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How to Stay Positive Without Really Trying


I second that, Nicole! I, Francesca Pauline Gariano, have declared myself a strictly positive person since fall 2014. I find negativity draining and exhausting and I decided that I wanted no part of it anymore. And what a glorious, life changing decision it was. Sometimes it sounds weird to say "I just decided that's how I wanted to be" when people asked how I stay so positive, but honestly, it's the truth. Sure, it took a bit of effort to exude optimism as much as possible, but in the long run, it's been so worth it.

I was a pretty miserable human being leading up to age nineteen. I mean, I had my shining moments where I was how I am now, but a lot of it was faking it. Now, I'm lucky if I can shut myself up when it comes to happy-go-lucky phrases. Essentially, I am a walking Pinterest board and I'm 100% okay with it.

While it stinks that it took me nineteen years to figure out some sort of formula to being positive (though really, it's not a formula; that would imply that it'd be the same for everyone, which it's not), I'm glad that I at least discovered some sort of balance between being (somewhat) realistic and being a total pessimist.

1. Make It a Conscious Effort

This is just for the beginning. Eventually, it becomes natural. To start, just constantly remind yourself to think in a positive manner. See the good in people and situations! Give the benefit of the doubt, sometimes. If you feel a negative feeling bubbling in the pit of your stomach or a snarky comment at the tip of your tongue, swallow it down. Even not saying something negative is a form of positivity in itself. Like anything, you have to want it. If you want to be positive, you have to try a little. It's not going to come naturally (at first), so it's all about little reminders to yourself that this is what you want, that harboring negative feelings is draining and just a burden.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Everyone could use some positivity in their lives. Some people perceive positivity in negative ways (too friendly, too bubbly, ditzy, overwhelming, etc. etc.) but you can't let that stop you. Compliment people, tell someone they're going to do well on an exam, wish people great days then watch; see how people react to your positivity. Generally, they'll react in the same way! There's nothing better than spreading your sunshine on to other people. It can totally become a chain reaction! If someone's nice to me, I want to be nice to someone else because I'm in a great mood, then I can only hope that by being nice to someone else, they'll want to go out and do the same thing. What a beautiful chain that would be! Don't break the chain by not returning the kindness, or by not sharing any of your own either.

3. Don't Get Too Down On Yourself

If I start getting negative toward myself or let pessimism slip in (because it does, every once in a blue moon; I'm not perfect!), I always get disappointed in myself, which is against the whole point of being positive! But honestly, being too hard about yourself only causes more negativity. Just accept the blip and move on. Dwelling too much on missteps will drive you crazy! Accept that you said it and then continue to be mindful of what you're saying or thinking.

Those are definitely three of my biggest tips for staying positive! A lot of it is just being the person that makes you happy Think of the nice people you meet who put a smile on your face and then channel them! Who knows, maybe somebody might want to channel you someday.


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