How to always choose happiness even during tough times

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

Many people recently find themselves having difficulty being motivated to keep moving forward with excitement and a positive outlook. We live in a time filled with stress and anxiety due to the uncertainty of the recent Covid-19 calamity that has besieged the entire world.

These are unprecedented difficult times filled with financial struggles, health challenges, personal isolation, social disconnection, and fear. We are mostly in survival mode. The struggles personally and professionally have made our lives challenging, making it easy to fall into the trap of developing a negative mindset.

“Only a positive mindset can lead us to a satisfactory life despite the challenges ahead.”

The truth is, there are many valid reasons to feel negative about the outlook of the near future, however a negative mindset can do nothing but cause more despair.

A positive mindset is an attitude someone has who “expects” good and desired results. The power of positivity is immense, and it can help you convert that energy into reality. By expectation, I don’t mean it to be a sense of entitlement.

“A positive mindset is rooted in a sense of gratitude, and that helps us tap into the reality of abundance.”

In the world of abundance, you can only expect good outcomes, because in that reality there is always more than enough.

That being said, I want to acknowledge that when something bad hits you, you get bombarded with negative thoughts. These negative thoughts cast even more negativity in an already devastating situation. We have all been hit with a bad deal right now, and the feelings of fear, desperation, grief, sadness are all very real, but it comes down to how long we stay in those feelings and stress about things we can’t control.

Having a positive mindset can help you avoid stress. Even out of the most challenging and devastating situations we can find a silver lining.

“Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow if we choose to accept reality as is and make the best of it.”

With a positive mindset you can avoid many physical and mental diseases as well. If you don’t give weight to negative thoughts, you won’t cause your body discomfort from stress, anxiety, worry, and frustration.

A stress-free mind leads to a stronger immune system, and there is nothing more important during a pandemic like Covid-19.

Half of life’s battles can be won if you practice being confident in your abilities. A positive mindset cultivates confidence in your personality, allowing you to perform at your best because of a boosted self-esteem. You can make the right decisions at the right time with confidence.

A positive mindset doesn’t just benefit your professional life, it is also essential for a successful and lovable personal life. Since positivity is rooted in gratitude, you feel thankful for many blessings in your life, especially the people who add happiness to your life. By expressing gratitude and appreciation, the bonds become stronger, giving you access to a satisfying personal life.

Having a positive mindset when everything is going well is easy to practice. It becomes almost impossible to think positively in difficult times.

“If you want to have a positive mindset in difficult times, the key is to start behaving positively right now.”

Entering into a day with something positive is crucial. Start your day with expressions of gratitude. Everyday kick off your day by being thankful for something you already have. It could be as simple as waking up and making a mindful statement that you are grateful to be awake. It could follow with being grateful for your family, your home, your health, your life.

Starting your day with all the Covid-19 bad news or having a call with a negative person in the morning can spoil your entire day. Try to listen to or interact with something positive when you wake up. Go for a walk and have interaction with the most positive entity of the universe: the beauty of nature.

“Starting the day on a positive note often proves enough to have the entire day filled with positivity.”

Another step towards crafting a “positive you” is to start any project or task with the goal of learning from it. Keep in mind, whether you complete your goal, and accomplish it or not, the journey will definitely add knowledge and experience in your life. If you start a task or goal with the intention to learn from it, you will never be disappointed. That is how you develop wisdom.

Another recommended way to attain a positive mindset is to identify the negativities in your life and remove them like a bad cancer. The more you ruminate negative thoughts the more you feed them.

When you find yourself being overtaken by negative thoughts, stop doing what you are doing and write them down. This way you will slow down the momentum of that negative thought in the first place.

Secondly, read what you have written down and evaluate if it is indeed factual. More than half of your negative thoughts will be dismissed if you simply follow this step, because you’ll discover that more than half of them are fictitious, having no connection to facts or reality.

Most of the time, negativity comes from bad experiences in the past or the haunting fears of the future. If you learn to live in the present moment, negativity will fade out of your mind.

