June 15, 2020
In life, we often experience challenges out of our control that can negatively affect our mood.1 Everyone experiences these emotions throughout their lives, and that’s okay — healthy even. But as we strive for a positive outlook during hard times, not only will this make life a little brighter, but positivity can help to bring success, opportunity, and long-term happiness.
The benefits of positivity
Having a positive outlook can transform our perception of life, particularly during trials. It can help us recognize joy and blessings and even increase our ability to learn by allowing the brain to absorb more information.2 Other health benefits can also include increased mood and lowered chances of illness.3
Positivity can allow us to manage stress and achieve our full potential. It can also drive students to reach their educational goals with confidence, and that confidence can help push them to success.
The prophets’ words on positivity
Prophets have taught that, as we aspire to see the good in our lives despite trials, we can experience more peace and happiness. President Russell M. Nelson said, “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.”4
Similarly, President Thomas S. Monson encouraged, “So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. … For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.”5
An ancient proverb said, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”6
Our leaders and the scriptures teach that positivity is important for lasting happiness. With a positive outlook in life, the Lord has greater access to us — we can be more open to receiving His guidance and see how He has already blessed our lives. He can also help us through our academic, family, and financial challenges and support us in achieving our goals.
Ways to develop positivity
Understanding the value of positivity is only one part of developing a positive attitude. Here are a few tips to help you add more positivity to your outlook on life.
1. Count your blessings. This can be challenging, especially in the middle of a trial. When feelings of distress arise, something we can do to help is reflect on our blessings and to record them.7 Feelings of optimism can return as we see just how many good things we have in our lives.
2. Find reasons to laugh and smile. If we allow ourselves to enjoy what’s around us — the sun, a funny joke, or a kind friend — we become more positive. Being outwardly joyful spreads to others and can help them develop the same kind of joy, which increases our joy even more.
3. Surround yourself with those who uplift you. Positivity is contagious, so when we surround ourselves with others who bring us joy, we feel good too. Likewise, being around those who focus on the negative can cause us to lose our positive outlook.
4. Take advantage of the Lord’s tools. Heavenly Father wants us to have joy and feel hopeful about the future, so He has provided ways for us to do so. We can do this with prayer, scripture study, the Holy Ghost, church attendance, and so much more.
The power is within you
Understanding that positivity is a good quality to embrace doesn’t make it easy. But luckily, we have many people surrounding us to provide support, including family, friends, and Church leaders. President Gordon B. Hinkley said, “I am asking that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight.”8
Instead of allowing negativity to take root, we can instead choose to invite the power of positivity and watch as opportunities, blessings, and joy abound in our lives.
What do you do to maintain a positive outlook during trials? Comment below!