Staying Positive in Tough Times

by Annabel
(San Jose, CA)

Lending a helping hand helps me stay positive

Lending a helping hand helps me stay positive

One of my self improvement and motivation tips to stay positive is - "Be where you are".


A very wise teacher told me, "Be where you are." She meant it in terms of yoga training (push your own limits and don’t spend time looking at the people way ahead of you), but I’ve found it’s an important piece of life wisdom to stay positive.

I have a tendency to worry and fret and immediately start planning for the worst-case scenario; I also often feel disappointed with myself if I don’t measure up to my own standards. "Be where you are" addresses both these habits. It reminds me to deal with what is in front of me at the present moment, and not get caught up in the imagined future, good or bad. It’s much easier to stay positive that way.


I once read in an advice book from the 1920s that if you pretend you’re in a good mood, you often will find that it’s happened. I don’t advise putting a happy face on serious problems. But when it’s just a bad mood, you might try it.

I used to have a job teaching young children. I can remember many times when I would get up feeling grouchy and out-of-sorts, but after wearing a smile for my kids for an hour or so, I would suddenly realize that my grumpiness had evaporated. If I had spent the whole time thinking about my rotten mood, I would have gotten stuck in it.


Finding something that you’re good at is a great way to stay positive — it doesn’t need to be for pay. I recently started volunteering with a community organization that draws on one of my strongest skills. Getting positive vibes from our clients and the other volunteers has been an amazing mood lifter for life in general.

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