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How to maintain a positive attitude when things are going south

20th July 2020

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We all have those terrible days once in a while. Days when nothing goes as planned and you do a ton of things wrong. Those days test your patience and make you frustrated. But at the same time, those are the days when most of us start to think of negative things. As a human, we need to understand that these rough moments are unavoidable. 

It also means that we need to find a way to deal with them and maintain a positive attitude through it all. But let’s be real. It’s hard to be all smiley and positive when you cannot get things done. For those days when you don’t have to be positive, this article will provide some ways to bring that positivity back. 

Always remember that you are your biggest supporter 

It’s very normal if you feel down when things are rough around you. In those situations, it’s important to realise that you need to be there for yourself. 

Say positive things to yourself and try to focus less on the negative side of things. It’s a proven fact that saying positive things to yourself once in a while actually helps out a lot to boost confidence. 

It’s important to take moments to yourself and encourage yourself to improve.  Being your own hype person and saying confidence-boosting things to yourself is exactly what you need to get out of all the negative thoughts you are having. 

How to maintain a positive attitude when things are going south
woman wearing a brown top sitting in a hay field

Only worry about things that are realistic and doable

Even if you work vigorously for hours, there will be some things you won’t be able to achieve. It’s crucial that you always remember this small fact.

Set up goals for yourself that you are absolutely sure you can achieve. Wanting to do unrealistic things mostly ends in failure which is why you need to avoid that. At the same time, always keep on improving yourself to achieve greater things. 

If you are sure that you can do a certain thing, you won’t lose your positive attitude even if you fail at it. Your goals will be the main inspiration for you and keep you going forward after a setback. Plan out what you want to get and keep working steadily towards it. 

Blaming yourself won’t fix the mistakes

Almost like a natural instinct, most of us blame ourselves as soon as things start to go wrong. This is the first step of losing positivity in yourself.

If you continue to beat yourself up instead of working on making things right, you will never be able to get out of the problem. That’s why trying to focus your efforts on fixing everything rather than blaming yourself for it. 

It’s okay if you analyse what you did wrong for the things to fail then that is fine. But learning from your mistakes is better than holding on to them and blaming yourself for them.

Work on things to improve the end result

As said before, it’s often extremely easy to work yourself up about the failure. It’s always better to focus on the future than worry about something that already happened.

Always try to learn from your mistakes and improve the way you operate. Understand the problems which caused the failure and work on finding a solution to them. Decide on different ways you can fix the issues to provide a better end result. 

Focusing on the past is never the option to be in a good mood. If you want to be more positive and get the work done, you need to start planning your further actions. You can always ask for help when you need but keep in mind that you are the one who needs to work to convert failure into success. 

How to maintain a positive attitude when things are going south
person sitting on a tree branch wearing all star high top trainers

Taking a break after a failure is a good thing

You should never really put yourself back in the grind if you fail once. It’s okay to take some time to think about things or just be on your own when you are feeling sad.

Take a break to recharge yourself. Try to relax as much as possible by doing things that entertain you. It can be anything that makes you less stressed and brings a smile to your face. After a good break, you will be much more refreshed to fix things. 

Having some time to be just by yourself plays a big role in building your positive attitude. Allowing yourself to not think about things for a while is always a good thing to do once in a while.

Surround yourself with positive people and things

Our surroundings and the people we live with actually matter a lot. Faster recovery from a setback often is influenced by having good company.

Talk to people that you think are important. Let your frustration out and figure out solutions with their help. Watch positive and happy things that will make your day better. Having a strong support system will always make sure you are as positive as possible at all times. 

Listening to negative stuff all the time can cause you to have a negative attitude yourself. This is exactly why you need to be around positive stuff as much as possible. 

Always focus on the bright side of things

This might make you roll your eyes but this is probably the best way to be positive again. Knowing that there are still things to be grateful for is a good push to help yourself stand again after a failure. 

Even if a small thing goes wrong, be relieved about having a good job or a house to live in. Take failure as an opportunity to learn things in a different way and try out different solutions.

Try to give less attention to negative things or thoughts. Think of them as a way to improve your work and do it better in the future. There is always the next day to do things! 

How to maintain a positive attitude when things are going south
woman wearing a brown sweater with hand on lips

On reflection

Difficult times are always going to come in life and you are bound to taste failure in things sometimes. It doesn’t mean that being unsuccessful is the end of the world and there is nothing you can do.

