10 habits of people who stay positive, even when life doesn’t go to plan

We all have rough days where nothing seems to work out. But even in tough times, some people seem to stay upbeat.

It’s not that they have a magic shield against problems, but they have built good habits that help them keep a positive outlook no matter what.

In this article, I’ll explore 10 habits of people who manage to find the silver lining even when clouds are all they see.

These habits could be your toolkit for staying positive, no matter what life throws your way.

1. They’re Friends with Change

Life is one big rollercoaster ride, with all its unexpected twists and turns. But the positive folks we’re talking about? They’re the ones screaming, “Woohoo!” with their hands in the air.

They see change not as something scary, but as a new adventure waiting to happen.

Think about it. When you move to a new city, start a new job or meet new people, it’s all unfamiliar territory.

But instead of freaking out about all the unknowns, these people embrace the change.

They see it as an opportunity to learn, grow and have new experiences.

In other words, they’re friends with change. They don’t fight it or fear it. Instead, they welcome it with open arms, ready to take on whatever comes their way.

When life decides to mix things up a bit, try seeing it from this perspective. Embrace the change and who knows? You might just end up enjoying the ride. 

Practical Tip: Start small by embracing minor changes in your routine. For instance, take a different route to work or try a new restaurant. This will gradually help build your adaptability to larger life changes.

2. They Count Their Blessings

Life’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes, it can feel like you’re caught in a storm without an umbrella.

But here’s what positive people do differently: they count their blessings, not their problems.

When things don’t go as planned, it’s easy to focus on everything that’s going wrong. But these folks choose to focus on what’s going right instead.

They make it a habit to appreciate the good in their lives, no matter how small.

Maybe it’s a delicious meal they had, a joke that made them laugh, or even just a beautiful sunset they saw.

By acknowledging these little moments of joy, they fill their minds with positivity and gratitude.

When you’re having a rough day, try this out. Take a moment to think about three good things that happened to you.

It could be anything – a compliment from a friend, a good book you read, or even just your morning coffee.

You’ll be surprised at how this simple habit can shift your perspective and brighten up your day. 

Practical Tip: Maintain a gratitude journal. Each night before bed, jot down three things you were thankful for that day. It’s a concrete way to shift your focus from problems to blessings.

3. They Choose Their Crew Wisely

We’ve all heard the saying “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And from my personal experience, I can tell you, it’s spot on.

A few years ago, I found myself in a bit of a rut. I was feeling down more often than not and couldn’t figure out why.

Then one day, it hit me. My social circle at the time was full of people who were constantly complaining and focusing on the negatives. Their energy was rubbing off on me.

So, I decided to make a change. I started spending more time with positive, uplifting people – friends who inspired me, made me laugh, and encouraged me to see the best in every situation.

The impact was huge. I found myself feeling happier, more energized, and more optimistic about life.

The positivity from my new ‘crew’ was infectious! It made me realize how important it is to surround ourselves with people who lift us up.

Take a moment to think about your own ‘crew.’ Are they helping you stay positive? Or are they dragging you down?

Remember, positivity is contagious – but so is negativity. Choose wisely!

Practical Tip: Evaluate the energy of your current social circle. If needed, join clubs or attend events aligned with your interests to meet positive and inspiring individuals.

4. They Take Care of Their Body

People who always seem to stay positive know that a healthy body equals a happier mind.

Physical activity releases endorphins, also known as the body’s “feel-good” hormones. This helps to boost your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

But it’s not just about breaking a sweat. Positive people also understand the importance of fuelling their bodies with good food.

They eat a balanced diet, filled with fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. This not only keeps their bodies in tip-top shape but also helps regulate their mood and energy levels.

And let’s not forget about sleep! Getting enough shut-eye is crucial for maintaining a positive outlook. When we’re sleep-deprived, we’re more likely to feel irritable, anxious, and pessimistic.

If you want to stay upbeat even when life gets tough, remember to take care of your body. Get moving, eat well, and make sure you’re catching enough Zs!

Practical Tip: Incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to maintain a positive outlook.

5. They Stay in the Now

Life moves pretty fast. If we’re not careful, we can get caught up in the whirlwind of thoughts about the past and worries about the future.

But the people who stay positive, no matter what, have a secret weapon – they live in the present moment.

You see, the past is filled with things we can’t change, and the future is full of things we can’t predict.

But the present? That’s where life happens. That’s where we have control.

Imagine you’re sitting by a lake, watching a beautiful sunset. You can choose to worry about that awkward thing you said at work yesterday, or stress about your big presentation tomorrow.

