hopeJust when we feel like things are looking up, we turn on the news or check our email and we hear another bout of bad news. 

Between a suffering economy and killer viruses, it's easy to sink into negativity and self pity. But that's no way to live. And when you are feeling negative, you are in no position to find real solutions to your challenges. 

 

Here are essential tips for staying positive when the going get tough. 

1. Take care of yourself.

I know you just want to skim over this one because it's advice we've all heard before. But don't. You can't effectively solve your problems when you are tired and cranky.

There are four things you need to be doing each day, without which it is much harder to maintain a positive and energetic outlook on life. 

a. Get enough sleep.

Try a hypnosiscd or soothing music before you reach for sleeping pills, which can really make you drowsy the next day. If you suffer from chronic insomnia, see your doctor.

b. Eat nutritious meals.

Get at least 5 fruits and vegetables per day and take your vitamin and mineral supplements. If you are carrying around extra weight, that's probably zapping some of your energy, too. Make a point to find a diet plan that's right for you. 

c. Drink enough water.

Make sure you are drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Many of us feel irritable when we are dehydrated and we often overlook this simple solution that can help us feel so much better right away. In fact, see if a tall glass of water isn't just what you need right now. Try it. Go get a glass right now. There. Don't you feel better? 

d. Exercise.

Make sure that you are moving your body each and every day, preferably in the great outdoors. When you take the time to take care of your body, your outlook on everything will naturally improve. 

Here's a tip: you'll be much more likely to keep up your exercise regimen each day if you don't think of it as any big deal. You don't have to run 5 miles. Just put on your shoes and walk briskly out the door. If you feel like jogging, that's fine. If not, enjoy your time playing outside. It's like your recess. 

2. Stomp out negativity.

This tip is a lot more effective than many people give it credit for. When we consciously choose to focus on things in life that are good and positive, we naturally attract more of those things into our everyday experience. 

Keep a running list in your journal of things that are positive. List the simple gratitudes that you see each day as well as the simple conversations and relationships that bring a smile to your face. What can you do to bring more of those positive things into your life?  

You can also use your journal to explore where the negative influences in your life are coming from. Is television news making you focus on the negative? If so, make a point to reduce the amount of news you are watching, particularly before bed. Turn your attention instead to magazines and websites with a positive slant. 

Maintaining a positive outlook by taking care of yourself and focusing on the good things in life will leave you better equipped to handle all of life's challenges.

source: excerpt from www.selfgrowth.com, author: Jamie Jefferson

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