How to Stay Positive in Negative Situations

How to stay positive in negative situations, even when you can’t see anything positive in your life, is a skill worth learning.

It can seem impossible if you’re facing difficult times, but actually, staying positive is a survival mechanism which will stand you in good stead forever if you activate it.

Sunset shining light on a girl

”Positive thinking doesn’t mean smiling and being always joyful. Positive thinking can mean determined. Positive thinking can mean looking for a way forward.”

– Love Positive Thinking

The key is to balance your thoughts with ones which will help you move forward. Don’t try to be happy. When sad things are going on around you, accept that you feel sad . . . but don’t give in.

When things are happening around you, it’s okay to feel sad. But in amongst all that sorrow you need to sow some positivity so that you can come through it stronger.

And if you sow the seeds when you’re happy, they’ll help you when you’re sad.

Seedlings growing and the words, Sow Positive Seeds

Positive thinking will help you climb out from the dark hole. It’ll make you search for your new future. It isn’t going to remove the dark hole or give you amnesia yet it will change your life by opening up new roads of possibility.

Misconceptions About Positive Thinking

Positive thinking doesn’t mean . . .

  • . . . pretending you’re happy when you’re not.
  • . . . hiding from the truth.
  • . . . telling yourself things just because they’re positive.
  • . . . thinking only positive things.

”What positive thinking teaches you, is how seek ways to create something which will benefit you, from whatever situation you find yourself in.”

– Love Positive Thinking

The situation may still make you cry. It will still feel hard. But instead of being beaten, you will be strengthened as you forge a new future/present from your situation.

Positive thinking’s about creating opportunity. Maybe that creation is just you being able to breathe, to survive. Maybe it’s more. The point is, it isn’t about ignoring the negative, it’s about finding a way forward. Shift your attitude.

How to Stay Focused on the Positive

Okay, so we’ve got all those misconceptions out the way; you can still think about the negative and be a positive thinker. You can feel sad, or bad, or both. Now ask yourself, what can I do at this moment to go forward?

If you can’t see the way, simply know it in your gut that you WILL find a way. That you will keep knocking on all the doors until one opens.

Be quietly determined that the right message will come and the right path will open. It’s that inner knowledge that gives you the strength not to crumble in difficult times.

Person standing on top of a cliff

Learning how to be positive in negative situations isn’t something that happens instantly. It’s a process of changing your approach, your thoughts, your actions and therefore your results.

How to do it?

  • Refuse to believe that everything is involved in the negative thing. Refuse to clump everything together to make it all bad. What has happened may be bad but it isn’t everything. Answer your negative self speak and refuse to allow it to control you.
  • Resist the magnetic pull of jumping into the pity-pool and telling people just how terrible x y z was/is. Refuse to do it. Make yourself the number one searcher of opportunity.
  • Avoid jumping falsely into feeling you should feel positive, instead, search for little positive nuggets among the negative shoreline.
  • Make a mental note of the benefits you have at this moment, even if they don’t seem like benefits. Develop a different  way of looking at the world. We aren’t talking about direct benefits, we’re talking about obscure things. For example when I broke my ankle and it wouldn’t heal, it was on the surface the worst moment it could have happened: I had no money and needed to support my daughter and pay the mortgage, yet I would now be unable to work. Using positive thinking techniques I was able to accept that I was now forced to have zero responsibility. That was I hadn’t done before.
  • Supposing you have no money at all, put it in your heart that you WILL discover how to get more money and take the first step, whether that be writing a job application, brainstorming ideas, calling acquaintances, or whatever else you can do. Realise that ALL your present steps build up to make the future step. Every step counts.
Steps in the sand on the beach

Because we’re talking about loads of different situations, it’s hard to be specific, but whatever the situation you’re in there will always be choices. Those choices are your lifelines out of your situation.

So no matter what has happened to you, remember that you are not a victim, you are a participant in life. And you will find a way forward.

Avoid Negative Self Speak 

One of the most common traps that can pull you down is the negative self speak. The problem is, if you’re in a negative situation, something negative has happened to you so the negative self speak will most probably be going round and round in your head. Over and over.

How could you have lost your fortune? How could your partner/best friend have cheated you? How can you ever find a future now that you’ve lost everything?

This self talk brings no advancement, no progress and no growth.

Allow yourself to ask these questions but don’t let them take up permanent residence in your mind. Once they’ve been asked, it’s time to move on.

If someone else has let you down or done something hurtful to you, look for ways that you can take some responsibility (and I don’t mean blame) for the situation. This will help you climb out of the victim box.

So if someone has cheated you, maybe you can look back and say, ‘Yes I was so keen to like them, I almost wanted to believe they were angelic, so I made it pretty easy for them to cheat me.’

It doesn’t matter how you take responsibility, and it isn’t about accepting blame for the situation, it’s just about recognising anything that you did to contribute to the outcome, even if it was just a thought or an attitude.

For example, if you’ve complained about not having enough time and then you lose your job, recognise your part in it and say, Ok, now I have enough time for myself. And I will find another job.

People who are caught in the negative trap will say, yes, but now I can’t afford to live. Now I can’t do anything I like because I don’t have the money. You can’t have it both ways.

There’s nothing productive about going round and round in the negative zone – but it’s addictive, so watch out.

Lastly, you must forgive yourself for making mistakes. If you’ve made a mistake, forgive it and look for new growth. Learn and move on.

Conclusion of How to be Positive in Negative Situations

Think of positive thinking as productive thinking and you’ll start seeing a change in everything around you.

Remember we always have choices, even though at the time they can seem as though they aren’t much – later you’ll recognise that they saved your life.

You may be interested in some of the other related topics we’ve discussed on this blog, like how to quit smoking now, or how to stop drinking alcohol now, how to lose weight with ease and how to get what you want in life or how to have the relationship you want.

Do you have any issues you’re dealing with that you’d like help with? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

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