Five Ways to Stay Positive

For an irrepressible optimist, I sure have been writing a lot of depressing posts lately. I think it’s time for something a little more positive. Specifically, how to stay positive. Despite my pension for delving into the dark, I am the most upbeat person I know. I acknowledge the darkness that exists in the world, but I never embrace it. I have the confidence that everything is going to work out, no matter how bad things seem. I am not blind to negativity, but I’d like to think that I am, at the very least, immune to it. Therefore, I am qualified to give you some tips.

1. Leave work at work, and home at home.

The concept of “job spill” is a huge problem in America. And, if you’re a student, the schoolwork practically never ends. There’s always a paper to write or a book to read, even at 11:00 p.m. at night. Even as I write this blog, I’m procrastinating on a massive paper due tomorrow (yikes). We can never fully relax because we are so scared of loosing our jobs, missing a deadline, and letting people down. Still, there are ways to remedy this. You simply must make an active effort to schedule time to work, and fit things within that schedule. Family, relationships, and your spiritual wellbeing are a much higher priority than work. It’s time to set up your life with those priorities in mind.

2. Take time to do nothing.

It’s okay that you can’t go on a full-fledged vacation. A vacation doesn’t have to be a location. Take time to read, play video games, exercise, and spend time with the people you love. People were simply not designed to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. You need about one day a week to just rest.

3. Find joy in the small things.

A steaming cup of Starbucks can make you just as happy as winning the lottery, if you look at it with the right perspective. Waking up from a brilliant dream. Getting up 30 minutes early and having a morning routine. Reading a book that really grips you. Spending time with your dog. All of these things can be just as exciting as a huge promotion. It’s just a matter of mindset.

4. Spend time with the people you love. 

The people who love you are there for a reason. Be there for them, and they will reciprocate by being there for you. A life without people to love is nothing but misery wrapped in depression.

5. Plan to be happy.

It is simply vital to block off time in your life to be happy. The pressures and problems of the world will never go away. There’s nothing you can do about the constant pressure. Still, you can plan ahead to stay joyful. Positivity requires more work than negativity, because it means doing something other than just reacting to the situation. But once you figure out how to set your mind on happiness, it is very difficult to return to constant negativity.

People will try to shoot down a positive person, because it’s an echo of how they should be. I know, because it has happened to me more often than I can count. Don’t let them bother you. A life of joy is worth far more than a few negative sneers.


This post was originally published on February 25, 2015. I’m bringing it back because it wasn’t long or detailed enough.

About the photo: “The Happiness Plan” It was brought to my attention yesterday that I didn’t have enough happy pictures of Sara. So I searched and searched and this was the best one I could find. I guess I need to write more happy posts.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 4.14.38 PM

Night and Day? More like Day and Day. So I was halfway there on today’s Daily Post prompt.




Matthew Estes

Matthew Estes currently exists in the ether between graudate student and full-time worker. One day he hopes to be a full-time novelist and blogger, but until that day comes he spends his time playing video games, eating pizza, and being with his soon-to-be wife. However, he has yet to do all three at the same time. Bucket list stuff, you know.

10 thoughts on “Five Ways to Stay Positive

  1. Here here! And I would add that true selfishness is important. It is generally assumed that selfishness is negative but in fact in my view looking after yourself and not expecting others to do it for you increases self-esteem and a sense of wellness and achievement that in turn makes the person more positive in spirit. So I embrace my selfishness and urge others to do the same!

    1. I concur. I’m not sure I’d actually call that selfishness, though. In order to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself at least a little bit. Self-esteem and gluttonous selfishness, in my opinion, are two vastly different things.

      1. They are indeed … it’s just my insistence on the literal translation of words. Like Gentleman (which my father was in the true sense) 🙂

    1. No problem. Thanks for liking the post! I love meeting new bloggers, so rest assured I’ll be back routinely. It’s nice to meet you.

        1. Yes, I suppose it does. I love cooking. Besides writing, it’s my favorite thing to do. She hates it. So it’s kind of opposite the social norm. The reason I don’t post about cooking is because so many other people have cooking blogs I can’t hope to match.

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