Teaching yourself to be positive

We all know life has a dark side to it. Luckily, there’s a lighter side too, but sometimes it can be a bit tricky to find – especially as we get older and are confronted with some of the harsher realities of this world. But in order to live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives, it is imperative that we try to stay positive despite the bad things that happen around us. If we give in to cynicism, we give up on people, and it shows in our interactions – not just with strangers, but also with the people we love.

Below are a few simple tips on how you can stay positive, no matter what life throws at you.

Have faith in people

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” –Mahatma Gandhi

It can be hard to see the goodness in people, especially after a bad experience puts all of your interactions with others in a cynical light. Every day, we see uncaring individuals hurt innocent people around them. But as Mahatma Gandhi said, these individuals are but drops in the greater ocean of humanity. If we let them, they will come to represent humankind: it’s our job to see them for what they are – insignificant individuals who are a minority in our society –  and realise that there are so many more good people around us.

Sometimes, the worst in us brings out the best in us

The recent tragic events in Boston showcased some of the worst in people. But for those able to look past the two suspected bombers, there was a city full of people showing bravery, compassion and caring.

At the scene, first responders immediately ran to the bombing sites to help the injured, not knowing whether another bomb would go off. Bostonians began opening their homes to runners because hotels were locked down and they had nowhere to sleep. Restaurants were giving away free meals to people who didn’t have access to their wallets or had lost them in the confusion.

What happened in Boston was a result of the evil in the hearts of two people. It also loudly and clearly showcased the goodness in the hearts of thousands. It’s up to each of us to decide what part to focus on.

Learning to forgive

Forgiveness can be a difficult thing, but learning to forgive is essential to our own wellbeing. Holding grudges and seeking revenge does nothing to improve our happiness. Anger burns only those who hold on to it.