How to Stay Positive During Difficult Times: 5 Effective Methods

how to stay positive

In the midst of life’s inevitable challenges and uncertainties, knowing how to stay positive during difficult times is a valuable skill that can transform our resilience and outlook on life. While we all face ups and downs, cultivating a positive mindset allows us to navigate the toughest of situations with grace and determination. 

In this blog post, we will explore proven strategies and practical techniques to maintain positivity during adversity, empowering you to face challenges with renewed strength and optimism.



“People come and go, experiencing both happiness and sadness, just as the moon undergoes phases of growth and decline.” (人有悲歡離合,月有陰晴圓缺)

This famous verse by Su Shi, an ancient Chinese poet, aptly illustrates how natural it is to see ebbs and flows in life. 

I believe that every one of us experiences ups and downs in life. While some people’s lives may be like a roller coaster ride, there are people whose lives are less dramatic.

In any case, it’s almost certain that there are some hard times throughout the years, albeit of varying degrees.

In other words, everyone has good and bad days. Good days may not last forever; but similarly, bad days are not to stay permanently either. 

So hang in there, even if life may have been hard on us recently. I assure you that bad days will go and the situation will improve eventually.

Staying Positive

When I told a friend recently that my Amazon KDP account got terminated, she lamented: “This year has been hard on you.” I knew she also referred to my loss of a regular client and income early this year. 

At face value, it’s a bad year for me. I would probably have panicked if it happened a few years ago.

But this time around, I’ve managed to stay positive during this seemingly difficult time.

It’s thanks to the change in my mindset. Now I see the loss and adversity as a blessing in disguise. It allows me to pursue new dreams and aspirations. 

After all, I’d probably have no motivation to take action if the status quo had remained.

Save for later ⤵️

how to stay positive

The Power of Positive Thinking

Come to think about it, being able to maintain a positive mindset has helped me navigate the challenges a lot easier. 

By staying positive, I’ve been able to evaluate my situation more objectively.

My mind is clear and open, allowing me to think from multiple perspectives and handle difficult situations with greater composure.

Optimism protects me from worries, stress, anxiety, and fear.

Not bothered by unnecessary negative emotions, I’ve been able to focus on seeking solutions, learning new skills, and making long-term plans.

Indeed, research has shown that a positive mindset is associated with better physical and mental health outcomes.

It can lead to an increased lifespan, greater resistance to illnesses, improved physical and psychological well-being, a lower risk of certain health conditions, and lower rates of depression.

Proven Tactics to Help You Stay Positive

Now, let’s explore what we can do to help us stay hopeful and optimistic when life is hard. I have firsthand experience in most of the following tactics.

They have effectively helped me pull through difficult situations and manage my emotions. 

Acknowledge Negative Emotions

First, let’s be with our feelings. If you feel any negative emotions, acknowledge them and accept them as a natural experience as a human. 

Tell yourself that it’s perfectly all right to feel not all right. 

If we deny or suppress those feelings, it might lead to increased stress and internal conflict, and even tensions in relationships with others.

Accepting negative emotions with self-compassion will help us process them effectively and find healthier ways to cope with them.

Don’t be afraid of showing your vulnerable side. In fact, vulnerability and open and genuine communication can strengthen our connections with our loved ones.  

Observe Your Emotions

When negative emotions arise, be an observer, rather than a judge or critic. 

For example, if you feel frustrated, identify that emotion and take note of it.

Avoid judging or criticizing yourself for feeling that way. Simply observe it, and let it pass.

You may try the following visualization exercise to help release any negative emotions:

Imagine that you have a large transparent jar. It represents your emotional space.

Identify the specific emotion you want to release. It could be anger, sadness, fear, or any other feeling you wish to let go of. Assign a color and shape to the emotion you want to visualize.

For example, you might choose red for anger, blue for sadness, or grey for frustration. Shapes can be simple, such as a cloud for uncertainty, a flame for anger, or a tear for sadness.

With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths.

Now, visualize the emotion as a cloud, energy, or object gathering inside the jar. See the color and shape representing the emotion vividly.

Next, visualize yourself opening the lid of the jar.

As you do this, see the emotion leaving the container and floating away into the sky. Imagine it dissipating or being carried off by a gentle breeze until it becomes smaller and smaller, eventually disappearing.

