When challenges arise, it’s easy to fall prey to negative thinking — but it’s in those moments where we need optimism the most. Here, we asked our Thrive community to share the little ways they maintain a positive mindset instead of dwelling on the negative. These are the creative tips they shared with us:

Incorporate pauses into your day

“One way I stay positive is by taking multiple pauses during my day to take a couple of mindful breaths and focus on what I am grateful for.”

—Eric V., Bellevue, WA, SAP Concur

Share something that brought you joy

“I regularly send a text to my kids sharing something positive that happened to me during the day. Positivity is contagious, because they reply back with something positive that happened to them.”

—Shelley R., Los Angeles, CA, Wonderful

List the good things

“To stay positive, I try to see the good in everything. For example, many people see working at home as a negative. I see it as the ability to better care for my family, a better diet because I make the food myself, zero commute, and a better environment to focus on what needs to get done.”

—Mark T., San Francisco, CA, ShopStyle

Write a “reverse bucket list”

“One tip I have for reflecting on the positive is a reverse bucket list. So instead of focusing on a future bucket list of ‘One day I hope to do A’ or ‘I’ll probably never get to Y, even though I would like to…’, I write down things I’ve already done — places I’ve already been, sites I’ve seen, distant relatives I’ve visited, adventures I’ve taken, interesting foods I’ve tried, and so on. My husband and I made a point to create a reverse bucket list just for 2020, and it was surprising to notice how much we actually got to do before the world shut down.” 

—Carol M., Zephyrhills, FL, SAP Concur 

Express gratitude for the small things 

“To stay positive, I try expressing gratitude for even the smallest, most obvious things: watching a hummingbird fly by as I look out the window in my home office space, waking up and staying a few extra minutes cuddling with my youngest son, my and my family´s health, having a job. I focus on all that I DO have and express gratitude for it.”

—Larissa N., Mexico City, Mexico, Mastercard