THE ART OF STAYING POSITIVE
I aspire to be one of those people that naturally sees the good in every situation. Tiffany Conrad is definitely one of those people, and I'm lucky to call her a friend. She's taught me a lot about how to be a more positive person—just like her.
Note: Looking at these pictures makes me laugh! We took them while working at a company golf tournament. Tiff was teaching me the finer points of Snapchat and we didn't realize we were parked in the line of play. We definitely got yelled at by the foursome who played through our tutorial :).
You know those people who are always smiling and looking on the bright side of any situation? I want to be one of them. I try to be, but more often than not I let anxiety or doubt take over and do its thing. My good friend, Tiffany Conrad, is the perfect example of someone who exudes positive energy. Ask anyone who has been lucky enough to spend any time in her presence. She tells me she has anxiety at times, too, but I have my doubts…
I think we all want to be a bit more like Tiff. So I asked her what her secret to maintaining a sunny disposition is.
You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. —Brian Tracy
You’re always able to find at least one good thing about any situation. What’s your secret to staying positive?
I look at every day as a new day. Whatever happened yesterday is in the past. Today is a chance to start over and make it what I want.
I learned a lesson from a college student when I was working as a general manager at Abercrombie + Fitch in Chicago. He told me about a study that suggested if you wake up every day and say to yourself, “It’s going to be a great day!” three times, then, indeed, you will have a great day.
For whatever reason, that really stuck with me and I do it every morning. I’m a big believer in getting back what you put into the universe. Obviously, this mantra isn’t the reason I have good days or bad days, but it definitely helps to start each day with a positive outlook and to put good vibes out into the universe.
What are some of your favorite sources of inspiration?
I try to surround myself with people, media and things that bring me joy. If I don’t find joy or inspiration in the things I choose to invest my time in, I try to redirect my energy into things that do.
When I need an instant burst of positivity or inspiration, I turn on (and up!) music or read quotes on Pinterest. These are both quick, easy ways for a mood boost and I have access to them at almost any time.
Other ways I find inspiration and positivity are:
Reading. I like to read, so I try to read things that deepen my understanding of how to live positively, increase my knowledge of my strengths as a human and a leader, and things that make me smile. Some of my favorite books I’ve read are Get Over Your Damn Self, The Go-Giver, The Power, and Grit to Great.
Being outside. There’s nothing better than being outside, smelling the fresh air and realizing how big the universe is. If I’m worked up about something, being outside helps me put it in its place.
Adopting healthy habits. I try to find ways to improve my diet without sacrificing the joy of food. But the truth is, I feel better when I eat better, so I try to remember that before I indulge. I’ve battled joint pain over the years, so exercise used to feel like a chore. I’ve found that I really love the anaerobic benefits and comradery of the water aerobics class I take. Plus, as a bonus, it’s a form of exercise that doesn’t hurt my back or my joints. It’s really about finding a form of exercise you enjoy so you keep doing it.
Getting enough sleep. There’s no way around it—a good night’s sleep gives your body time to recover and refuel for the next day, so I try to make sure I get a good night’s sleep. I use Hemp Oil and Sleep Spray (both from Q Sciences) as natural remedies to relax and prepare me for sleep.
Writing a Gratitude List. This is still new to me, but I like the idea of writing a Gratitude List every day and hanging it up so when anxiety and doubt start to creep in, I can refer back to all of the really good things I should be focused on instead. I’m still working on what time of day I can consistently do this, but it’s another positive habit I’m working on.
Calling my mom. Nothing beats a vent sesh with mom. My mom knows me well enough to know when I need to work through something by talking it through and when I really need her sage advice.
Snuggling with Cali. Cali is my teddy bear dog. Dogs have such great instincts and know when you need an extra dose of cuddles (sometimes whether you actually need it...or they just want it!).
On the flip side, are their sources of negativity you try to stay away from?
For me, especially during these uncertain times and being cooped up inside, I've found that too much news or social media impacts my ability to stay positive. Not only does current news seem, at the very least, uncertain about the future, but too much information is hard to process all at once, so I try to limit my time watching the news or scrolling through social media.
I also try to limit my time around people and things that aren’t positive or don’t bring me joy. Obviously not every situation is an opportunity for joy and positivity, but the more I can limit my time around people or situations that are negative, the more positive I’m able to remain.
What happens when you get news that isn’t positive? How do you stay positive even in negative situations?
Honestly, it depends on where I am and the capacity I have to deal with it.
If I’m at work or busy with another commitment, I try to focus on the present and remind myself that I have an obligation to finish the task at hand. I’ve worked hard on learning to compartmentalize information so I can wait until I have the appropriate time and energy to deal with it.
When I need to deal with negative information or a negative situation, I try to give myself grace. That means I remember that it’s okay to cry, be anxious and spend time thinking about what's happening. I try to put parameters on dealing with negativity, though, so I don’t spin out of control. That might mean I allow myself a certain period of time to dwell on a situation or I might limit the amount of research I do on a topic. I think setting boundaries for negativity is a good way to not let it get too far out of control.
Remember that Gratitude List and all of the other sources of inspiration I mentioned in my answer to Question #2? I also refer back to those things...often.
How can we all be more positive people like you?
You know when you start your day and a co-worker asks you how’re you’re doing and you immediately grunt a sarcastic, slightly bitter response because your day didn’t start off the way you wanted? Stop doing that! Even if your morning didn’t go the way you want it to, don’t let it derail your whole day. Start speaking positively or trying to find a silver lining in situations, so negativity doesn’t win (especially at the beginning of the day!).
Then, it honestly goes back to the Golden Rule: Treat people as you want to be treated. That means telling people in your life that you appreciate them. Say please and thank you. SMILE!
I don’t have a lot of talents (yes, she does!), but I always have the opportunity to be positive and appreciative of people, so there really isn’t an excuse to not be. It takes a lot more energy to be negative than it does to be positive.
Tiffany Conrad is a sales manager at Catch Des Moines and a ambassador for QSciences in Des Moines, IA. If you need a dose of positivity or high-quality, full-spectrum hemp, nutritional, and weight loss products, give her a follow on Instagram and check out her QSciences products page!