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5 ways to adopt a positive mindset

In college, it’s hard to always stay positive, especially when school kicks into high gear with endless assignments, extracurriculars and chores. While it’s okay to feel down every now and then, it’s also extremely important to stay positive to avoid mental burnout.

In order to maintain your sanity, here are five ways to adopt a positive mindset:

Replace negative language with positive language

Most of the time, students don’t realize when they’re using negative language, such as words like “hate,” “sucks” and “boring,” but replacing these words is a major way to adopt a positive mindset. Before voicing your thoughts on a class or person you may have strong feelings about, try using language that is optimistic, like “This may not be my favorite class, but I’ll still go since it will help me complete one of my major requirements.” By doing this, you end up seeing things from a new perspective, making you less negative over time. While it’s not the easiest thing to learn right away, it’s beneficial to have a skill like this to avoid negative thoughts and feelings.

Make little daily goals for yourself

Focusing on big goals such as getting a 4.0 this semester or finding an internship can become detrimental to your mental health, as creating long-term goals with rigid expectations can become suffocating. Instead, try to make little daily goals for yourself, focusing on goals outside of academics as well. Maybe you need to do your laundry or call your mom. Whatever is on your mind that day, write it out and try to achieve it. This way, you can feel like you’ve accomplished something every day, and this can help you feel more uplifted and positive.

Practice gratitude

In American culture, we tend to not focus on what we’re grateful for, and it’s important to practice gratitude on a regular basis because of this known fact. Every day, challenge yourself to point out things or people in your life that you’re grateful for. Then, write it down or type it out, and keep a log of your gratitudes. Later, you can go back and read through all of them, knowing that you’re acknowledging the love and appreciation you feel towards certain areas of your life.

Identify what makes you feel negative

Whether it be not receiving a perfect grade on an exam or paying for expenses such as groceries and gas, it’s crucial to notice what triggers your negative thoughts. Through this, you can begin to reflect on why certain things make you feel angry, sad or frustrated, and work through it. By accepting your negative thoughts and moving forward, it will help you grow up and see that there are better things to focus on. Not everything has to be negative, and sometimes seeing what triggers you can help you realize that.

Surround yourself with positive people

At the end of the day, hanging out with people that bring you down is not worth it in college. You want to be around people who support you, especially on a daily basis. If you find yourself questioning one of your friend’s actions or morals, maybe consider having a conversation about it or removing yourself from their presence. Also, try to find people who you align with in terms of interests and goals, and you’ll find yourself feeling a lot happier. Basically, don’t conform to a social group in college. Gravitate towards people who make you smile, dance and enjoy yourself.


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