How To Stay Positive During Tough Times: 7 Helpful Tips 

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Learning how to be positive during tough times is an important aspect in helping us navigate the challenges and difficulties of life.  

Honestly, for the longest time, I have always hated those people who used to tell me to just stay positive and that everything would be okay. To me, it felt dismissive, like they didn’t really understand the depth of what I was going through but ultimately, I believed that staying positive during difficult times was nothing but toxic positivity.  

Yes sure, it’s so easy to maintain a positive mindset when everything in our lives is falling into place but when our lives are falling apart, it can feel like an insurmountable task to stay upbeat or even find the smallest amount of silver lining.  

But when I hit rock bottom, I learned that there is a big difference between simply wearing a smile as a mask and genuinely nurturing a grain of hope that can help us endure the storm that we are facing. Hitting rock bottom taught me that staying positive isn’t about ignoring the harshness of reality or minimizing the challenges that you’re going through. 

It’s about facing it head-on while still holding onto hope that things can get better. I used to believe that the best thing to do when we are struggling in life is to focus all our attention on everything that was going wrong. I thought that by doing this I was somehow pushing myself to work even harder to turn my life around.  

But what it did was the exact opposite. Doing that did not motivate me, in fact, it just made things even more overwhelming and it just made me feel more hopeless and defeated to the point that I found it difficult to do anything at all. It paralyzed me.  

This made me realize just how crucial it is to stay positive even during our lowest moments. This is not about pretending that everything is okay or invalidating the pain and the heartbreak that we are going through. I learned that the key element of truly staying positive is the ability to recognize and acknowledge the negatives, but not to dwell on them excessively. 

Staying positive during difficult times not only helps us feel less defeated and hopeless but often, doing this also gives us the strength that we need to keep moving forward. It allows us to focus on solutions instead of problems, find moments of joy even in hard times, and keep hope alive that things will get better. 

While doing this may not solve all our problems right away, it does help us create a mindset that will help us navigate whatever challenges life throws our way. In this post, I will be sharing tips on how to stay positive even during tough times.  

I hope that some of these tips will resonate with you and help you get through the challenges you are facing too( even just a little bit).  

How To Stay Positive During Tough Times  1

How To Stay Positive During Tough Times 

1. Focus On What You Can Control And Let Go Of What You Can’t 

When we are going through hard times, most of us have a tendency to want to control everything in our lives in an attempt to gain security and stability. I definitely felt this way. I always had this habit of wanting to control every little aspect of my life and this habit was only magnified when I was navigating rock bottom.  

I believed that continuing to plan for every possible scenario and micromanaging every little detail of my life would somehow prevent things from falling apart even further. I thought that by attempting to control everything around me, I could shield myself and the people that I love from any additional pain and surprises.  

But this strategy did so much more harm than good. By attempting to micromanage every little aspect of my life, I was also allowing myself to focus all my attention and energy on everything that was going wrong in my life.  

It only pushed me to focus on the negativity to the point that it consumed me. I became trapped in a cycle of worry and anxiety, constantly bracing for the worst, which in turn, drained my emotional and physical energy. This fixation on control only prevented me from seeing any positive outcomes and finding hope in my situation. 

If you’re guilty of doing this too, please know that choosing to let go of the things that are out of our control doesn’t mean that we are just giving up or that we are all leaving it to chance.  

This simply means that we are making a conscious decision to focus our efforts and energies on the things that are within our grasp. Letting go allows us to breathe, to give ourselves space to grow, and to direct our resources and energy toward things that we can actually influence. 

Doing this empowers us to act where we can and find peace with what we can’t. This not only helps alleviate the stress and anxiety that we are feeling but it also helps us find hope and the strength we need to keep pushing through even when it’s hard.  

Try these:  

  • Identify What You Can Control: Start by making a list of things in your life that you can influence directly. This could include your daily habits, the way you allocate your time, or how you react to challenges. 
  • Adjust Your Expectations: Remind yourself that perfection is unattainable and that it’s okay to have ups and downs. Adjusting your expectations can greatly help in preventing feelings of frustration especially when things don’t go as planned. 

2. Focus On Your Strengths And Past Successes 

Reflecting on your past successes and focusing on your strengths is an essential step in helping us stay positive during tough times. I know how difficult it is to keep believing in ourselves and our capabilities when every day we are being smacked with one disappointment and failure after another.  

It’s so easy to start questioning ourselves and start believing that maybe we don’t have what it takes to turn our lives around and that maybe we are forever meant to suffer and stay at rock bottom. I felt this way too.  

When I was navigating one of my lowest points in life. Every day felt like there was a brand new battle that regardless of how hard I tried, I could never seem to win. I felt like a failure and I started believing that I was just not good enough and I thought that I was destined to struggle.  

But you know what? That thought was a lie. Please know that regardless of what you’re going through right now, you have what it takes to turn your life around and change it for the better. You have within you this invaluable strength, resilience, and courage that’ll help you go through whatever challenges life throws your way.  