These suggestions have helped a lot of people change the way they think about failure. It has enabled them to get a positive attitude back and face failure in a better way. 

We hope that you are also benefited from some of these and gain a different perspective of failures. Just keep believing in yourself and you will succeed in anything you do!

Win a copy of Fearne Cotton’s Happy

To help you maintain a positive attitude when things aren’t going to plan, I am lucky enough to have a copy of Fearne Cotton’s Happy to giveaway.

Prize: Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect by Fearne Cotton

To enter simply complete the Gleam widget below, all entries are optional and each one completed will gain you more entries into the random draw.

Fearne Cotton’s Happy (AFFT)


  • Kathleen Marsden 20th July 2020 at 7:21 PM

    I look and listen to the grandchildren and they lift my mood

    • Margaret Gallagher 26th July 2020 at 11:21 PM

      Theres always a positive in every negative ! Actually works PMA

  • helen wakeley 20th July 2020 at 7:49 PM

    Would love this, goodluck all x

  • peter nickson 20th July 2020 at 7:51 PM

    I either listen to music, takes me away from everything else or I think of 5 things to be positive about.

  • Janice Dunn 20th July 2020 at 8:16 PM

    Lovely prize! Everyone needs a bit of self care time

    • Elly Thomas 28th July 2020 at 7:08 PM

      This book sounds lovely, would love to win!

      • Ryan Hamlet 16th August 2020 at 11:48 PM

        Always feel happy when listening to this on Spotify!

  • Emma 20th July 2020 at 9:31 PM

    I try to think of everything I am thankful for, however small, to try and get some perspective

  • Tracy Nixon 21st July 2020 at 5:23 AM

    I make a list of the positives and what I have to look forward to.

  • michelle o'neill 21st July 2020 at 7:10 AM

    I do lots of walking, great for mind and body!

  • Natalie Burgess 21st July 2020 at 6:16 PM

    I sit out in the garden with native american music on my headphones and my cats on my lap xx

  • Carole Nott 21st July 2020 at 7:09 PM

    Remember that someone else is always worse off than you

  • Helen Tovell 21st July 2020 at 7:11 PM

    I try to tell myself there are always others with worse problems than mine

  • Jenny McClinton 22nd July 2020 at 9:32 AM

    I just try to make time for myself when things are going wrong, something like reading can help a lot.

  • Michelle Smith 22nd July 2020 at 10:22 AM

    Think that tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start.

  • Sally Collingwood 22nd July 2020 at 11:18 AM

    When things are tough I think of those less fortunate

  • Ellie Spider 22nd July 2020 at 9:39 PM

    I make a list of all the things I’m grateful for in my life

  • Fred Santos 23rd July 2020 at 8:29 PM

    I combine meditation with exercise, always with positivity.

  • Rich Tyler 23rd July 2020 at 8:58 PM

    Listen to my fav music

  • Sarah 24th July 2020 at 2:36 PM

    Lovely prize, good luck everyone!

  • Katie B 25th July 2020 at 5:11 PM

    I don’t really dwell on bad things, they happened you can’t change the past so just look forward to the future

  • Liz Marks 26th July 2020 at 3:05 PM

    I go for a run. The endorphins raise me up.

  • Fiona Johnstone 26th July 2020 at 9:41 PM

    I have to say I’ve been feeling quite down for the last wee while during this pandemic. But I focus on all the good things I have. Even if it is waking up to a sunny morning {unusual in Scotland} Walking with my dogs is such a great thing. Calms my mind and lifts my mood.

  • Priscilla Stubbs 28th July 2020 at 10:20 AM

    I am generally a positive person but if I do get down I go for a walk along the local beach, always helps to clear my mind

  • Sheena Batey 28th July 2020 at 11:25 AM

    I do try to find something good in every day to counteract the gloom

  • Annabel Greaves 28th July 2020 at 4:13 PM

    I try to take some time out and thing how I can improve for next time

  • Bryan Murphy 28th July 2020 at 6:07 PM

    Listening to music helps me relax

  • jamesmum 29th July 2020 at 8:44 PM

    A nice cup of tea always helps.

  • Ruth Harwood 31st July 2020 at 9:48 AM

    I tell myself that things will turn out alright in the end.

  • Lynne D 1st August 2020 at 1:58 PM

    Try to think of all the things we have achieved and what we have to look forward to in the future

  • Emma England 2nd August 2020 at 10:30 AM

    I take a second to be thankful for what I do have and be grateful.