Or, you can choose to be fully present, taking in the vibrant colors of the sky, the gentle lapping of the water, and the peacefulness of the moment.

Living in the now allows us to appreciate the beauty of life as it unfolds. It helps us treasure our relationships, enjoy our experiences, and face our challenges with grace.

No matter how stormy life gets, try to stay grounded in the present moment. It’s a gift – that’s why they call it the ‘present,’ after all!

Practical Tip: Practice mindfulness or meditation for at least 10 minutes a day to anchor yourself in the present moment.

6. They Bounce Back

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that things don’t always go according to plan. But the people who stay positive, they have this incredible ability to bounce back from setbacks.

I remember a time when I was working on a project that I was incredibly passionate about.

I had poured my heart and soul into it, but when it was time to present it to the team, it didn’t go well.

The feedback was harsh, and I felt crushed.

But you know what? I didn’t let that experience define me or my work. Instead, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and used that feedback to make my project better. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

That’s what resilience is all about. It’s not about never failing or facing difficulties; it’s about how quickly we can pick ourselves up and keep moving forward when we do.

When you face a setback, remember: it’s not the end of the world. You’re stronger than you think, and you have what it takes to bounce back. 

Practical Tip: After a setback, allow yourself to feel the emotions, then create an action plan to overcome the challenge and continue forward.

7. They’re Problem Solvers

Life can be a total mess sometimes, can’t it? It throws problems at us from all directions, and some days, it feels like we’re buried under a pile of never-ending issues.

But here’s the thing about those positive folks – they don’t just sit there and complain about the mess. They get up and start cleaning.

These people know that dwelling on problems gets you nowhere fast. It’s like sitting in a sinking boat and crying about how wet you’re getting instead of trying to plug the leak or bail the water out.

When faced with a problem, they don’t waste time playing the blame game or wallowing in self-pity. Instead, they put on their thinking caps and start looking for solutions.

They ask themselves, “What can I do to fix this?” And then they roll up their sleeves and do it.

Practical Tip: When faced with a problem, instead of dwelling, list out possible solutions and take action on the most viable one.

8. They Never Stop Learning

Did you know that learning new things can actually make you happier?

According to a study by San Francisco State University, people who spend time on hobbies and learning new skills are more cheerful and enthusiastic about their lives.

People who stay positive are forever students. They have an insatiable hunger for knowledge and a curiosity that keeps them constantly engaged with the world around them.

They see every experience, whether good or bad, as an opportunity to learn something new.

This constant learning helps them adapt to change better, keeps their minds sharp, and gives them a more rounded perspective on life.

It also provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts their self-confidence.

Go ahead, pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read, sign up for that cooking class, or learn a new language.

Not only will you learn something new, but you’ll also be boosting your happiness in the process. 

Practical Tip: Dedicate some time each week to a hobby or skill you wish to learn or improve on, whether it’s reading, cooking, or learning a new language.

9. They’re Big on Kindness

I was once told that “kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

This phrase has stuck with me over the years, and I’ve found it to be so true.

There was a time when I was going through a really rough patch. Everything seemed to be falling apart, and I was struggling to find the silver lining.

Then one day, a stranger in a coffee shop paid for my drink. It was a small act, but it had a big impact. It reminded me that there’s still goodness in this world.

That’s when I realized the power of kindness. It doesn’t have to be grand gestures; even small acts of kindness can make a huge difference.

And you know what’s cool? Not only does being kind make others happy, but it also boosts our own happiness. It’s like a happiness boomerang!

So, be kind. To others and to yourself. It’s one of the simplest yet most powerful ways to spread positivity. After all, kindness is free, and its rewards are priceless.

Practical Tip: Set a goal to perform at least one random act of kindness daily. It could be as simple as holding the door open for someone or paying for a stranger’s coffee.

10. They Know When to Hit Pause

Life can get crazy. There’s always something that needs doing, someone who needs our attention, or some fire that needs putting out. But the people who stay positive? They know when to hit pause.

They understand that they’re not robots. They need time to relax, recharge, and just breathe. And they’re not afraid to take it.

Sometimes, this means saying no to things. Sometimes, it means disappointing others. And you know what? That’s okay. Because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

So don’t feel guilty about taking time out for yourself. Whether it’s soaking in a hot bath, reading a book, or just sitting quietly with a cup of tea – do what helps you recharge.

Remember, self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential.

Practical Tip: Schedule “me time” into your week, even if it’s just an hour to relax and do something you enjoy. This will help replenish your energy and maintain a positive outlook amidst life’s chaos.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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