The Hub 4 ways to build and maintain a positive outlook

4 ways to build and maintain a positive outlook

We all know someone who just seems to exude positivity. All. The. Time. 

They don’t have to grit their teeth or force a smile in a toxic effort to appear happy or avoid conflict. We’re talking about legitimately joyful and optimistic people. What’s their secret? 

You can learn to improve your outlook, positivity, and, ideally, enhance your academic success at Athabasca University (AU) with just a few key strategies. 

1. Give yourself time, space—and a break

It’s nice when good things happen to you, but true joy comes from within. It’s hard to handle challenges when your mental health is already stretched to the limit.  

Fulfilling your daily potential starts with a solid morning routine. Simple tasks such as eating a healthy breakfast, stretching, meditating, or reflecting on the things and people for which you are grateful gets you in the right mindset to tackle the rest of the day.  

Take breaks throughout the day—go for a walk or engage in some other activity that refreshes you and fortifies your psyche. Self-care is essential for maintaining the psychological stamina you need to stay positive. 

2. Seek social support

Humans are social creatures. It’s natural to need connection with others, and supportive relationships improve your resilience. Having a strong support system increases the likelihood of your success—academically, professionally, or personally. 

Social activity doesn’t just happen on its own. And even when you live with family or friends, it doesn’t automatically mean that you are giving or getting the support you need.  

Schedule time for quality and meaningful engagements with the people who are important to you. It may also be helpful to make regular appointments with a mental health professional for more objective support. AU has a selection of resources available for learners 

3. Learn to adapt

It makes sense that positivity and adaptability are related. People who are more adaptable might have more immediate access to resources for maintaining work-life balance and concentration. While adaptability as a behaviour trait may take years to cultivate, there are some things you can do now to make your life more flexible: 

  • Study when it’s convenient to you. Online courses through AU give you the freedom to work around the more static parts of your schedule. 
  • Manage your time effectively: avoid procrastination and complete tasks long before deadlines. This not only reduces stress, it also gives you time to adapt if something unexpected comes up. 

4. Hang with positive people

Positivity is contagious. Unfortunately, so is negativity. When you are surrounded by people who are always complaining, it can take a toll on your overall mindset. 

You can’t always control the people you are around, but when you can, seek out those who are optimistic and forward-thinking.  

Positivity does more than just make you a pleasant person. It improves your resilience and sets you up for success. A positive outlook can help you in your courses through AU and throughout the rest of your life. 

  • August 4, 2021