  • Mr Leslie Evans 2nd August 2020 at 4:20 PM

    I always say time heals all.

  • Meg 2nd August 2020 at 8:49 PM

    I go for a hike to clear my head and make sure focus on the things I am thankful for.

    Perfect giveaway! Good luck everyone! ❤️

  • Alison Johnson 3rd August 2020 at 11:57 PM

    It’s tough but I look back at all I’ve achieved & do a bit of cross stitch as it relaxes my mind.

  • Lisa Foley 4th August 2020 at 9:28 AM

    Taking the dog for lots of walks

  • Christine Constable 4th August 2020 at 8:01 PM

    I keep a gratitude journal which I can refer back to when things aren’t going well

  • Karen Usher 4th August 2020 at 9:47 PM

    Music, walking the dog and to be honest I always try to think that someone or something is always worse off than me and I try and focus on the positives that are in my life

  • Sarah Moorse 5th August 2020 at 6:37 AM

    Lovely prize and stay safe everyone.

  • YOLANDA DAVIS 5th August 2020 at 4:38 PM

    Listening to music always puts me in a good mood. keeping positive can be hard but my motto is” Don’t worry about things that may never happen; worry when you have to”. It helps.

  • Troy Easton 8th August 2020 at 5:28 PM

    i sleep it off and get freshed.

  • kim white 9th August 2020 at 10:43 PM

    I take time out for myself every chance I get and I simply exhale

  • Janine Atkin 10th August 2020 at 7:45 AM

    i struggle with this. when things are going bad its all i can think about

  • Charlotte C 10th August 2020 at 9:40 AM

    I go for a walk as I find it helps clear my head.

  • Rebecca Walker 10th August 2020 at 8:51 PM

    remember the little things

  • Laura Pritchard 11th August 2020 at 3:28 PM

    I try to either ‘sort it out or suck it up’

  • Jennifer Toal 11th August 2020 at 4:49 PM

    Fresh air and a walk

  • Katrina Adams 13th August 2020 at 9:59 AM

    I write down 5 things I am grateful for at the end of each day and then read them back the following morning. I find this helps me start the day more positively.

  • Eileen Hindley 13th August 2020 at 11:30 PM

    I always try to look on the bright side of life 🙂

  • lisa Gofton 14th August 2020 at 10:32 AM

    I like to potter around in the garden, it’s a new hobby and I find it so relaxing. It’s an incredibly positive feeling watching things grow.

  • Jennifer Rhymer 14th August 2020 at 3:33 PM

    I do something fun with my children x

  • Lauren Old 15th August 2020 at 10:02 AM

    I try and do guided meditation to relax

  • Kim M 15th August 2020 at 1:27 PM

    I try to take my mind off things by gardening x

  • Sheri Darby 15th August 2020 at 6:59 PM

    Ideally I go for a walk or eat chocolate if it is raining

  • Patricia Barrett 16th August 2020 at 1:00 AM

    I talk things out with my partner or friends who can always put things into perspective for me.

  • Patricia Barrett 16th August 2020 at 3:27 AM

    I always try and find time to do something that I enjoy to relax. For me that’s usually listening to music or watching a good film.

  • Adrian Bold 16th August 2020 at 3:31 AM

    A nice bath helps for me!

  • Mel Pennie 16th August 2020 at 6:18 AM

    I go for a long walk in our local countryside with the dog and try to put everything into perspective.

  • Rachael Sexey 16th August 2020 at 7:33 AM

    I practice yoga and meditation

  • Sandra Fortune 16th August 2020 at 9:56 AM

    My grandson helps me to feel better

  • Kim Neville 16th August 2020 at 11:52 AM

    I think of the positive things achieved and want to do

  • Tracy B 16th August 2020 at 1:24 PM

    I struggle when things aren’t going well but find viewing it as just a blip and telling myself it won’t last long really helps as does listening to a bit of music

  • MERYL Thomas 16th August 2020 at 3:03 PM

    Meditation does it for me

  • Fiona Timms 16th August 2020 at 3:56 PM

    I read an inspiring book

  • TERRY DUNN 16th August 2020 at 6:19 PM

    They’re always funny

  • Georgie Wright 16th August 2020 at 9:25 PM

    I play with my dog, she always puts a smile on my face which helps keep me going!

  • Violet Phillippo 16th August 2020 at 10:47 PM

    I try and remind myself that life is not a linear process – it has it’s ups and downs 😊.

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