How To Keep a Positive Outlook on Life

Shea Parker, Staff Writer

In high school, especially, it can sometimes be hard to find the bright side of things. School, a social life, extracurriculars, and pressures about the future can cause a lot of stress and negativity, along with other things.

I have not perfected my strategy at making my life less stressful but my strategy has definitely helped. My strategy is just having a positive mindset, or at least trying to most of the time. The following steps might help you, and you don’t even have to complete them in a particular order.

Find something that makes you genuinely happy

Something that can distract you or make you happier when you are going through a tough time is a hobby. If you find an activity or sport that you really enjoy it can help take your mind off life when you need it.

Of course, you are going to have to face your life problems eventually but doing something to bring you some serotonin for a little bit might help clear your mind and might even help solve some of your issues.

Especially if this hobby/sport is outdoors. Being outside and actively doing stuff can really help your overall health. Embracing the beauty of nature and realizing the beauty of life can help you stay positive. 

Surround yourself with people who hype you up, not with people who drag you down

Another good distraction to find is good people. Finding people who, similar to a hobby, distract you and make you genuinely happy. Finding people who stay positive surrounding you and help you through your issues rather than surrounding yourself with people with negative mindsets can help make life a little easier. 

“Happiness isn’t just a personal experience, it is actually affected by the individuals around you,” said health psychologist Shilagh Mirgain.

Being surrounded by happiness and positivity will make it easier for you to be positive.

Think about the future

If something bad or embarrassing happens to you, think about how it affects you in five years and if it doesn’t – just shake it off. Don’t focus on the bad and embarrassing things, think forward to what you can, and will achieve.

In thinking about the future you need to learn not to over stress about it, because the future can be scary and will most likely be stressful no matter how positive you are. Everyone just needs to learn the way that their body can deal with the stress healthily, and being positive can be a factor but it’s not gonna solve all of your problems.

Honestly? Fake it till you make it

Just smile. Even if you don’t mean it. It has been proven by a study at the University of Kansas that, “smiling and even fake smiling reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations,” and Dr. Grossan told NBC News, “When you smile, the brain sees the muscle [activity] and assumes that humor is happening.” In a sense, the brain is a sucker for a grin. It doesn’t bother to sort out whether you’re smiling because you’re genuinely joyous, or because you’re just pretending.” 

I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “fake it till you make it,” before, and honestly, it is really good advice. It sounds confusing but, if you think you think it eventually you will actually believe it. 

The Euroclinic said, “When we train ourselves to think positively, […] , the “negativity” pathways weaken and more positive and constructive pathways are created and reinforced. As a result, we feel calmer, happier, and more capable as the parasympathetic nervous system becomes more dominant. Because our negative emotions are not causing us to draw upon more primitive, survival patterns of thought and reaction, we instead access the parts of our brain involved in higher-level thinking, build new skills, and see a broader range of possibilities.” 

You can teach yourself to think more positively and it will overall improve your life.

Most importantly you need to remember that you are human. It may sound cliche but no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Everything isn’t always gonna work out the way you want it to but you have to push through it and look past it, and being positive can help you with this.