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How to stay positive in tough times: Focus on the present moment - Right here, Right now

Life is a series of ups and downs and they come in no particular order. We feel elated when things go well and feel low when they don’t seem to be heading in the right direction. To get value out of life and enjoy it at the same time, it is important that we stay positive when going through a tough phase.

The difference between an optimistic and a pessimistic person is not about what they achieve in life. It is about how happy they are when they face problems and challenges. So, here are a few tips on how to stay positive especially during trying times like a pandemic.

8 Tips for Staying Positive in all situations:

1. Pause (How to be positive)

In the rush and race of life rarely do people pause to recalibrate, relax, and re-analyze their situation.
Ask yourself: “Are things really that bad?”
Think of things that are good and things you have that others may still be dreaming of having someday. You could take a walk to think this through or go for a short trip in solace. But remember not to make it full of other activities or expensive to your pocket.

2. List all the good things in your life (whether they are small or big)

The thoughts that emerged above, you must write them down and keep them somewhere visible. You can use sticky notes and paste them on your wardrobe or fridge. This will help you appreciate the things you have and not take them for granted.

3. Practice Gratitude Every day (How to feel positive)

Early in the morning or late in the night before sleeping, practice gratitude for all the good things that have happened so far. You can also be grateful for the current situation because of which you are learning lessons in life and becoming stronger. It will keep you motivated and make you feel positive each day.
Bonus tip: Avoid complaining. It is a self-imposed energy-sapping process that only discourages you further without bringing in any results.

4. Ownership & Accountability

Stop blaming people or the situation. It will not bring any change.
Take complete responsibility for reaching where you are and moving from thereon. Your actions will lead you forward.

5. Look at the positive - read books that make you positive

There is a famous saying, "what happens, happens for the good". Think of the situation as bringing some positive change in your life. Here are a few book recommendations:
  • Power of Positive Thinking
  • Success through a positive mental attitude
  • Kiss that Frog

6. Pray, but don’t ask or beg, make it full of gratitude and determination

Most of us have learned to pray the wrong way, by asking for the things we want to have. We should rather pray with gratitude for the things we have, and with the determination to be better in our lives. If we need to ask for something in our prayers, we should ask for the betterment of the entire world.

7. Set SMART Goals

Many times, we are aiming for something vague and thus our daily actions are not aligned towards achieving that. Set some specific goals using the SMART technique. I have detailed it out in my article here (SMART Goal Setting).

8. Learn something new to get ahead of the curve (How to stay positive)

Learning is important to stay relevant in the rapidly changing times and old skills getting outdated. Pick up a course or a new skill to get you better in your field or branch out. Some of the tips you can read in the Learning for success and growth article.


Once you view things in your life in a more optimistic and positive fashion, facing everyday challenges is easier. The best way to do this is to feel gratitude for what you already have.
We like to complain about our everyday events and situations too often, but this is counter-productive. With more gratitude in your life, you will look at the world through different eyes. You will see more positives in your daily life.

Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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