I know it can be difficult to see that especially when we are overwhelmed by our circumstances, but it’s true. The very fact that you have survived your hardest days so far is proof of your resilience. It’s important to tap into that strength and remind yourself of it regularly. 

Remind yourself of all the times you thought you wouldn’t be able to do it or you wouldn’t be able to push through and yet here you are, still standing, still moving forward.  

Reflect on those moments of doubt when you feared you couldn’t survive another day, and yet, you did. Each of those instances is a testament to your strength and resilience. 

Try these:  

  • Keep a Resilience Journal: Start documenting your daily challenges, big and small, and how you overcame them. Over time, this journal will serve as a tangible reminder of your strength and ability to handle difficulties. 
  • Celebrate Your Successes: No matter how small, take time to celebrate your achievements. This positive reinforcement can motivate you to keep going and face new challenges. 

3. Practice Daily Gratitude 

Practicing daily gratitude is another vital step in helping us learn how to stay positive during tough times. To be honest with you, for years, I’ve never really believed just how important practicing daily gratitude is. I thought that it was just a waste of time and nothing more than toxic positivity.  

It’s easy to find something to be grateful for when everything around us seems to be going well but when our lives are falling apart and every day feels like a never-ending battle, finding something to be grateful for during those moments just seems impossible.  

But one of the things I’ve learned while navigating one of the darkest moments of my life is that practicing daily gratitude is not about denying hardships or pretending that everything is okay when it’s not. It’s not about minimizing the challenges that we are going through or invalidating the pain that we are feeling.  

It’s about allowing ourselves to recognize and appreciate the good that coexists with the bad. It’s about choosing to find the light in the darkness, no matter how faint it may be. Doing this does not only help us push through but it also reminds us that regardless of how defeated we may feel, there is hope that things will get better.  

By practicing daily gratitude, even in the smallest measures, I’ve learned to anchor myself in the positive aspects of my life regardless of how small they may seem. These positive aspects served as one of my lifelines that tremendously helped me push through even in my darkest days. 

Try these:  

  • Morning Gratitude Ritual: Start your day by thinking of three things you are grateful for. This can set a positive tone for the rest of the day, even if it begins with something as simple as appreciating a good night’s sleep or the flavor of your morning coffee. 
  • Gratitude Reminders: Place sticky notes in places you frequently look, with reminders to pause and appreciate simple joys throughout the day. 
  • Reflect on the Day: End your day by writing down positive things that happened. This could include something you accomplished, enjoyed, or are simply thankful for. 
How To Stay Positive During Tough Times 

4. Be Kind To Yourself 

Learning how to stay positive during tough times is not only about being grateful and looking for the good in the world. It’s also about learning how to be kind to yourself, especially during difficult times. When life gets hard, it’s so easy to beat ourselves up and constantly put ourselves down.  

I’ve felt this way too. I’ve always been guilty of being my own harshest critic but when I hit rock bottom, this only seemed to magnify it. I became too overly critical of myself. I would constantly beat myself up even for the smallest mistake.  

At that time, I honestly thought that it was helping me. I thought that by being my worst critic, I was somehow preventing myself from making the same mistakes again and that I was pushing myself to be better. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I didn’t realize that by constantly beating myself up, I was also slowly destroying my self confidence and mental health.  

I started doubting my abilities and I started believing that I was never good enough to dig myself out of rock bottom. I spiraled into a cycle of negative self-talk that made everything feel even worse. It took me a long time to realize that this habit was only dragging me further down instead of helping me climb out of my struggles. 

If you’re guilty of doing this too, please know that you deserve to give yourself the same amount of love, kindness, and understanding that you so freely give to your loved ones. Just because you made mistakes or you’re struggling doesn’t mean that you’re no longer worthy of kindness and compassion.  

So please stop beating yourself up and know that by being kind to ourselves, especially during our lowest moments, we are not only healing our own hearts but also empowering ourselves to face life’s challenges with greater resilience and grace.  

Self-kindness helps us to maintain a more balanced emotional state, which enhances our ability to think clearly and make better decisions. It also enables us to recover more quickly from setbacks and to engage more fully in life. 

Try these:  

  • Set Aside Time for Self-Reflection: Regularly spend time alone to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. Use this time to identify areas where you might be too hard on yourself and think about ways to be more forgiving and compassionate. 
  • Learn to Say No: Part of being kind to yourself is recognizing when you’re taking on too much and feeling overwhelmed. Practice saying no to requests that drain your energy or conflict with your own needs. 

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5. Maintain A Routine 

Maintaining a routine even when things are chaotic can greatly help us stay positive even during tough times. When we are going through difficult times, things can easily get too overwhelming or even disorganized, making it too hard for us to focus on what needs to be done.  

When we stick to a routine, it helps us manage our time better. We know what we need to do and when which can make everything feel more manageable. This can help calm our minds, allowing us to deal with one thing at a time which makes things less overwhelming.  