“When you live in the present you are more focused, and less likely to be distracted by what ifs, and this can further induce a positive mindset.”

You can also keep a journal of the blessings in your life. You’ll discover soon enough that they are countless. All you need to do is to take account of them and feel immediate gratitude. Having an ongoing list of blessings and seeing them grow every day will build your positivity muscle.

“Cultivating an attitude of gratitude helps to maintain desired positivity in life.”

Memories of unfavorable experiences, defensive nature towards calamities, negative people you may be holding on to, can be a cause of constant negativity in your life. You have to intentionally create positive energy around you.

Everything we experience in life is a result of our intentions, aware of them consciously or not. If you want to experience positivity during difficult times, you have to intentionally do the work to practice gratitude and invite positive people into your life.

There is no magic pill, elixir, or short cut towards having a positively charged life, except for one, and that is to practice unlimited gratitude.

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

Do you struggle to motivate yourself?

As we progress in leaps and bounds, ushering the latest technology into the comfort of our home, we are giving into impulsiveness with every passing day.

We are ushering competition, stress and anxiety into our lives. Amidst bigger dreams and even bigger goals, falling short of contentment at times, can be natural.

Or life could pose with some complex threats such as emotional conflicts and financial insufficiency which could be extremely stressful to combat.

For some people while a sound emotional support helps to a large extent, however for the ones who are generally not very expressive, difficult times can seriously pose a threat to your physical and mental well being.

6 Ways to Motivate Yourself in Difficult Times

In such difficult times, digging deep for inspiration is important. It is also essential to remain self motivated and nurture yourself during this period. Passion and purpose always go hand in hand and success and happiness follow.

Here are simple and important ways to motivate yourself during difficult times.

1 . Know that ‘This too shall pass’

As the above adage goes, every material condition, positive or negative, is temporary.

Therefore, first and foremost know that difficult times are just a phase which will eventually disappear. Every individual on this earth dwells with their respective share of difficulties. The more we experience, the more we grow.

Hold yourself together and try to remain with perseverance during tough times. You cannot choose or control your circumstances, but you can choose your attitude towards your circumstances. Realize that you have come a long way. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

2 . Create A Purpose

All of us have our individual purposes to pursue. Invest in larger and deeper goals of life. De-clutter and start simple and eventually, work your way towards them one by one.

Be true to yourself and evaluate your current state of being. Analyze how much work you can do in the present circumstances and begin small. If you are facing financial strains, consider changing career options or enrolling for a learning course which will give you that breakthrough.

Develop a mantra in life. Write it down and look at it every morning you wake up and ensure that you swear by it for the rest of the day.

3 . Take A Break from Your Worries

Let go off your worries for once and venture out. Take a break. Spend considerable time outdoors amidst nature. Take a break at the beach or the mountains or simply go for a long drive during the weekend.

Venture with friends or just go alone. You can go camping and spend a few days away from all the materialistic pleasures.

Switch off your phone, laptop or other gadgets when you are on vacation. Open your mind and think empowering and expansive thoughts. Breathe and feel the moments.

4 . Surround Yourself With People Who Care

Family and friends can be your support during hard times.

Many of our worries come from self doubt. Keep in touch and confide into people who care for you and who want to see you succeed. Have open conversations about your stressful times and allow them to share advice and thoughts. Socialize with optimistic people.

If you live away from family, call them and speak to them often. Meet up friends and indulge in light conversations. Motivation is contagious and the moment you interact with individuals who are cheerful and upbeat, you will catch the vibe too.

5 . Love Yourself

Hard times can take on a toll on your health. Ensure that you drink enough water and maintain healthy eating habits.

Get enough sleep everyday and when you do so, detach yourself from all the gadgets and distractions. Wake up early and begin your day. Make your mornings simple and stress free. Have a wholesome breakfast. Exercise regularly and listen to music.

Celebrate even the smallest of accomplishments. Maintain a journal to note down your thoughts, emotions and aspirations. Do not compare yourself with others. There will always be people ahead of you and some of them, much ahead. Focus on your results, instead of others’.

