How to stay positive
If 10 years ago you told me that "staying positive" is important, I would have thought that you are stupid. My academic self used to think that optimism is for dumb people. Because how can an intelligent person be that positive in the face of loneliness, alienation, abuse and hate in the world. Being an educated and enlightened human always means to suffer a little. Yeah, turns out, suffering doesn't serve me. It drains me. And I'm not really sure when exactly my mindset shifted, but somehow my mind and body started to gravitate towards positive energy, good vibes and happiness.
I mean, I'm still very much of a hater sometimes - let's be honest here-, but, overall, I'm really really positive. I focus on things that lift me up and energize me.
So, these are some things I stopped and started doing in order to bring positive vibes to my life (and make them stay!):
I stopped being envious of other people
That's kind of a big deal. I can't even tell you how much I envied people who had more stuff than me, went on cooler vacations, got better grades and overall seemed more successful in life. I wanted all that, too. I still want all that, too. However, instead of thinking: I don't want them to have all that because I don't have it. I now think: If they have all that, I can too! It is the best motivator. Also, I learned to be genuinely happy for people if they succeed. They worked hard and the earned it. That's awesome!! This means I can succeed too if I work hard.
I stopped hanging out with friends that drained me
And it wasn't easy. Breaking up with friends is not nice. Especially if you want to be liked, like me. But, honestly, friends should be people in whose company you recharge. They lift you up and give you energy. Anything else is not healthy.
I stopped putting energy into things that hurt me
I used to analyze and over-analyze every single detail of a situation that had gone wrong and, just in general, of anything I felt I failed at. Truth is I love analyzing life, but I'm trying my best not to overdo it. Sometimes I have to accept things for what they are. Some things go wrong. It is okay to think of what I could do better next time, but obsessively re-living a situation over and over again and fueling feelings of failure (uuuh, love this alliteration!) is not beneficial. This energy should go into things that make me feel good!
I started to realize that bad moments are just temporary
You won't feel like shit forever. You won't feel like a loser forever. You might be going through a rough stretch, but "this too shall pass". ... I had heard this phrase a couple of times and then googled it. It seems to be part of Eastern folklore, which tells the story of a king who had a ring made with the words "This too shall pass" etched on it. The ring should make him happy when he's sad. I like thinking of these kind of phrases and find so much truth in them. The wheel will turn. (As they say. Do they? Anyway. It does turn.)