Ten ways to be more Positive

That amazing moment in my life where I realised I'm taller than Harry Potter.

Practicing positivity is like exercising a muscle.  It takes time.  It's a journey not a destination.  It is hard to make a habit of something that seems maddening at the moment.  At the end of the day, we all yearn for happiness.  This is the ultimate goal of life.  I have some tips here to maybe help instil a more positive outlook in your life.

1. Stop comparing.  Someone else's successes is not going to define how you are going to be in life.  It will not hinder or depreciate you.  It is a strange idea that we believe someone else's achievements means we cannot attain it, as though that position is already taken.  Life doesn't work that way.  We can be happy, prosperous and successful despite how triumphant people are around you.  And trust me, I understand that brown parents have been blessed with the ability to compare their children with every other individual in existence.  At the end of the day, we all have capabilities. We all have strengths and weaknesses.  We must play to our strengths.

2. Stop overthinking.  I am a hypocrite here as I am the queen of overthinking.  9/10 times the situation in your head isn't going to pan out in real life.  Odds are, the problems that you are overanalysing do not exist or will not occur how you believe they would.  The brain has the ability to conjure up the worst case scenario.  However, a great wise man/woman once said, the fences you build in your brain are the greatest obstacles you will face.  Life is too short to make everything seem worse than it is.

3. Spend more time with family and friends.  This invested time is going to make you happier in the long run.  It is one of the biggest regrets that individuals have in life- they haven't spent quality time with those that truly loved them.  These people who love you dearly will make your happiest memories.  At the end of the day, you cannot replace a person.  I've mentioned before that God is the most amazing artist.  He created us all so differently that it would be a shame if we got caught up in materialistic, worldly problems or yearnings at the expense of those that loved us.

4.  Gratitude.  Pay attention to the little things in life.  There are many people that are praying for the what we take for granted on a daily basis: clean water, safe walks, education, cheesecake (I am very grateful for the existence of cheesecake).  There is always something to be grateful for in every single day.  A practice my mom instilled in me when I was little, which I need to recuperate, is the habit of writing down 5-10 things I am thankful for in each day.

5.  Laugh as much as you breathe.  I am guilty in taking myself more seriously than I should.  I'm very much an overgrown 5 year old where the simplest things can make me double over in laughter to a point where I feel a six pack coming in (but it never does).  Sometimes, I admit, it's embarrassing when people around you keep reminding you that you act immature or like a child.  Nevertheless, during my first year of university, you most definitely can catch me doing bhangra or gaana in public near every bus stop because I was dared to on multiple occasions.  Be carefree.  As long as you are not hurting anyone or yourself, have fun and enjoy life.

6. Forgive.  This. Is. Difficult.  Unfortunately, my mom always said: by holding a grudge, the person that made you upset actually wins.  At the end of the day, you control you.  Kill people with kindness. Never go out of your way to seek revenge or hurt someone despite their actions.  It's okay to be upset and grovel over a situation but don't let it consume you or cloud your thoughts, morals, or influence your actions.  Don't be cruel to other people and inflict pain.  That will not bring any fulfilment.  How people treat you is a reflection of their own personality or character, not yours.  The worst individuals in your life will give you the biggest life lessons.  Never stoop to their level.  Aim to be a blessing rather than a lesson in someone's life.

7. Say yes.  I can be an introvert.  But say yes to experiences whilst keeping your morals in tact.  At the end of the day, you aren't going to be thinking back to that amazing night's sleep you had the other day.  Make happy memories for yourself.  Never hinder or prevent yourself from having an amazing opportunity due to fear, laziness, or nonsensical priorities.  Escape your comfort zone to allow growth, development, and that amazing breath of fresh air.

8.  Optimistic outlook.  Whatever the situation might be, try your hardest to look at it in a positive way.  God has a funny way of panning everything out so it works in your favour.  Have faith in the system.  I don't know what you are going through.  I don't know what you are facing on a daily basis or what is filling your plate.  But I can promise you this: It will get better as long as you believe it can.  It is your optimistic outlook on life that will give you the strength to propel and face any shortcomings.  For example, failure.  There are reasons that people fail such as not being ready to be put in that specific situation.  Remember that the universe has a way of making it work in your benefit as long as you put in the effort.  Nothing will help you if you don't help yourself.

9. Live in the moment.  A problem that a lot of people have is that they live in the past or they live in the future.  Both of which are non-existent.  One can never physically live in the past or the future, it's like a parallel universe.  You only really have right now.  Therefore, when you are thinking about the past or the future, you aren't living in the moment so...are you even living? Your past is your past. Learn from your mistakes and move on.  Close that chapter.  Bluntly speaking, odds are, people don't care anymore.  If people want to mention the old you, then they're not ready to meet the new you unless you've specifically formed scars in that individual's memory.  On the other hand, don't worry about the future.  No one can predict it except God.  However, one thing you can do is invent the future.  You can only invent the future if you put in that time and effort right now to shape it in your favour.  You can have anything as long as you live in the moment and do what you need to do now.

10. Sm:)e.  That seems super cheesy to hear right now but smile, give love, and show happiness. Fake it till you make it.  Try and smile whenever you catch yourself frowning.  Sometimes, when I look at myself not smiling, I look hideous.  Therefore, I need to make it a practice to keep smiling.  No one want's to talk to someone rocking the 'girl dog' face.

11. Empathy.  This is a bonus that I couldn't help include.  Practicing empathy is so vital.  We do not know what anyone is going through or the battles they're facing behind closed doors.  Always put yourself in the other person's shoes to comprehend why or where they're coming from.  Regardless of the deed being positive or negative, understanding someone else's point of view will be more fruitful and simmer down any reactive emotions you may have.  The situation unfolds in a clearer light.

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