6 . Pursue A Passion

Pursuing a creative habit would inculcate concentration and bring peace. It’s the seriously the best way to motivate yourself.

It will divert you from your constant worries. Remember, that anxiety will not assist you in motivating yourself in difficult times. You need to demonstrate ultimate perseverance and perform to the best of your opportunities if you want to sail out of tough times.

You could join the local salsa classes, take piano lessons or simply learn a new language. Do something what you’ve always wanted to do or something you are good at. Harnessing your creative side will make you bring more peace into your soul.

Additionally, your mind will not have to rigorously function. You will find solace in your creative endeavors.

Summary

Life is of greater ease to those who possess wisdom and practice perseverance.

Be kind to yourself. When you let go of yourself, going gets even more difficult. Refuse to worry about circumstances which are beyond your control.

Life is not a bed of roses for anyone. Each of us share a balanced proportion of good and bad times.

Difficult times make us braver and stronger. Equip yourself so that no matter how hard times get, you are able to motivate yourself and sail through until you regain peace and harmony back in life.

Live! Love! Laugh!

How do you motivate yourself? Leave a comment below.

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

One of the best qualities you can have in your relationship is resiliency. Every couple goes through their share of ups and downs. But truly resilient couples who come out the other side when going through hard times in a relationship can be stronger than before. So, what are these couples doing that everyone else isn’t?

“A couple is resilient when each hold the other at such high value,” relationship coach Jenna Ponaman, CPC, ELI-MP, tells Bustle. “They’re willing to do what it takes to keep the relationship alive.”

That means, they fight for what they want, even if that means sometimes fighting each other. They communicate in healthy ways and are open about their feelings with one another. Most importantly, they are both crystal-clear about what it is they want out of the relationship.

“If they are ever in a misalignment, they know how to set the agreement to which both feel satisfied in the relationship,” Ponaman says.

Being able to overcome the challenges in your relationship requires a bit of preparation. Couples who are resilient know that it’s important to consistently work at their relationship each and every day. According to experts, it’s the things they do on a daily basis when everything is all good that really sets them apart.

So if you and your partner can do these things, your relationship may survive tough times.

Work On Your Friendship

If you want your relationship to survive hardship, work on having a solid foundation of friendship with your significant other. “All relationships have ups and downs and there will be times when you don’t feel in love with your partner,” therapist Alisha Powell, PhD, LCSW, tells Bustle. “Having a friendship with them ensures that there is a cushion for hard times when you both don’t feel like being romantic with each other.” It’s not that hard to do. Like any friendship, it requires spending time together, talking, and being there for each other when it’s needed.

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

One of the best qualities you can have in your relationship is resiliency. Every couple goes through their share of ups and downs. But truly resilient couples who come out the other side when going through hard times in a relationship can be stronger than before. So, what are these couples doing that everyone else isn’t?

“A couple is resilient when each hold the other at such high value,” relationship coach Jenna Ponaman, CPC, ELI-MP, tells Bustle. “They’re willing to do what it takes to keep the relationship alive.”

That means, they fight for what they want, even if that means sometimes fighting each other. They communicate in healthy ways and are open about their feelings with one another. Most importantly, they are both crystal-clear about what it is they want out of the relationship.

“If they are ever in a misalignment, they know how to set the agreement to which both feel satisfied in the relationship,” Ponaman says.

Being able to overcome the challenges in your relationship requires a bit of preparation. Couples who are resilient know that it’s important to consistently work at their relationship each and every day. According to experts, it’s the things they do on a daily basis when everything is all good that really sets them apart.

So if you and your partner can do these things, your relationship may survive tough times.

Work On Your Friendship

If you want your relationship to survive hardship, work on having a solid foundation of friendship with your significant other. “All relationships have ups and downs and there will be times when you don’t feel in love with your partner,” therapist Alisha Powell, PhD, LCSW, tells Bustle. “Having a friendship with them ensures that there is a cushion for hard times when you both don’t feel like being romantic with each other.” It’s not that hard to do. Like any friendship, it requires spending time together, talking, and being there for each other when it’s needed.

