The Power of Positivity


I trudged into my local coffee shop this morning for the first time in a while. The barista was wiping down tables in her flower-patterned leggings and flannel top (a look I could never pull off yet she nails it), “Hey, stranger,” she says to me, “how have you been?” I flash a big grin and reply, “I’ve been fantastic!”

I’m not fantastic. Far from it, in fact. I’m scared and stressed and so very tired. It feels like life has taken a special interest in tearing me down these last few years. However, I recently decided that I’m not going to project my circumstances onto others. Being grumpy to the clerk ringing up my groceries or honking at the person in front of me for not driving to my liking isn’t going to do a damn thing to change my situation. I’m going to be pleasant and strive to be a blessing to others whenever possible.

My hope is that by outwardly portraying positivity, it will begin to manifest in my life on a personal level. According to this Psychology Today article, the simple act of smiling actually relieves stress and makes you more attractive (I’ll take all the help I can get in the looks department). If smiling has so many positive impacts, imagine what can happen if you face each day determined to be positive?

Here’s my plan for “Project Positivity”:

  • Every morning, I’m going to resist sleeping it. My goal is to wake up each day with purpose. This includes having a healthy breakfast, meditating and reflecting on my blessings.
  • Throughout The Day I’m going to smile dammit! I’m also going to practice patience and extend kindness whenever possible. I recognize that there are plenty of people who would love to have my problems because theirs are so much worse. Putting my life into perspective is going to be key to getting through each day while I figure out my next chapter.
  • I’m going to fill my time with quality people. I really do have amazing friends and family who build me up and I’m going to let them. There is nothing wrong with self-care and letting people who love you be a source of comfort is a great thing when you’re feeling down.
  • At the end of each day, I’m going to focus on what went right that day instead of dwell on what could have been better. Tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities. Looking ahead is a hell of a lot more productive than looking back.

I’m not expecting all of my problems to disappear just because I’m high-fiving strangers when I want to be punching a wall. I am, however, hoping to cope with my circumstances better and look forward to a brighter future. Wish me luck!

If you have any tips on how to stay positive through the dark times, feel free to share. I’ll take all the help I can get.

Published by Ashley Zoerner

I'm originally from New Orleans, LA and grew up in the nearby town of Waveland, MS. I graduated from Georgia State University with a communications degree in 2010. Since then I've traveled the country and world meeting the most interesting people. My dream is to tell people's stories and share my passions with the world.

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