I know that sticking to a routine when we are struggling is not always an easy thing to do. Often we are too exhausted or too drained to even think about what needs to be done next.  

But I’ve learned that even the smallest routine can make a difference. It can be as simple as making the bed, having a regular mealtime, or setting aside a few minutes for a calming activity can greatly enhance our sense of stability. These basic tasks act as anchors, holding us steady even in tough times.  

As we continue these small routines, they begin to form a framework for our day, gradually restoring order to the chaos around us.  

Try these:  

  • Morning Stretch or Meditation: Start your day with a simple stretch or a few minutes of meditation to clear your mind and prepare your body for the day ahead. 
  • Evening Wind-Down: Establish a relaxing evening routine to help you unwind before bed. This could include reading or listening to soft music.  
  • Daily Review: End your day with a quick review of what you’ve accomplished and what needs to be done the next day. This can help you prepare mentally and prioritize tasks for tomorrow. 

Want to learn how to start loving yourself more? Take this 30 day self love challenge now.

6. Practice Deep Breathing 

Deep breathing has been an important part of my day for years now. Practicing Deep breathing does not only help alleviate the day-to-day stress and anxiety that we feel but it also helps us stay positive even during difficult times.  

I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times doing this has saved me from feeling overwhelmed. It’s like hitting a reset button for my mind and body. Whenever I feel tension building or anxiety creeping up, I take a moment to focus on my breathing. This simple act helped to center my thoughts and give me a few moments of calm that I badly needed.  

When we are going through difficult times, it’s easy for our thoughts to spiral out of control and become overwhelmingly negative. Deep breathing exercises can act as a powerful tool to interrupt this cycle. By focusing on our breath, we encourage our body to shift away from the stress response and towards a state of calm.  

Try this:  

When you feel overwhelmed or when you feel like your thoughts are starting to spiral, pause and find a quiet place to sit or stand comfortably. Close your eyes if it helps you focus.  

Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, allowing your stomach to expand fully. Hold this breath for a moment, then slowly exhale through your mouth, feeling the tension leave your body with the breath. Repeat this process for a few minutes, concentrating solely on the rhythm of your breathing. 

As you breathe deeply, visualize the air entering as a calm, healing energy and the air exiting as a release of all your stress and negative thoughts. This visualization can enhance the calming effect of the breathing exercise. Try to practice this routine daily, or whenever you feel overwhelmed.  

7. Take It One Day At A Time 

When we are going through challenging times, everything can easily feel overwhelming. Often, it feels like we are being hit with one problem after another, barely even giving us a chance to catch our breath.  

We often feel like we have to find solutions to everything immediately. I certainly felt this way. When I was going through a difficult period in my life, I wanted to find solutions to my problems immediately. I thought that if I just worked harder and faster then I would be able to turn my life around right away.  

But this constant striving for immediate answers and results did so much more harm than good. It just made everything more overwhelming for me to the point that it paralyzed me.  

If you feel the same way too, please know that it’s okay to take a step back, prioritize, and just take it one day at a time. We don’t need to have everything figured out all at once. Just take a deep breath and focus on the things that you can control in the present moment.  

Remind yourself that not every problem needs to be solved all at once. Focus on the most urgent issues and tackle them one by one. I’ve learned that doing this makes everything less overwhelming and actually manageable.  

Know that taking it one day at a time doesn’t mean that we are ignoring the bigger picture or that we are not planning for the future. It simply means that we are giving ourselves the grace to handle what is immediately in front of us without becoming paralyzed by the weight of everything at once. It means acknowledging that progress is made through consistent, small steps rather than grand, sweeping gestures.  

While taking it one day at a time may not solve all our problems, it does help us regain a sense of control over our lives. It makes us more focused on the present moment, allowing us to manage our tasks and challenges with greater clarity and calm.  

By addressing issues one at a time, we reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and can celebrate small victories along the way. 

Try these:  

  • Prioritize Your Tasks: Identify the most important tasks that need your attention and tackle them first. This can help you feel more in control and ensure that you’re making progress on the things that matter most. 
  • Set Small, Achievable Goals: Break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Focus on what you can accomplish today rather than worrying about everything at once. This can make even the biggest challenges feel more doable. 

Final Thoughts 

Please know that learning how to stay positive during tough times is not a one-time thing. It’s something that we have to choose every single day. Also, remind yourself that it’s perfectly okay to have moments of frustration and sadness.  

Know that staying positive during tough times doesn’t mean suppressing your emotions or pretending everything is fine when it isn’t. It means accepting all your feelings as valid and working through them constructively. The key is not to dwell on them and find a way to move forward.  

Before I end this post, I want you to know that things may be hard right now but as cliche as it sounds, it will get better. Everything that you are facing right now, they are all just temporary. This is not your forever. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, believe in what you’re capable of, and trust that soon everything will fall into place.  

Remind yourself that you are capable, you are strong and you can do this! Don’t give up and please know that I’m always, always rooting for you.  

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