My first year of college is coming to a close (I can hardly believe it!), and I have been reflecting on all that I have learned this past year. To me, it is amazing how much you can change just in one year’s time. I feel as though I am a completely different person from the Alyssa I was a year ago, and I have definitely gone through a rollercoaster of emotions and events to get here.
I have learned that as you grow older, life becomes more stressful. While this may seem like a given, the types of stress change over time. As a college student, my stress branches from grades, homework assignments, and having an incredibly busy schedule. As an adult, the stress becomes more divided: bills to pay, job requirements, relationships, financial maintenance, and more. It seems as though the older you get, the more mundane life becomes. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
As I have grown older, the smaller things in life have become more significant. A beautiful sunrise, blooming flowers, a smile from a stranger. As I go through my daily life, my vision has transformed from a telescope to a microscope. I am no longer looking for significant occurrences to ground my happiness. While I once would have passed by a blooming flower as I hurried on about my day, I now take the time to live in the moment and admire its beauty.
As I am sure you may have gathered from previous posts, I have become quite familiar with struggle this year. There were times when I felt as though being positive was an impossible goal that only others could attain. I could not feel the warmth of the sun on my face. I did not stop to admire the flower. My days became a blur of structured, gray events that I cannot even begin to distinguish. How did I break out of this blur of negativity? I thought outside of the box.
I began to see life as it truly is: wonderful. Though we may not be feeling our best some days, being alive is a magical thing. Once I looked at my world through this perspective, I saw a kaleidoscope of new colors. The sunrise painted a mural in the sky, the flowers swayed in the breeze. The birds sang their usual morning song, and I felt as though I was finally awake. Once I broke out of my negativity, I actively worked to stay in my place of newfound positivity. Below are a few of the steps that I took to recenter myself, and remain in a positive place despite the daily setbacks that come with life.
Music is key to maintaining my state of positivity. On Spotify I was able to search through their ‘Moods’ category to find playlists such as ‘Happy Go Lucky’ and ‘Happy Day’. These playlists made great background music, and subconsciously switched my perspective to one of joy and contentment. I am also a fan of ‘Afternoon Acoustic’ for quiet afternoons spent reading and studying.
I love organized spaces. Over the course of the year, my room had drifted into controlled chaos as I attempted to reconcile with my heavy courseload and busy schedule. While listening to upbeat tunes, I organized all of my class work, computer files, and miscellaneous items into a workable space. I recycled piles upon piles of unneeded papers and boxes, and felt emotionally lighter as a result. I also redecorated my workspace in order to promote positive vibes. I took liquid chalk markers in a variety of colors and wrote inspirational quotes from my “Things to Live By” Pinterest board on whiteboards surrounding my desk space. This pop of color truly transformed the mood of my desk into one that radiated with much-needed energy.
One of the most important things I have learned about my own positivity is schedule management. I have learned to listen to my internal voice, and adhere to what it suggests. When I am sitting down to do homework, for example, I will start with what I feel inspired to do. Even if it isn’t the task with the highest priority, I know that I will be in a better space if I listen to what my mind wants to focus on. The same goes for social events. There are times when I need alone time to focus on work or rest, and other times when I need to be surrounded by supportive friends. I am no longer afraid of conveying my needs to others, and communicating the reasoning behind these decisions. My mood and relationships with others have greatly improved, as I have made sure to only dedicate positive energy to these aspects of my life.
As the semester comes to a close, I am grateful for what I have learned. Instead of going through the motions week by week, I have slowed down to appreciate the life I am living. Despite daily setbacks, I am able to remain in a positive sphere by nurturing my own needs and seeing life’s small joys in every moment.
How do you stay positive? I would love to hear in the comments! Spreading positivity is one of life’s many joys! 🙂
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