive and supportive friends and family members. Just being around positive people can lift you up when you're feeling down.

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                              • Watch your language.

                                Do you speak positively to yourself and others, or are you judgmental and negative? Try to shift over to only positive speech. Practice using upbeat words while you focus on the positive in every situation.

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                                • Prioritize.

                                  Start by determining the most appropriate issues, situations and times to be optimistic about. Instead of chasing after many things, some of which may be unlikely, try focusing your energy on what's most important.

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                                  • Stay focused on your own passions.

                                    When we do what we love, we feel joy, and joy generates optimism.

                                    • Whether you play a musical instrument, love working on cars, or enjoy pursuing any other activity, be sure to set aside time in your week for your hobby. If you can, enjoy some "me" time each day.

                                    • Practicing your craft, hobby, or passion will help prevent you from hanging your hopes on another person, place, or thing. All the joy you need is within you and you'll rediscover this moment by moment as you do what you love.

                                    • Following your bliss also helps keep you in the present. The past has already passed. And the future hasn't come yet. All you have this moment. Don't you want to make the most of it? When you do, your future almost invariably turns out to be more to your liking also!
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                                    • Open your mind to new possibilities.

                                      Maybe you were expecting a promotion that never came. Or perhaps you even lost your job. Now is a great time to explore other opportunities.

                                      • Although you undoubtedly were looking forward to whatever didn't happen, or were happy to avoid what did, the truth is that the future is in your hands.

                                      • Maybe you always wanted to try freelancing, or making something with your hands for a living. Now is the time to run in that direction. Nothing is stopping you anymore, not even waiting around for a different dream to come to pass.
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                                      • Remember, there's always help!

                                        Whether you make use of your social network or see a licensed counselor, other people are there to support you as you move toward your next adventure.

                                        • If you find yourself really feeling depressed, and nothing seems to work to banish it, you may want to check out professional counseling services. Therapists are trained to walk people through all sorts of life transitions and can definitely assist with yours.
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