While visualizing the emotion leaving, remind yourself that it’s okay to feel this emotion and that you are releasing it with acceptance and self-compassion.

Take a few more deep breaths to ground yourself and reconnect with the present moment. Focus on the sensation of your breath and the feeling of being anchored in the here and now.

Feel free to repeat the exercise whenever you need it. If you find it difficult to visualize, you may write down the emotions or things that you wish to let go in a piece of paper. 

Throw it into a fireplace or burn it in a fire-safe container such as an ashtray. As it turns to ash, imagine you have released it.

Save for later ⤵️

remove negative energy

Practice Meditation or Breathing Exercises

It has been proven scientifically that meditation can improve our quality of life in many ways.

Meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety, improve the quality of sleep, enhance our ability to focus and concentrate, promote mindfulness and self-awareness, and improve our cognitive functions.

In addition, meditation also helps to reduce blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and strengthen our immunity.

I’ve personally picked up meditation again since about a month ago. By spending 10-30 minutes a day, before sleep and sometimes, in the morning, practicing meditation.

Above everything else, I’ve been able to sleep a lot better. 

As the quality of sleep improves, I wake up earlier naturally and effortlessly. It’s great waking up feeling rejuvenated.

You know you are fully recharged and have sufficient energy to tackle whatever challenges come.

There are various types of meditation. Choose one that suits you best. 

I used to find it hard to meditate because I didn’t know how to focus on my breathing. I got easily distracted by all sorts of thoughts and noises in my mind. That’s why I quit meditation for many years until I stumbled upon some guided meditation videos on YouTube recently. 

There’s also no right or wrong way to do meditation. It’s not even necessary to sit in a lotus pose.

Any activity that directs your attention to being mindful of the present is meditative and good enough to help you stay positive during difficult times.


I’ve incorporated journaling into my daily routine recently.

This is the first time I keep a journal regularly. Interestingly, what inspired me to start journaling was two manifestation journals I designed to be sold on Amazon. 

Eventually, I didn’t get to sell the books because my account was shut down before they went live. I haven’t gotten my Amazon KDP account back, and now, I haven’t decided yet if I still want to get it back.

But I keep journaling every day. It’s been more than a month now.

Every morning, I write my intention, my daily affirmation, what I’m grateful for, and my action plan.

In addition, I also employ the 369 technique by writing my daily affirmations 3, 6, and 9 times in the morning, afternoon, and evening respectively.

Through journaling, I reaffirm and remind myself of my goals and my aspirations. I set my intentions and direction right in the morning. 

Gratitude journaling helps me reflect on my life and pay attention to the positive aspects, increasing my positivity.

Writing and repeating affirmations boost self-awareness, self-love, confidence, and motivation.

Research has confirmed the many benefits of journaling, including helping to reduce and manage stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. 

Moreover, a journal provides a private and safe space for us to express and process our emotions and reflect on what has happened.

This will help us gain clarity on our thoughts, feelings, and experiences and inspire new ideas and perspectives.

Engaging in Relaxing Activities

It’s challenging to maintain a positive mindset when the circumstances are not in our favor. We will need a break from stressors to manage our emotions positively. 

Taking a walk is one of my favorite things to do when I need to distract myself from negative thoughts. It’s even better if I can do so in nature. 

A study shows that just spending 20 minutes in nature can help lower stress hormone levels.

In fact, we may not even need a study to tell us the calming and therapeutic effects of nature on our minds and bodies. Isn’t it?

Creative and relaxing activities such as drawing, coloring, crocheting, knitting, etc., help us focus on the here and present and hence, divert our attention from rumination and cultivation a sense of calm and peace.

When our mind is calm and clear, we can make better judgments and decisions, which will make us feel good and believe the situation will improve. 

Take Your Time

When we’re in difficult times, it’s best not to rush into any decisions and reactions.

Take your time, and take things slowly. 

It’s crucial to take good care of yourself. Try the few ideas suggested above and see how you feel.

Regard the tough times as a period for us to take a break and rest. Trust me, once we develop a positive outlook on life, things will start to improve. 

I’d love to hear from you now. What are your thoughts on maintaining positivity during tough times? Have you tried any of the suggested tactics, and how did they work for you? Share your experiences, tips, or questions in the comments below.

Together, let’s inspire and support each other on our journey to staying positive amidst life’s challenges.

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