What Being a Positive Person Really Means

IMG_1701
Old Port, Maine

If you know me at all, you’ve heard me stress the importance of living life with a positive mindset. I’d happily accept the title of ‘broken record’, referring to how often I repeat those words, but I would never label myself as a hypocrite.

One of my friends called me this in a conversation we had while I was still at college. It was a talk filled with lots of emotions and no filters when it came to speaking our minds. Yikes, I know. “You are a positive person and you always talk about that but you’re not constantly happy and that’s hypocritical. And you even complain about things in your life, too.” Correct. These are all accurate observations but definitely not aspects of myself that I should be ashamed of or criticized for.

After reflecting on the words that left me feeling bitter, they became easier to swallow than I would have expected. It all comes down to what positivity means to an individual person, as most things in life do. In my eyes, and compared to my old self, I am proudly living as the happiest version of myself despite what that may look like to others.

Living a positive life doesn’t mean walking around with a smile plastered across your face every single second. It doesn’t mean being upbeat 24/7 and only having good things happen to you. And it definitely doesn’t mean you have to love everyone and everything that comes into your life. This constant bubbliness would actually lead me to insanity, it’s simply not natural to be “on” all the time.

Becoming a positive person means deepening your understanding of yourself and what makes you happy. It’s the realization that happiness comes from within. It’s prioritizing your needs but also recognizing the joy that comes from helping others. And it’s being able to love yourself, flaws and all.

A positive mindset is a safe place you create for yourself. It’s where you can breathe easy when things aren’t going your way or you’re simply having an off day. Smiling like a fool doesn’t make you a positive person, but choosing to not dwell on the hard times or carry anger with you, does.

Everyone experiences hardships. These difficult times are what allow you to have empathy for others and gain appreciation for the little things in life. You will surely feel a range of emotions when tough times find you. You are entitled to express these emotions and feel them wholly, as this is how you heal. But the next step is where you define yourself. Do you want to stay at this low in your life or choose to live in brighter days?

I choose to follow the sun.

Even when I complain, stress out, or feel upset I choose to not make that my permanent mindset. I feel my emotions as they come, and seek out comfort from loved ones as needed, but then I find ways to move past them. There are some people who sadly can’t see the positive sides of situations but instead bring others down with their negativity. That’s not enjoyable or healthy for anyone but sometimes it’s inevitable. After many years of searching in all the wrong places, I finally know what it means to be happy and I come back to this state of mind daily through gratitude and love. It takes time and experience to learn and trust in the beauty of your life, but choosing happiness is easier than you may expect.

Cheers loves, bring on the sunshine!

XO – Autumn

Advertisements

Just Say Thank You

Future is Female
Future is Female – Neighborhood’s Cafe, Boston

Every day I take the time to write in my gratitude journal. It takes five minute tops and it’s something I truly enjoy doing. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on everything I have to be thankful for, no matter what kind of day I’m having.

I recently held a program at my college and handed out gratitude journals to random people. I explained the basic concept and the importance of thankfulness. One girl asked me, “Do you really find something to be thankful for every day?” I never thought this could be deemed a difficult task. She was amazed when I said “yes” without hesitation and I was shocked she even asked that question in the first place.

I feel that many people believe being thankful is associated with big things. Having a lot of money, welcoming a new life into the world, or even getting the perfect job. These are all wonderful reasons to be thankful but if we just focus on the big-ticket items we miss out on living a life of gratitude, and that in itself isn’t something to pass up.

I took the time to explain to the baffled girl how easy it is to find something in each day to celebrate. The perfectly crispy bacon at brunch, a kind text message from a friend, a sunny morning, or even a heads-up penny on the ground. Some of my friends may laugh at my amazement with nature or love for simple moments, but I know this appreciation for the little things is what allows me to be a positive person. And better yet, my outlook helps to connect me with others who share this same quality.

Embracing a mindset of thankfulness allows for even more blessings to enter your life. If you can be grateful for the big things, then you can easily learn to appreciate the minor things too. Plus, it just makes for better days to choose to say thank you for what you have instead of focusing on the things you lack. Because what’s the point in dwelling on the negatives?

It really is easy to attract goodness into your own life. Simply start by saying “thank you” and go from there.

Cheers loves! May you all find endless reasons to be grateful each day.

XOXO – Autumn