If you know me personally, then perhaps you think I am naturally a positive person. Well, the truth is that I am not. It takes a lot of work to stay positive. And I often fail. (If you don’t believe me, then ask those closest to me, such as my husband.)
Here are a few tidbits about my personality that might surprise you:
I am an introvert. That part might not surprise you. But being an introvert means that a lot of extra talking, socializing, and interacting with others could make me feel depleted.
I am also a highly sensitive person (hsp). This means that a lot of noise or confusion can overwhelm me.
Noises, talking, etc easily distract me and bother me when I am working, writing, etc.
Negativity, complaining, and even watching the news might bring me down.
I don’t like conflict at all. Even if someone is just having a debate, I perceive it to be conflict. And argumentative people seem combative to me.
I have had times in my life when I was depressed and anxious.
Another problem that might be common in Christians in general is negative self-talk. This often times comes from the enemy. He will do anything he can to bring God’s children down. So if you can relate, please note that it is vital to fight this!
If you struggle with any of the things above, then maybe you are wondering how you can stay positive. Self-awareness is a good place to start. It’s important to learn the different things that affect you so that you can be better prepared to tackle them. And of course I like books, so I recommend reading books that pertain to you. Currently I am learning about something called enneagram. Basically it states that everyone falls into one of nine different personality types. Once you figure our which enneagram number (personality type) you fall into, you can then learn how to massage certain aspects of your personality that you might like to change. There are also books out there that pertain to being a highly sensitive person. So if you fall into that category, then you might want to look them up.
Here are some Practical Tips that might help in your daily life:
Practice Gratitude! You probably knew I would say that, since I wrote a whole book on gratitude. (Every Day is a Gift.) This helps me keep my mind on positive things in my life. And it helps me to find that proverbial silver lining.
As the Bible says, take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). When negative thoughts crop up, we have to turn them around. We can’t allow them to run rampant in our heads.
Read my book, You Are Redeemed. This book goes through thirty Biblical truths about our identity in Jesus.
Don’t take things personally. When someone hurts your feelings, let it go. More often than not, the person didn’t mean it the way you took it. Even if they did, don’t give them power to bring you down and ruin your day.
When someone rubs you the wrong way, remind yourself that no one is perfect.
Listen to Christian music. My favorite radio station The Joy FM plays upbeat songs and I listen to them every day when commuting to work. They also have an app and you can listen online as well. So I often listen to this station while working. (Check out their weekday morning show called The Morning Cruise. You’ll love Dave, Bill, and Carmen.)
Listen to sermons. Every morning I listen to Dr. Charles Stanley. Every Sunday my husband and I watch Joel Osteen. It is so easy these days to find good Christian sermons on television, radio, or podcasts. So find some you like and make this a habit in your life.
Read your Bible, pray, and spend time with God. I’ve talked about this before, so I won’t go into detail now. But if you want to learn more, check out this post.
Take care of yourself. Exercise, drink water, etc.
Smile. Forcing yourself to smile can bring positive feelings.
Laugh often. This also helps to bring positive feelings.