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  • Writer's pictureKel

Staying Positive Doesn't Have to be a Struggle!

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

Common Causes and What You Can Do About It

Having a positive outlook on life not only influences the way in which we approach situations, it can also impact our health and overall well-being. It helps people to see the light at the end of the tunnel even when they are mired in dark times. However, positivity is also difficult for many people to find and even more difficult for them to maintain. If you are struggling with staying positive, you are certainly not alone, even though it might feel like it. There are many factors that can contribute to the struggle to stay positive, but by recognizing some of the biggest culprits, it can help. Knowing those issues and the factors that cause negativity to spring up in your life can provide you with more insight into changes that you can make.

What Causes a Lack of Positivity in Life?

There is no single cause for losing positivity. In fact, you will find that the root causes can vary from one person to another greatly. This is one of the reasons that it can be so difficult to pin down the exact problems, so you can deal with it. However, there are a number of common issues that can cause problems with your ability to stay positive. Below, we will be looking at these reasons and why they can wreak so much havoc in your life.


Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body. Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. Therefore, fear causes people not to move forward and remain stuck in their current place in life or even cause them to struggle staying positive. In some cases, fear can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can hold you back from doing things you want or need to do, and more importantly, it also affects your health. What does fear feel like?

  • Your heart beats very fast

  • You breathe very fast

  • Your muscles feel weak

  • You sweat a lot

  • Your stomach churns or your bowels feel loose

  • You find it hard to concentrate on anything else

  • You feel dizzy

  • You feel frozen to the spot

  • You can’t eat

  • You have hot and cold sweats

  • You get a dry mouth

  • You get very tense muscles


Staying positive when you experience failure is extremely difficult. Accepting that you did not meet expectations can be debilitating in keeping you from moving on and discovering greater success. When you find yourself feeling disappointed about failure, it is important to not remain focused on the poor results. Instead, here are a few ways to stay positive, despite failure, to help you move forward:

  • Define what failure means to you

  • Don’t let the failure define who you are

  • Shift your mindset to view failure as a gift

  • Accept it for what it is and move on

  • Know you are not alone and everyone experiences failure

  • Forgive yourself

  • Vent out your emotions in safe manner

Negativity Bias Follows You

Do you ever feel like you can’t stop thinking about an unpleasant situation you encountered or a mistake you made at work? Interestingly, humans tend to be impacted much more by negative events than by positive ones. This negativity bias can influence how you feel, think, act, and affect your psychological state. Even when you experience one of the best days of your life, negativity bias can cause you to focus on the sole ‘bad thing’ that previously occurred and add to your struggle with staying positive. How to overcome negative bias:

  • Self-awareness – stop negative self-talk before it begins

  • Mindfulness – breathing, meditation, journaling

  • Reframe the situation in a more positive light

  • Establish new patterns by engaging in activities that you enjoy

  • Savor positive moments and focus on the happiness it brings you

Feeling Lonely and Isolated

Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but long periods of loneliness or social isolation can have a negative impact on your physical, mental and social health. Loneliness is a feeling of sadness or distress about being by yourself or feeling disconnected from the world around you. It is also possible to feel lonely, even when surrounded by people. Similarly, isolation is being separated from other people and your environment. Sometimes this occurs through decisions we make ourselves, or because of circumstance, for example, having a job that requires travel or relocation. Whenever you feel lonely or isolated, consider the recommendations below:

  • Connect with friends and family

  • Get out of your home – go to a park, visit friends, go shopping, etc.

  • Sign-up to volunteer

  • Consider getting a pet

  • Reach out for support


It is normal and acceptable to be lazy while taking a vacation or even enjoying one night a week of doing absolutely nothing. However, when laziness is happening on a regular basis, it can have negative effects on a person’s life by prohibiting important things from getting done and cause struggle with staying positive. First, identify why you are feeling lazy. Here are a few common causes for people to feel lazy:

  • Procrastination

  • Distraction

  • Poor lifestyle choices

  • Exhaustion

  • Indecisiveness

  • Poor nutrition

  • Lack of motivation

  • Lack of self-worth

  • Irresponsibility

  • Too much to do

Once you have identified what is causing the laziness bug, now you can work on overcoming your laziness. Below are a few ways to consider:

  • Break down tasks into smaller pieces

  • Rest, sleep, exercise

  • Strengthen your motivation

  • Focus on the benefits

  • Do one thing at a time

  • Avoid procrastination

  • Consider the consequences


There are many people who overthink everything in their life, and this overthinking ties in with many of the issues that are discussed on this list. They overthink all of their decisions, not to make a good choice, but to talk themselves out of doing anything in many cases. They don’t think about all of the benefits that could be the outcome. They think about all of the trouble it would be or the problems that could arise if things don’t go according to plan. Overthinking often leads to under-doing, which leaves many people with a negative way of thinking and a struggle with staying positive. A few ideas on how to free yourself from overthinking:

  • Be aware of when it is happening

  • Focus on what can go right instead of what can go wrong

  • Put things into perspective

  • Don’t wait for perfection

  • Don’t let fear predict your future

  • Give your best effort and accept it

  • Be grateful

Dwelling on Your Past

There are times in life when no matter how hard we try to let go of feelings of hurt or resentment, we might find it difficult to move on. When your desire to cling to the past affects your future, it can begin a potentially unhealthy and seemingly endless battle. People tend to hold onto their past because doing so is more comfortable for them than living in the present or because it hasn’t provided them with clarity. Tips to help you move on from your past:

  • Reflect and learn from the past, but don’t get stuck there

  • Express your feelings

  • Stop blaming others

  • Focus on the present

  • Distance yourself from the people, places and things that remind you of the past

  • Forgiveness with others and yourself

Being Around Negative People

Sometimes, you don’t even realize at first that you are being as negative as you are. You might not have noticed that it’s the people who are around you who are bringing so much negativity into your life. They could be people who are actively criticizing you and everything that you do, and these people are easier to find and weed out of your life. However, some friends or family might have a negative outlook on life. They might only be full of bad news about the world around them. They complain to you about the weather, the time change, their job, their kids, the latest issue in the news, and more. They essentially drown you in their own negativity, which affects your outlook on the world. How to deal with negative people:

  • Limit the time spent with them

  • Speak up for yourself

  • Don’t add their problems to your plate

  • Change the topic

  • Focus on solutions and not problems

Work with a Health & Wellness Coach to Pursue the Happiness You Deserve

Staying positive is not always easy, especially when you feel like you have tried everything to shift your mindset. Even acknowledging some of the triggering factors that can cause the negativity is often not enough. Instead of trying to handle and fix everything on your own, there is a better option available for you. Work with a Health & Wellness Coach who can understand your individual situation to assist you in developing an action plan. They can also provide you with continuous support and guidance that will enable you to focus on staying positive throughout your journey because you deserve to be happy.

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