Home / Health & Wellness Articles / Mental Health / Exercising positivity to maintain happinessExercising positivity to maintain happiness We all want to be as happy and peaceful as we can be in life – but life throws us curveballs. Sometimes right when we feel like we’re happy and in a good place, life presents another challenge. This is why positivity is so important. Maintaining a positive mindset can help you stay happy and at peace no matter what challenge comes your way.Having hopeTo stay positive, you must be prepared for life’s challenges. Preparing your mind begins with being mindful of your present circumstances: be present in the good moments and take them all in, remembering how you feel in the good times. Practice gratitude, focusing on all the good things in life you are thankful for. When challenges come, this will help you remember how good life can be and can provide something to strive for.Then, when challenges do come, try to respond in your mind with hope. Believe that there is good on the other side. Don’t immediately jump to the worst case scenario, but instead try to focus on the best possible result of the situation. Stop thinking of every “what if” and focus on what is. Reframe the challenge and find the silver lining.“Feelings follow thoughts,” says Julie Bailey. “If your only thoughts are things like, ‘this is awful,’ then you will only experience sadness and anger. But if you think hopeful thoughts, you will find more peace and happiness.”Feeling your feelingsWhile positivity is a great mindset, being overly positive can actually be negative. It is unrealistic to try and be happy all the time, no matter what happens. “You need to feel the full array of emotions,” says Julie Bailey, Clinical Manager for Centerstone. “There is a time and place for happiness, but sometimes you briefly need sadness or anger to properly deal with challenges.”Trying to be happy and positive all the time may actually hinder your happiness. It may actually allow problems to continue that you need to work to solve. Avoiding conflict or stress for the sake of staying happy will likely only help you in the short-term and leave you even more stressed and unhappy later. It is important to find a balance between staying positive through life’s challenges and feeling the weight of them.As you continue to process your feelings, let them be your determination for facing the challenge head-on. Look at the problem and say, “This is not what I want in my life, and I’m going to do something about it.” The sooner you accept your negative feelings and decide to make a change, the sooner you’ll be able to rediscover peace and happiness.If you are having trouble dealing with life’s challenges, Centerstone is here to help. Call us at 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123) or visit centerstoneconnect.org to get connected to care.