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

Many people recently find themselves having difficulty being motivated to keep moving forward with excitement and a positive outlook. We live in a time filled with stress and anxiety due to the uncertainty of the recent Covid-19 calamity that has besieged the entire world.

These are unprecedented difficult times filled with financial struggles, health challenges, personal isolation, social disconnection, and fear. We are mostly in survival mode. The struggles personally and professionally have made our lives challenging, making it easy to fall into the trap of developing a negative mindset.

“Only a positive mindset can lead us to a satisfactory life despite the challenges ahead.”

The truth is, there are many valid reasons to feel negative about the outlook of the near future, however a negative mindset can do nothing but cause more despair.

A positive mindset is an attitude someone has who “expects” good and desired results. The power of positivity is immense, and it can help you convert that energy into reality. By expectation, I don’t mean it to be a sense of entitlement.

“A positive mindset is rooted in a sense of gratitude, and that helps us tap into the reality of abundance.”

In the world of abundance, you can only expect good outcomes, because in that reality there is always more than enough.

That being said, I want to acknowledge that when something bad hits you, you get bombarded with negative thoughts. These negative thoughts cast even more negativity in an already devastating situation. We have all been hit with a bad deal right now, and the feelings of fear, desperation, grief, sadness are all very real, but it comes down to how long we stay in those feelings and stress about things we can’t control.

Having a positive mindset can help you avoid stress. Even out of the most challenging and devastating situations we can find a silver lining.

“Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow if we choose to accept reality as is and make the best of it.”

With a positive mindset you can avoid many physical and mental diseases as well. If you don’t give weight to negative thoughts, you won’t cause your body discomfort from stress, anxiety, worry, and frustration.

A stress-free mind leads to a stronger immune system, and there is nothing more important during a pandemic like Covid-19.

Half of life’s battles can be won if you practice being confident in your abilities. A positive mindset cultivates confidence in your personality, allowing you to perform at your best because of a boosted self-esteem. You can make the right decisions at the right time with confidence.

A positive mindset doesn’t just benefit your professional life, it is also essential for a successful and lovable personal life. Since positivity is rooted in gratitude, you feel thankful for many blessings in your life, especially the people who add happiness to your life. By expressing gratitude and appreciation, the bonds become stronger, giving you access to a satisfying personal life.

Having a positive mindset when everything is going well is easy to practice. It becomes almost impossible to think positively in difficult times.

“If you want to have a positive mindset in difficult times, the key is to start behaving positively right now.”

Entering into a day with something positive is crucial. Start your day with expressions of gratitude. Everyday kick off your day by being thankful for something you already have. It could be as simple as waking up and making a mindful statement that you are grateful to be awake. It could follow with being grateful for your family, your home, your health, your life.

Starting your day with all the Covid-19 bad news or having a call with a negative person in the morning can spoil your entire day. Try to listen to or interact with something positive when you wake up. Go for a walk and have interaction with the most positive entity of the universe: the beauty of nature.

“Starting the day on a positive note often proves enough to have the entire day filled with positivity.”

Another step towards crafting a “positive you” is to start any project or task with the goal of learning from it. Keep in mind, whether you complete your goal, and accomplish it or not, the journey will definitely add knowledge and experience in your life. If you start a task or goal with the intention to learn from it, you will never be disappointed. That is how you develop wisdom.

Another recommended way to attain a positive mindset is to identify the negativities in your life and remove them like a bad cancer. The more you ruminate negative thoughts the more you feed them.

When you find yourself being overtaken by negative thoughts, stop doing what you are doing and write them down. This way you will slow down the momentum of that negative thought in the first place.

Secondly, read what you have written down and evaluate if it is indeed factual. More than half of your negative thoughts will be dismissed if you simply follow this step, because you’ll discover that more than half of them are fictitious, having no connection to facts or reality.

