5 Ways to stay positive in tough times

Oct 3, 2011 at 3:18 p.m. ET

Life is difficult, and it seems like the past few years have been particularly financially and personally difficult for many people. When these times of strife and turmoil hit us, it’s easy to sink into a state of depression, but we’ve got five ways to keep you out of a frustrated funk and get you on the path to optimism.

Positive Woman

Sheri Riley is the founder and Chief Partnership Strategist of GLUE, Inc. and creator of the Exponential Living program. Here, she shares her top tips for staying positive with LovingYou.

Reflect on positive past events

Sometimes we get so caught up in the negative things going on in our lives or our desire for more that we forget to stop and smell the roses. If you want to stay positive, turn to your thoughts, Riley says: "Your thoughts are the training ground and springboard for your overall disposition and perspective on life. Many accomplished people never pause to revel in or acknowledge their past successes. They are constantly striving for what's next."

Have a Giving Heart and Spirit

We've all heard that giving back to others is good for the soul, but it's also a way of keeping your spirits up in times of need. Charity work is a great way to boost your own morale, and "allows more opportunities for your continued success to manifest in your life, and others," Riley says. But don't just stop at charity work. Giving your time to family and friends and being present for your loved ones is a huge component of having a giving heart.

Happy is a Choice; Contentment and Joy are Lifestyles

From time to time, we all feel overwhelmed in our lives. Whether we're overwhelmed in a positive way (so many exciting work projects or social events to focus our attention on) or in a negative way (too many personal or professional obstacles we need to face), our mode of response is what keeps us from true happiness. If we can just accept our situation and commit to making the best of it, that's the true path to happiness, Riley says: "Know the plan for your life is perfect and the struggles are never to defeat you but to make you stronger and uncover your true power. Surrender and find peace living in the overflow, joy and abundance of being overwhelmed."

Tap Your Inner Courage

Tough times require lots of courage, and that means you might have to face your personal demons, Riley says: "Being courageous means not allowing life to steal, kill, or destroy your dreams, hopes, aspirations, and plans but living in the now, the moment, the presence of your power to receive life, and the fullness of all life has to offer and even more abundantly."

Live Exponentially

Life is all about balance, and when you've achieved a balance in all aspects of your life (personal, spiritual and emotional), you're living in an exponential way, Riley says. Living exponentially allows you to live in a state of true contentment and helps you be "present with yourself and others while also pursuing and maintaining excellence in all aspects of your life." All these factors help you deal with difficult times in your life and maintain a positive attitude.

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