Like I’ve said before, I’ve always been pessimistic, ill-tempered, cynical and generally negative about life, but I’ve decided to change that part about me from now on, which is why I came up with a to-do list that might help inspire having a positive outlook in life and thought it would be nice to put it up for you guys too. 🙂
1.) Write down at least one good thing that happened to you today on a small piece of paper and put in a jar. Keep doing this everyday.
It doesn’t have to be something big or anything. It can be as simple as “The line in Starbucks wasn’t long today” or “My crush talked to me about the assignment” or even just “I actually had enough sleep.” Don’t forget to put the date. I got this idea from something I read on the internet and thought it was a good idea.
2.) Look for motivational or inspirational quotes and write them down on a notebook. Do this at least once a week.
They don’t have to be big quotes from famous people or whatever. They can be things a friend could have told you or even something you came up with. You can just write them down simply, but you can also turn the notebook into an art journal and be creative. You may draw, practice handlettering or calligraphy or make a collage or anything to inspire you.
3.) Make a list of at least twenty things you’re grateful of.
Don’t lose the list. If you’re kind of person who uses a journal, you can write these there so you don’t lose it. That way, you can keep adding to it.
4.) Make a playlist with songs that make you happy.
You might want to steer clear of depressing songs about heartbroken people and stuff. This way, if you’re ever feeling down, you can listen to a playlist that does not contain anything that might make you feel even worse.
5.) Write yourself letters from the future.
If you’ve read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (which you totally should), then you’re probably familiar with this. If not, then the idea is to write a letter addressed to you from your “future self” and the people you think are part of your future. Make up a future for yourself.
“I know you’re going through a hard time right now, but I promise it will get better. One day, you’ll walk into that coffee shop and I would spill my coffee all over you. It will be love at first sight, but we wouldn’t know that yet. You would be furious with me. You almost yelled at me because you had to go to an interview for your dream job–or for what you thought was your dream job–but because I ruined your shirt that day, you ended up realizing that it wasn’t really the job for you months later; that you would rather be doing something else.
When we met again by chance a year later, you grabbed me by the elbow and looked at me, and at first I didn’t recognize you: You looked different (your shirt was clean, for one). Less uptight. Happier. Then you reminded me of the day in the coffee shop and you asked me if I wanted to go get coffee. “Only if you promise you won’t spill yours on me as payback from last time,” I had said, and you laughed and promised me you wouldn’t; that you only wanted to thank me for ruining your shirt (you never liked it anyway; the collar was too tight and the fabric was scratchy.)
In any case, you will be happy. It may not look like it right now, but I promise it will get better.
Or something like that. I hoped this illustrated my point well enough. Then you can write from the point of view of your daughter or son or best friend or boss or whoever is included in your hypothetical future.
I kind of suggest doing these all in one journal (except, of course, the jar and playlist, though you can write down song lyrcis if you want to). It doesn’t really have to be pretty or anything, but it can be like your very own “Positivity Journal.” You don’t have to do them in order and you don’t have to write the letters all at once. You can write those when you feel like you need to write them (like if you fail a class and you’re convinced your future is ruined, you can write to yourself about how you’re living the dream and stuff). Add pictures. Collect moments. Give yourself something to look back to when you’re feeling as though your life is never going to get any better.
I know it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. I know, at one point in our lives, that we all feel as if the whole world is crashing down on us. We can’t help it because bad things just happen; things that are completely inevitable.
It’s up to us, however, to learn how to deal with those–and while this list isn’t exactly the solution, it’s better than nothing.
If you have any ideas of your own, don’t hesitate to comment below and tell me about them. 🙂