Hello, it’s me your positivity tour guide. Did you know that trying to stay in a positive state of mind is like having a job? Neither did I. Here’s the thing about always trying to have a positive outlook and attitude in life, it looks easy but, it takes days of training for my brain and behavior to adapt to that mentality. According to science, it takes about 2 months to 66 days to form a new habit. So for me, thinking positive is a lifestyle that I chose to follow, almost like telling myself to get up at 6 am every morning so that I can train to get a summer body.
A muscle that we often forget to exercise is our minds, it is one of the strongest tools that can get us out of a negative mindset that we can have towards ourselves and others. Just like the feeling of dragging yourself out of bed to go to the gym, starting each day on a positive note is the same. On days where I’m feeling negative about people, jobs, or just anything, I go back to doing activities that make me happy. I talk to friends who remind me of myself, explore new places, read, write, meditate, and most importantly pray.
Writing has allowed me to release emotions of frustration; the next day I can read what I wrote and notice that my emotions and mindsets aren’t permanent. Praying is a time where I pray for guidance, and where I put my trust in Allah to provide things to me that are only beneficial. Meditation has allowed me to release things that I cannot control and is surprisingly where most of my positive mindset arises from. I’ve learned that the more you try to control situations or outcomes the unhappier you get.
I know that I’m in a better situation than some people in this world, so feeling appreciative of where I am in life re-installs that positive mindset. Not long ago I was helping transcribe an audio documentary based in South Sudan; the story followed a psychiatrist who went out on the streets of Juba gathering civilians suffering from mental health disorders and bringing them into a hospital. The nurses and herself would clean these men and women, give them new clothes and provide them with food. This inspiring woman also has three children that she has to go home to and help with homework and feed them. Cases like that, remind me that people who come from nothing make the most out of what is available to them. Even while having so much on her plate, she continues to live her life even with minor setbacks, in hope of helping people around her.
I’ve often heard “Alhamdulillah” been said in my household. It means “Thank God” for where I am in life, and that there are people who are dealing with far worse situations. A statement like that is a reminder to myself, even though I may feel sad or unhappy, I’m still thankful for where I am and what I have. To feel negative about something does not equate to feeling ungrateful.
Being upset about something can stem from feeling neglected or rejected which then makes you de-value your self-worth. Usually, I equate my value with the things that I’m able to do, such as writing, producing podcasts, and etc. So when I believe that I have such a strong line of experience, and people or companies overlook that, I start to doubt my talent. I begin to hesitate in the things I do because I think that if someone can’t see the value in my work, what makes me think someone else will. When in fact, if I’m the one who sees value in my work, and I create with authenticity, someone will appreciate it. Not everyone is going to acknowledge work that you’ve done, but people who connect with your work will, and that’s what matters. I make sure to remind myself that there’s always something out there for me, whether I have to be the one who creates it, or it is something for me to join.
My reminder to you is that yes, you may have days where things feel incredibly tricky, you have no motivation, or you’re tired of people letting you down. Nevertheless, tomorrow is a new day, there are opportunities still waiting for you, and you can find new people to connect with every day. You are the only person that has control over how your life and day turns out. You can control how you take on a setback if it’s not getting that promotion, work harder. You didn’t get that project, come up with your project.
Staying positive may not erase your problems, but what it will do is make you keep going even when you feel like giving up. Staying positive is giving yourself that reassurance that the harder you push through life, the easier it gets; and we all know life was never going to be easy.
Lateefa is a Somali-Canadian freelance Journalist with an interest in discussing life with honesty and transparency. She also has a background in producing podcasts but has now fallen in love with writing. When Lateefa is not busy writing, she's connecting with friends and family, reading books, exploring new places, and most importantly singing in the shower.