Most of the time, negativity comes from bad experiences in the past or the haunting fears of the future. If you learn to live in the present moment, negativity will fade out of your mind.

“When you live in the present you are more focused, and less likely to be distracted by what ifs, and this can further induce a positive mindset.”

You can also keep a journal of the blessings in your life. You’ll discover soon enough that they are countless. All you need to do is to take account of them and feel immediate gratitude. Having an ongoing list of blessings and seeing them grow every day will build your positivity muscle.

“Cultivating an attitude of gratitude helps to maintain desired positivity in life.”

Memories of unfavorable experiences, defensive nature towards calamities, negative people you may be holding on to, can be a cause of constant negativity in your life. You have to intentionally create positive energy around you.

Everything we experience in life is a result of our intentions, aware of them consciously or not. If you want to experience positivity during difficult times, you have to intentionally do the work to practice gratitude and invite positive people into your life.

There is no magic pill, elixir, or short cut towards having a positively charged life, except for one, and that is to practice unlimited gratitude.

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

At the beginning of the new year, I find myself wondering, What will this new year bring? Terrorists in Paris recently killed twelve journalists and grieved a watching world; North Korea may soon have a long range nuclear warhead that can reach the United States. Can we find joy despite the nightly dose of bad tidings from the news commentators and despite anything negative that might be happening in our lives? My friend, Julia, has lived with a burden for years and has learned how to be joyful regardless of circumstances. Whenever I need to replace any gloom that creeps its way into my mind, I think of her.

Julia lives in constant pain. She suffers from a degenerative back disease, and though she has had several surgeries and takes medications daily, she is never pain free. Despite the crippling effect of the pain, she radiates joy.

“So, Julia,” I asked her, “How do you stay joyful in spite of your pain?”

She rattles off rules that she lives by: “Don’t pretend you have it all together; turn every day over to God; keep priorities in order.”

As she continues, I’m amazed at the wisdom and grace God has given this dear friend. Here are three principles Julia shared:

1. Joy is a choice

”Choose joy,” Julia says. “Happiness is based on our circumstances; joy is a choice we make regardless of our circumstances. The word happiness comes from the same root as the word ‘happening,’ meaning happiness is based on something happening to us. Happiness is circumstantial. Joy, on the other hand is something which defies circumstances and occurs in spite of difficult situations. Whereas happiness is a feeling, joy is an attitude – a posture. A position. A place.”

Julia goes on to note that pain is inevitable but misery is optional. “God will let you be as miserable as you want to be for as long as you want to be.” She has a hard and fast rule that all pity parties are limited to forty five minutes. Then, it’s so much for misery and back to joy.

2. Find peace inside of the pain through gratitude

“I have prayed for healing more times than I can count,” says Julia. “God finally healed me of the need to be healed.”

Julia found an acceptance of her situation that allows her to be at peace with herself and with God. “I often thank God for what I don’t have,” she says. “I don’t have cancer, or heart disease, or ALS. One of my friends suffers as I do, and she reminds me, ‘We’re not going to die; it’s just a mechanical problem.’”

In a survey of over 5,000 people taken by Michael Zigarelli, the dean of the business school at Regent University, comparing Christians who are consistently joyful with those who have less joy, he found that gratitude spawns joy. Grateful people are incessantly focused on what they have, not what they don’t have. By not focusing on what’s missing, they find joy in the blessings they are constantly counting.

3. Focus on being, not doing

Julia shares how she volunteered in a prison ministry and in children’s puppet ministries as a young mother. Her vivacious, fun-loving personality enabled her to reach otherwise unreachable people. “I thought when Spencer (her husband) retired I’d have more time to get out and do volunteer work, but now I’m housebound, confined to the bed most days. I’ve had to learn to focus more on being than doing because I can’t do anymore.”

We’re all pretty well versed in doing, aren’t we? Being is something we don’t do too well unless we have no choice. I remember a story I heard about an elderly gentleman whose son came over once a week to help him. The son mowed his grass, trimmed his shrubs, did his grocery shopping, and cleaned his house. One day when the son had finished all the chores, he asked his dad, “Dad, what else can I do for you?”

