silhouette of two people shouting at each other

The ability to stay positive is one of the first things to go when we’re going through tough times. Most of us get overwhelmed with the negativity of the situation and find ourselves in a “drama” that takes over our lives, leaving us drained, depleted and feeling hopeless about life and its possibilities.

But it’s actually when we’re at our worst, our most hopeless, that we need to rally and bring out the positive forces in spades! To help you do so, here are five simple ways to stay positive no matter what you’re going through in life.

Watch yourself from outside


Step outside yourself and become the observer. Watch yourself as if you’re in a movie and you’re the main character. This’ll help you detach from your situation, which may allow you to see possible solutions to your problem/struggle that you can’t see when you’re in the thick of it.

Put yourself in another’s shoes


When we’re in conflict with others, we tend to see it from our side only, and we can be stubborn about that. However, if you’re able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, you may be surprised at what you find. When you can see the pain, the struggle and the difficulties they’re going through—even if, from your perspective, they’re the crankiest, grumpiest, most miserable and awful person in the world—you may be able to relate to that pain.

This is one of the hardest things to do, because we really don’t want to feel any empathy for those we feel are hurting us. But once you’re able to understand their pain, you may be able to feel empathy, or at least sympathy, for them. If not, then at least you can feel relief because you don’t have their pain to deal with!

Examine your “glass”


Is your glass half-empty, half-full or always filling up? I have an acquaintance who’s what I call a “reluctant healer.” She really has trouble letting go of her pain, her dramas and her fights, and you’ll be hard-pressed to hear her say anything in a positive manner.

When we’re afraid to change, it’s amazing what excuses we can find to keep ourselves from changing!

She ended up needing both her knees replaced last year, and even as she was healing and her knee pain was being significantly reduced, she could never admit that it was a good thing. She’d only admit that it was a good thing after prompting.

Do you want to be known as the “reluctant healer,” or do you want to be the one who’s consistently positive, looking for solutions and expressing gratitude for every experience and opportunity to heal? When we’re afraid to change, it’s amazing what excuses we can find to keep ourselves from changing!

Don’t push your pain away 


When we’re feeling pain or discomfort—whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual—we tend to separate ourselves from the pain. We push it away, as if it’s the enemy. Yet, how many times have we heard people who’ve gone through incredible struggles admit that if it weren’t for those struggles, they wouldn’t have gotten where they are today, discovered that inner strength of theirs or achieved their amazing accomplishments?

Embrace the challenges, the pain and the discomfort. Give it a big hug and send it love. Don’t make it the enemy. The only enemy is that voice within that tells us to give up, to be a victim, to let the world define who we are instead of deciding that for ourselves.

Find humour in disaster 


Most likely, in five years, you’ll be laughing at your current problem. Why not move that timeline up to now? Nothing feels better than to be able to laugh at something that’s causing you pain and drama. It’s not about being cold and callous and ignoring the pain, but a smile and a laugh can really lighten up the mood and energy in serious, tough situations.

The ability to turn a conflict situation around and make it a win-win for you and all involved is one of the most exciting, thrilling and rewarding achievements a person can experience. Not only will it make your life a happier place, it’ll be one step towards making the whole world a better place!

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Martha Moore, CPA, MBA is a transformational life coach and founder of The Free Spirit Project, LLC. As a life coach, she’s known for her unique style of no-nonsense and insightful guidance. She started her career almost 30 years ago, receiving her MBA and practicing as a CPA for several years, before following her heart to travel the world. Now settled in Colorado, for the past 15 years she has devoted her life to helping others discover the joy of following their own hearts and uncovering the courage, strength and passion within.
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