I’ve been accused a time or two for smiling for no apparent reason. Some friends have even asked whether I smile when I’m scolding my children or arguing with Husband.
The truth is that I do like to smile because smiling is my favorite (think Buddy the Elf) and no, I am not smiling when I’m battling it out with my family or anyone else for that matter.
I’m guessing that people have this perception of me always smiling because I try to always stay positive which definitely gives me more reason to smile. I for sure have my bad days though (see this post) but I do my best to be the glass-half-full type. How do I accomplish this? Read on.
I typically try to see the good side of every situation, whether it’s crap or not. Obviously, when we’re talking about a positive situation, it’s easy to see the positive. But when it involves a heinous mistake that I made or if I’m dealt an ugly hand that was out of my control, I try to think about one positive thing I could take away. Even if it’s something as simple as ‘Well, at least I know I should never do that again” or “That really sucks but at least I have <insert good things here> in my life.” Remembering that I’m human who makes mistakes helps, too.
I also try my best to feed my positivity. You know, like doing things that make me happy. Writing, reading, hanging out with family and friends, watching a good movie. All of these things currently make me happy. And when I’m happy, I tend to be a more positive person.
As much as I can, I share my positivity with others. This means being nice to people I interact with and telling them when I think they’ve done something awesome. Because I don’t want to come across as being disingenuous, I keep in mind that everyone is different and will accept (or not accept) my positivity in varying ways. It’s about really knowing the people and not randomly tossing out compliments that don’t even really apply or are too generic. I should also add, for simplicity’s sake, that sometimes just throwing a smile someone’s way is all that’s needed.
I’ve also learned how to accept criticism and still learning, truth be told. Not everyone thinks that I’m this bubbly ball of happiness that walks around handing flowers out to people and telling the best jokes that bring smiles to everyone’s faces. I definitely get my fair share of criticism. But it’s what I do with it that makes a difference. Listening to the criticism, learning how it can make me a better person and knowing that it isn’t always just about me really helps me pick myself back up after getting a negative punch in the gut.
So these are the ways I try to cultivate a positive, happy life and I truly believe even the most negative person can do the same. All that’s needed is taking the first step, even just a tiny one like turning your frown upside down.
*On a side note before I end this post: After sharing the above, I don’t want to come across like I’m some sort of pollyanna because 1) I’m far from it and 2) being a pollyanna wouldn’t work. I know that if I was too positive it could backfire. I just try to remind myself that I have to see both the good and the bad side of every situation but then ultimately choose to follow the good side. It’s like channeling your inner Luke Skywalker and deciding to stay on the light side of the force even though your father is Darth Vader.
What do you do to maintain a positive attitude? What brings a smile to your face?