The dad, with tears in his eyes, said, “Son, all I want you to do is just sit down and be with me.”

I can imagine God, pained by our service keeping us too busy to just sit down and be with him. For Julia, most of the “busyness” has been eliminated just because of her physical condition. She realizes her life is less cluttered with more room to be with God – she can be rather than do, and being with God brings her joy.

One pastor, Dan Grubbs, expressed it well, “Many people say that humans need diversions to live a healthy, balanced life. I think we’ve deluded ourselves into believing this because we haven’t fully experienced the true joy of a close walk with God. We are created to worship God and enjoy ourselves in that relationship. This relationship is what fulfills us. This relationship is what brings us joy. There’s nothing like experiencing the joy from replacing secular activities with spiritual ones.”

Julia has learned that joy is independent of our circumstances, and we can choose it regardless of what we are experiencing. Another great Christian, the Apostle Paul, echoes this truth. Writing to the Church at Philippi from his prison cell as he awaited trial in Rome, not knowing whether he would be condemned to death or set free, he says, “Rejoice in the Lord always – I will say it again: rejoice! I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).

Zoe Hicks is an author, motivational speaker, and attorney. She serves on several non-profit boards and is a volunteer for Street Grace, a faith-based ministry whose mission is to prevent and eliminate domestic minor sex trafficking. Zoe’s latest book is entitled Dancing in the Rain: True Stories of Finding Strength to Survive and Grace to Thrive in the Storms of Life. Zoe makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia with husband, Charles. Visit www.ZoeHicks.com for more information.

Publication date: January 29, 2015

Make staying positive something that comes naturally.

I am often asked, “How do you stay so happy all the time?” Well the short answer is, “I don’t.” We all have times that involve “unhappy” emotions including sadness, despair, frustration or anger just to name a few. Life is full of cycles. Feeling the full range of emotions as you go through life is part of being human. No one is happy ALL of the time. The difference between “happy” people and people who are not happy is that “happy” people recognize that happiness is a choice. While we may feel sad or depressed, happy people choose not to set up camp and put down roots in that unhappy state, marinating in those unhappy emotions. It is not always easy but it is possible to move through tough times with a smile on your face.

When feeling unhappy emotions acknowledge them and even embrace these emotions, but set a limit. It is not going to help to ignore or deny how you are feeling. We must acknowledge the emotion and experience the related feelings that go with it in order to move through that emotion. However, also set a limit for yourself. Be it 10 minutes or an evening depending on the magnitude of the upset, only allow yourself to wallow in unhappiness for a set period. This does require you to exercise your willpower and to recognize that you are in charge of your emotions, not the other way around. When it is time to take control and move out of an unhappy state try the following hacks to shift back into a happy state of mind and allow the unhappy emotion to pass.

Gratitude

Gratitude

It is often said that it is impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time. There is some truth to this psychologically. While it is possible to feel multiple emotions at the same time, the experience of these emotions is cyclical. One emotion is predominant in your experience. Focus on gratitude, which begets happiness and joy and your unhappy emotions will be pushed further and further out of the picture. Mentally or verbally state the things you are grateful for. Create a gratitude journal to combat pervasive sadness and depression. Make gratitude a part of your daily practice. Never miss an opportunity to say, “Thank you.”

Make staying positive something that comes naturally.

I am often asked, “How do you stay so happy all the time?” Well the short answer is, “I don’t.” We all have times that involve “unhappy” emotions including sadness, despair, frustration or anger just to name a few. Life is full of cycles. Feeling the full range of emotions as you go through life is part of being human. No one is happy ALL of the time. The difference between “happy” people and people who are not happy is that “happy” people recognize that happiness is a choice. While we may feel sad or depressed, happy people choose not to set up camp and put down roots in that unhappy state, marinating in those unhappy emotions. It is not always easy but it is possible to move through tough times with a smile on your face.

