At a Glance: School is hard. Remember to speak nicely to yourself, avoid complaining and identify what you’re grateful for when feeling down. 
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 47 seconds

It’s completely natural to find yourself discouraged now and then. It only becomes a problem when you can’t seem to pull yourself out of that feeling. Read on for simple tactics that can help lift your mood and keep you motivated.

Take responsibility for your thoughts
Understand that no matter what’s going on in the world, you are the only person in charge of your attitude. Decide to create your own happiness daily, and try not be overly impacted by outside attitudes, actions and occurrences.

Visualize success
Try to take a moment every day to close your eyes and picture the end goal. See yourself working in your chosen field. Add sounds and smells. State what you see, such as: “I am a happy, successful fourth grade teacher.” Going through this exercise can help you stay the course, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.

Stop complaining
If you find you keep coming back to the same old complaints, give yourself an ultimatum: Either fix it, change the way you look at it or finally come to terms with it, for positivity’s sake. Going through the process of categorizing your complaints like this can help you see clearly what you can and can’t control.

Look for the good
Push past the bad to find that silver lining. Did the rain wreck your bike riding plans? Surely a cool indoor adventure awaits. Get a bad grade? It’s now quite clear where you need to focus your energy. Reframing the issue will set you on a path toward success.

Keep a gratitude journal
It might sound hokey, but physically writing down a thing or two daily keeps you constantly looking for the great things in your life. Have a little notebook ready, or start a running note on your smartphone.

Pause the negative
Any time you feel that rush of negative thoughts coming at you, interrupt it abruptly with something positive. Think about something you’re grateful for or insert an upbeat song until the thoughts are gone.

Talk nicely to yourself
We tend to believe that little voice in our head, so make sure it’s building you up, not beating you down. Turn negatives — “It’s too hard,” or “There’s no way I can do this,” — into affirmations — “I got this” and “I’ll try my best.” Positive self-talk can also evolve into showing more kindness and positivity toward those around you.

Help others
It feels good to make a positive impact on your community. Plus, it’s pretty hard to focus on the negative while serving others at a soup kitchen, for example. Helping out also provides perspective and allows for gratitude to rise to the surface.

Working out boosts your mood and self-esteem, and it reduces stress, too. Shoot for 30 minutes a day — all at once, or broken up into three 10-minute chunks. Mood-boosting endorphins are exactly what you need to support the positive attitude you are trying to cultivate.

Look for little pleasures
Don’t hinge your happiness only on the big moments, such as graduation or your next tropical vacation. Focus on finding joy in small moments of daily life — a meal with the whole family present, a picture your child drew for you or a beautiful sunset.

It’s amazing how these little adjustments can equate to big changes in how you feel and what you accomplish. And a glass half full is always better than a glass half empty.

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