6 Ways to Stay Positive Every Day

Take Good Care of Yourself: An awesome teacher of mine, Meg Darnell, used to say: "A better feeling body, equals a better feeling mind". Do something nice for yourself every day - Make a meal that makes you feel strong and nourished, or a take a yoga class to stretch your body and relax your mind. Its amazing how much we do for other people, one nice thing for yourself every day isn't too much to ask.

Mental List of Awesomeness: Having high self-esteem keeps anxiety at bay, improves personal relationships and encourages optimism. If you don’t appreciate yourself enough – or are feeling down – try making a mental list of awesome stuff you’ve done recently: “Went for a jog with the dog instead of watching TV”; “Cooked dinner for my boyfriend”; “Tried something new/scary, and totally rocked it.” Make a written list if you want, and don’t be modest! You’ll find that, as you go over your positive actions and choices, you start to feel great about yourself.

Keep a Journal of Gratitude: I found this exercise in an old book on Zen living; it’s one of my favorites to this day. Just take a little notebook and start writing down the things you’re grateful for. Start with the obvious and work from there: be grateful for having food, water and a roof above your head.  If you’re facing a challenge, be grateful for the opportunity to learn from it. You don’t have to write every day, but make sure you open your journal at least once a week.  Appreciating what you have will help you stay positive.

Remember, Things Get Better: When you’re struggling, grieving or suffering from heartache, the pain can feel unbearable. Even in everyday life, the weight of a million little things can be heavy. Try to keep perspective: My friend suggested a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "you broke the tip off your pencil" and 5 as "tsunamis and people dying". Whenever you begin to stress, use that scale to remind yourself that its not so bad.

Reach Out and Help: We live in a culture that encourages egotism. If you want to feel great about yourself, try giving to someone else. Donating a few dollars to charity can change someone’s life. (I am a big fan of micro loans through Kiva.org) Calling your mom for a few minutes will make her week. Buying food and visiting with a sick friend will help more than you can imagine. Volunteer locally by walking dogs from your neighborhood (If you're in Brooklyn, check out Williamsburg's Barc Shelter ). It takes very little to help someone out. When you make a big difference with just a few minutes of your time, you’ll always remember how important and amazing you are. And with an attitude like that, it’s hard to be anything but positive.