And how they can help you become happier and healthier.We all know at least one person who’s always positive.
That no matter when we see them, they have a smile plastered across their face and radiate a zest for life. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Yea, and they’re incredibly annoying!” If so, it should make you wonder what it is about their happiness that triggers something in you. Maybe you’re envious of their aptitude for happiness, that you feel a sense of jealousy? Or maybe you see a positive person and admire their attitude. You think, “Wow, I’d love to be more positive like that in my life!”The good news is, you can become a more positive person. And those unfaltering happy people have the insight you need to do so. By understanding what the habits of naturally positive people are, you can implement them into your own life. Because the formula for happiness is simple: when you change your habits, thoughts, and behaviors, you’ll improve your quality of life overall.
Positivity research is extensive and thorough. Just from changing your mindset, studies have found that you can experience a slew of health benefits:
If you’ve been wanting to become a more positive person, now is as good a time as ever. While positivity might not come naturally to you, a few tweaks in your life can lead to the happiness you desire. Here are a few habits of naturally positive people you can try out.
A 2009 study found that having positive friendships significantly reduces stress. These are the kinds of friendships that fill you up, rather than drain you. The ones where you thrive, rather than gossip.
Positive people know they’re the sum of the five people they hang out with most. Whether that’s friends or family, positive people know that those people’s attitudes trickle into their demeanor. Since similar energies attract each other, positive people naturally draw in those who are happiest with their life as well. That, in turn, creates an environment for both people’s positivity to thrive.
“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’”
The key to happiness is all around us. It’s in everyday life, and naturally positive people recognize that. They’re grateful for the little things that keep them alive; the small things their life has been blessed with.
But most people live their lives at such a rushed speed, they never stop to appreciate the fresh air, warm sun, or flowers (or in the fishes’ case, water) around them.
A naturally positive person doesn’t wake up and engage in activities that are stressful or sucks the joy out of them. They have a morning routine that energizes them; one that puts them in the right mindset for positivity.
That could be making a hot pot of coffee and enjoying the fresh air outside on their patio. Maybe that looks like going for a morning walk. Perhaps they even journal their thoughts and write down what they’re grateful for. The key takeaway here is this: you can’t become a positive person if the very first moments of your day take away from your happiness.
People who regularly watch the news or check social media to stay informed are bombarded with negativity left and right. According to negativity bias, humans are drawn to negative news so much so that it can become addicting. And in return, that consumption of the media can affect even the happiest person’s mental health. So positive people steer clear of that sort of news.
Instead, naturally positive people seek positive experiences from their information. They read fiction books for fun and to see the world from a different perspective. They consume media content that’s factual, rather than fueled by outrage. Positive people aren’t blind to what’s going on. Rather, they enjoy substance more than sensationalism.
Two of the characters set out to find the new location of the cheese. The other two stand there, get angry about the change and complain that it’s unfair they don’t have cheese anymore.
In life, no one is entitled to cheese (success and happiness). Naturally positive people know they have to work for success and continuously do things that make them happy. When obstacles or failures come their way, they don’t complain and stay stuck where they are. They create a new plan and keep moving forward.
On that same hand, when they do achieve their goals, they’re humble. Positive people aren’t the ones bragging to their friends about their new car, and expecting people to fawn over them. They’re the ones who receive a promotion, go out for drinks with friends, and continue on in their life. Because positive people aren’t ego-driven. They recognize their accomplishments as a result of their hard work but don’t expect special treatment.
And it’s their positive thinking that helps them be the latter, instead of the former. The mere mindset a person has around a problem can make all the difference. If they’re optimistic a solution will be found, it most likely will. Not only that but being solution-oriented improves a person’s mental health.
Since dwelling in negative emotions doesn’t do anyone any good, positive people would rather use that energy to problem-fix. They read books, seek advice, and learn what they need to in order to come up with a solution. Positive people are resilient, rather than crumbling under adversity.
Complaining is plaguing modern society, yet most people don’t even realize they’re doing it. In my daily conversations, I’ve found people default to complaining when talking about their life or they’re unsure of what to say.
Think about it: why is the crappy weather people’s go-to subject? Because commiserating has become a comfortable new norm. But complaining increases your cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. Increased stress leads to a whole slew of negative effects like anxiety, headaches, heart disease, and sleep issues.
On the other hand, gratitude (complaining’s nemesis) has been shown to have opposite effects on a person. Finding reasons to be grateful for a situation or life, in general, helps people feel less anxious, sleep better, and improves their physical health.
The difference between positive people and those who complain aren’t the situations they find themselves in; it’s their outlook. People who complain create suffering for themselves, while positive people accept that misfortunes and bad weather are just part of life.
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
Positive people are the types who don’t “network” in the typical sense; their connections are people they genuinely enjoy being around. They’ll go out of their way to introduce you to someone they know or hold the door open for the woman walking in behind them. They value connection and intimacy, rather than boosting their ego and guarding themselves.
Helping others keeps them in a state of making happiness rather than having happiness; an essential practice for the naturally positive. They know that their happiness isn’t an end journey, achieved by using the people in their life. Instead, positive people create happiness in their life by making others happy.
When your inner voice calls you stupid for spilling your coffee or tells you you’re fat every time you see your reflection, that’s bound to keep you in a negative mood. But your inner voice doesn’t have to be critical. You can change that voice to a positive one.
Research shows that self-acceptance leads to a happier life, yet most people aren’t practicing it. When you’ve been raised in a critical environment or been through traumatic experiences, self-criticism may come more naturally to you. But naturally positive people have learned how to accept themselves, flaws and all. They don’t dwell on what they lack, but rather, focus on their strengths.
While envy is a natural human instinct people have for social comparison and a driving factor to survive, it does more harm nowadays than good. Envy ends up creating animosity towards others when they’re successful and leaves the person feeling like they lack in their own life.
They’re the person going out for drinks when their co-workers get a promotion or asking the waiters to bring you a slice of cake the day you close on your new house. They’re the ones singing happy birthday at a restaurant to the strangers at the table next to them. Positive people love happiness. Even if it’s not because of their own accomplishments.
Being positive isn’t about always saying yes and being perpetually happy. In fact, maintaining happiness is about learning to say “no” to things that would otherwise drain your energy or impact you negatively.
Saying “no” is what psychologists refer to as boundaries. Boundaries are limits people set for others in their lives. They can be small like letting someone know you can’t talk after 9 pm because you need to sleep. Boundaries can also be bigger like telling a friend they can’t disrespect you, even if it’s a joke.
Positive people love boundaries because they help maintain positivity. Saying “no” to a colleague’s party invitation could mean the difference between recharging for work the next day or feeling off their game because they’re hungover.
Naturally positive people can balance declining opportunities without hurting people’s feelings. They know that if something isn’t right for them, it shouldn’t be forced. In the long-run, it won’t help them or the other person.
Grudges quite literally wreak havoc on our bodies. Being in a constant state of tension keeps our bodies from being able to repair themselves, increases our cortisol levels, and creates inflammation.
There is no benefit to staying mad or upset with someone, emotionally or physically. Rather than live in a state of tension, positive people focus on coming to peace with situations they don’t have control over.
While they don’t keep people in their lives who intentionally hurt them or forget the way someone wronged them, positive people choose forgiveness. They set aside their ego, choose their overall happiness, and let go of being bitter.