We’ve talked about how focusing on appreciation and positivity can help you feel better. Practicing gratitude will help you see how much you already have, rather than focusing on what you don’t. It can lessen anxiety and feelings of depression and strengthen your relationships. Choosing to be positive and look on the bright side can help you be happier and cope with negative situations when they inevitably arise.
However, you can’t expect yourself to be perfectly positive and grateful all the time. You are only human, so you can’t possibly expect yourself to be perfect. If you try, you may end up feeling worse about yourself from trying to reach an impossible standard. While it’s important to try to improve yourself, learning to love yourself just as you are will help you find lasting happiness, too.
If you don’t accept your complete self, you will probably have trouble practicing gratitude and positivity. You may be hard on yourself when you make a mistake, leading to negative thoughts. When you do have negative thoughts, you’ll criticize yourself for being too pessimistic and make it even harder for yourself to be positive.
Instead, when you experience sadness and anger at some point in your life, remember these are normal and natural human emotions. If you didn’t experience them, you should be worried! It’s okay for some things to make you sad or mad. When you do feel that way, consider giving yourself some time to simply be sad or mad. Then, try to address what made you feel bad in the first place. Once you’ve allowed yourself to experience those negative emotions and figured out why you feel that way, you can try practicing gratitude and positive thinking in the situation.
When you’re too hard on yourself, you can get in the way of your own happiness by making it more difficult to accept yourself and life just as they are.