My Experience With Adopting a Positive Attitude

As a stressed-out, broke college student, I would be a huge liar if I said that I have never had a negative thought. Haven't we all? I don't know about you, but there are some days when I always seem to find something to complain about, regardless of how insignificant it is. But there are plenty of people who feel the same way. There's even a #firstworldproblems tag to prove it. Recently, I read that we as people needed to try and "avoid putting so much negativity out into the universe." Which, let's be honest, seems a bit cliché. But then again, there are documentaries and books about how positive thinking alone did wonders for people. So, I decided to give it a try.

Being more positive doesn't simply mean that I was acting like everything was rainbows and butterflies all day long. To be honest, a lot of what I considered to be "positive" was just trying to avoid negative thoughts. I started to phase out little things like thinking, "what if something goes wrong?" or "this day is literally so crappy." Even before this whole "be positive" thing, I worked really hard to make sure that no matter how much everything around me seemed to suck, I wouldn't make self-deprecating comments. As it turns out, acting like everything around me sucks while trying to be nice to myself is still a bad thing (not to mention difficult). 

When I made it a point to keep myself from thinking negative thoughts, I noticed how often I had them. Though I wanted to always be somebody that maybe younger me would have admired, I kind of came off the opposite. Sure, I didn't really seem to take myself too seriously when interacting with other people, but if all I was doing in the meantime was thinking that I was still super annoyed that I had to stand on the bus that morning on top of getting angry because the people walking in front of me on the sidewalk were too slow, what was the point? 

Maybe it was because I was keeping an open mind about everything that I tried, or because I was going through my day without dwelling on every little thing that happened. Overall, I really do feel better. I was never outwardly a pessimist but keeping negativity in can be exhausting. On that note, when I focused less on comparing myself to the people around me and holding in anger or annoyance, I realized there were bigger (and better) things to do with the people I loved. 

I'm going to make this a new habit, and avoid raining on my own parade so often. This isn't to say that I won't ever have bad days. That's impossible, but I will get better at moving forward. Two things: life is better when you aren't focusing on how everyone else is living, and you start to feel better about yourself when you start looking for a silver lining.