How to Look for the Positive

Occasionally we find ourselves feeling negative. We've all heard that every cloud has a silver lining, and here are some ideas to assist you in seeing the radiance in that silver glow!


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    Remember that our subconscious responds to the ideas represented in subjects and verbs. That means when you think "I'm not going to sit around all day today.",your mind focuses on "I sit". Instead, set goals and motivate yourself with positive statements such as "I will go for a walk." or "I can do my homework after dinner."
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    Be constructive. Faced with a difficult situation or person, it is natural for all of us to feel frustrated. The challenge here is to put effort into looking for something positive, even when you don't feel like it.
    • If your boss has berated you in front of colleagues, you will feel embarrassed and angry. And justly so. But you are the one who will come out ahead when you find something positive in the situation. Even the thought that he or she is the one who behaved inappropriately, and that everyone is aware of it, can help you to deal with the range of emotions you're experiencing. Rather than think about changing jobs, especially in this job market, look for clues that will benefit you.
      • While delivered poorly, was the information accurate?
      • Have you been taking your responsibilities lightly?
      • Is there a reason why someone might misinterpret your actions?
    • If none of that applies, and you are on top of your game, sometimes it helps to label the other person with a naughty title, and decide that they just aren't capable of good manners right now, and go on with your day.
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    Accept that life brings challenge. Sometimes life deals hard blows - job loss, financial strain, the death of a loved one. Even minor difficulties, such as a fender bender, your teenager's poor grades, or a burnt roast, can engender feelings of anger, depression, or a misplaced sense of deserving "bad luck". Remember that, while life is what we make it, and our attitude contributes greatly to what comes to us, life also just happens. Some of the best people have had to deal with extreme difficulties. So, what makes them the best people? They've learned to shine in spite of those hard times. Or maybe they shine because of them.
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    Think of your past, and some of the times that were painful and difficult. All of the events of your past have contributed to who you are now. Look for the strengths you have gained through your experiences. Look for the people who have come into your life, even if for a short time, and what a blessing they are. Look for the wisdom you've gained in learning how to get through the tough spots.
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    Give yourself some uninterrupted time to spend on this visualization. Whatever your situation is, imagine it going as badly as you are able. Take it to the ridiculous, terrifying, ludicrous extreme. Let yourself experience that low, and imagine how you would deal with it. Now begin to construct your reaction. What you are doing is becoming pro-active. You are creating a situation of growth and learning. Your mind will utilize your abilities and strength, and you will have hope.
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    Here's a perfect example of putting my words into action. My name is Claudine, and I wrote this article. I received several emails from WikiHow administration telling me about the great response to this page, including that several authors had collaborated on the writing. I have an ego. I looked at my article and saw other people listed as originators. Hmmm. I was feeling territorial and NEGATIVE. After thinking about this, I realized that I could turn the experience into something POSITIVE.
    • I added this paragraph, being pro-active, which made me feel better.
    • I recognized that everyone who has edited this has left my original content intact, and I took that as a compliment.
    • Knowing that many people have read this article gives me hope that my original intent, of helping people see the positive, is being achieved. Therefore, I decided to let go of owning this, and to just let it develop as it is meant to, realizing that anyone who contributes to this article is of the same mind, believing that positive thinking is a blessing for each of us.


  • Take action. Speak up. It feels good to resolve a difficult situation.
  • Set reasonable goals for yourself and rejoice over each accomplishment. Include getting up in the morning!
  • Breathe. Irritation over minor matters may be alleviated with a few deep breaths.
  • Get together with friends or family and share lists of each persons virtues.
  • Pet a dog or cat.
  • Make an effort to compliment someone everyday. The smile on their face will warm you.
  • Stop and smell the roses. Really. Appreciating the little things in life will help with keeping a positive attitude.


  • Very important. Clinical depression must be treated professionally. It is a very common condition, and there is no shame in seeking treatment.
  • Negativity breeds negativity. If you find yourself in that cycle, get out of it. Ask loved ones to help.
  • It may be hard, but phase negative people out of your life, even if they're family.

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Categories: Faith and Belief