When feeling unhappy emotions acknowledge them and even embrace these emotions, but set a limit. It is not going to help to ignore or deny how you are feeling. We must acknowledge the emotion and experience the related feelings that go with it in order to move through that emotion. However, also set a limit for yourself. Be it 10 minutes or an evening depending on the magnitude of the upset, only allow yourself to wallow in unhappiness for a set period. This does require you to exercise your willpower and to recognize that you are in charge of your emotions, not the other way around. When it is time to take control and move out of an unhappy state try the following hacks to shift back into a happy state of mind and allow the unhappy emotion to pass.

Gratitude

Gratitude

It is often said that it is impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time. There is some truth to this psychologically. While it is possible to feel multiple emotions at the same time, the experience of these emotions is cyclical. One emotion is predominant in your experience. Focus on gratitude, which begets happiness and joy and your unhappy emotions will be pushed further and further out of the picture. Mentally or verbally state the things you are grateful for. Create a gratitude journal to combat pervasive sadness and depression. Make gratitude a part of your daily practice. Never miss an opportunity to say, “Thank you.”

How to always choose happiness even during tough times

The most important lesson I’ve learned from living on this planet is what any happy, successful, optimistic person knows about life: that we will all experience good times and bad times, that we will all have sad days and happy moments, that nothing in life is permanent, and that our success and happiness depends on our ability to ride these waves of change with composure.

Happy, successful, optimistic people are not exempt from the trials and tribulations of life. In fact, some of the happiest, most successful and optimistic people I know have had to overcome unbelievably difficult circumstances to get to where they are today. But what they all have in common is their uncanny ability to shift their focus to a higher part of themselves.

They allow themselves to temporarily step away from those moments that are bringing them down or are causing them pain and immediately begin to focus on aspects of their lives that bring them joy and lift their spirits. They feel blessed for the things that life has given them rather than curse the things life has denied them or the unwanted things life is throwing at them.

They find the laughter during tough times and sometimes even during the worst times. But they don’t just put on blinders and ignore that they are going through a difficult time—they instinctively know when to shift their mindsets to something that will put them on a more productive path. In reality, we all have the power to do this. And it’s what I call a “power shift in focus.”

Being able to create a power shift in focus is one habit that can have a tremendous impact on your life. Why? Because it’s a direct answer to the question life is always asking of you: Who do you think you are?

You can’t stop life from throwing stuff at you. You can’t stop the unexpected from interfering with your goals and dreams. But you can choose how to respond.

When you temporarily step away from challenging situations and steer your attention to something that makes you feel good, you are thereby replenishing your spirit and nourishing your soul, the very essence of who you are. You are recharging your inner battery with the emotional fortitude needed to forge ahead. When you do go back to face the situation that is causing unease in your life, which inevitably you must do, you will feel less overwhelmed and the answers will come to you more readily. This is because you’ve calmed your nervous system down to the point where you can embrace the situation, rather than have the situation control you.

You can’t stop life from throwing stuff at you. You can’t stop the unexpected from interfering with your goals and dreams. But you can choose how to respond. You can always choose to shift to a healthier state of mind when unwanted things happen. People who are happy, successful and optimistic know that, no matter what happens, life still goes on and they can choose to focus on things that empower them. They refuse to give up their right to enjoy life. And guess what? So can you.

A power shift in focus, even if only for a very few moments, can have a profound effect on how you cope with any challenge and help you understand the great duality of life. In other words, you can’t know true peace until you’ve experienced chaos. You can’t know joy unless you’ve felt pain. Conversely, no matter how many tears may fall, there is still room for a smile, and even laughter. You must experience one end of the emotional spectrum to fully appreciate the other. A power shift in focus is a skill that nourishes your soul and significantly changes how you view life. It can be improved with practice and is a key to creating a happy life for yourself.

So practice a power shift in focus. Temporarily step away from those moments that are bringing you down and focus on aspects of yourself that lift you up. Bless the things that life has given you, rather than cursing what you are lacking. And always find the laughter during tough times. This is what happy, successful, optimistic people know.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.