1. Be productive.
As humans, we have a natural need to be doing something productive; we can't just sit around. That's why so many people that retire end up going back to work. Your mood is heavily effected by this tendency. When you feel stagnant = negative mood. When you feel accomplished = positive mood. Everyday, make sure you get something done—doing laundry, running errands, organizing your closet. Before you go to sleep every night, make a to-do list of the things you need to do the next morning. That way you can sleep with organized thoughts and wake up with an organized list.
2. Practice being observant & reflective.
Don't be one that let's situations go by with no thought or reflection. You should always think through situations and why they happened the way they did. What did you do (or not do) that contributed to the (good or bad) outcome? A big part of life is trusting in God's plan, but you can always learn and take new steps with the knowledge you've picked up. Being observant helps you understand how and why things happen, giving you more control of your life and your perspective of it.
3. Count your blessings before you go to sleep.
More often than not, we focus our thoughts and energy on the problems going on in life rather than the blessings. While you're in bed about to close your eyes, mentally list off the good things that happened that day. Thank God for the small and the big. Thank Him for something you haven't thanked Him for for years.
4. Wake up in the name of God.
The moment you wake up in the morning, say 'bismillah.' It should be the first thought in your head, the first word out of your mouth. He woke you up, giving you another opportunity to thank Him and remind yourself that you exist only by His permission. Tell yourself you will stay positive today. Ask God not to make your day easy, but to give you the strength to stand up to anything that comes your way today.
5. Make your bed in the morning.
It's not just because your mom says so. Making your bed is beyond a chore, but a mental signal that you're starting your day on a productive note. It's telling yourself my day has officially started. It gives you a sense of order in your life, something we are so often in desperate need of when feeling down. I can't emphasize the effect environment and routine has on one's mood.
6. Mend your relationships.
A lot of negativity roots from the statuses of our social relationships. It's hard to stay positive when you have bad blood with countless people. Harboring onto anger over a situation is a huge holdback from living a positive life. People are imperfect, that includes you. You got in a huge argument with someone you're close with? Talk it out. The sooner the better. Keep in mind no human is exempt from imperfection, be forgiving even if they're not apologizing. Even if you establish you can no longer have that person as a friend, that doesn't mean you can't still love them and pray for the best in their life. Ideally, you should be able to say hi to anyone you run into.
7. Force yourself to smile.
There's a reason it's sunnah to smile; it truly does have an enormous effect on your mood. Even when I'm in a really bad mood, I'll just smile for a few seconds. The anger I initially feel after a bad situation goes away and I'm able to focus my energy on next steps rather than focusing on the fact that I'm in a bad mood. Sometimes you gotta fake it 'til you feel it; and trust me, it doesn't usually take that long.
8. Declutter your space.
Understand how great of an impact your environment has on your mood and mindset, especially your personal space. This can be your room if you live with others, or your home if you live alone. Your space should always be a clean area where you can come relax in when you're stressed. I live with my family so my personal space is my bedroom. I've cut down on just having too many 'things' and started to have a rule I live by: the only things that are out in the open (like on my desk or dresser) are things I use on the daily, everything else should be stored somewhere (like a drawer, cabinet, or closet). A clean space reflects perspective.
9. Learn to just be happy for others.
A negative mood can easily be sparked by jealousy and envy; both poisons to positive thinking. You have to train yourself to not have an envious eye. There's a reason God teaches us to fight such jealousy. Learn to be happy seeing other people succeed. Don't think about how it relates to you, subconsciously asking yourself why you don't have what they have—just find the joy seeing others in a good place in their life. Make prayers for people you love without them ever knowing. Try looking at a random person and making the most geniune prayer for that person. Asking God to give them all the success in this life and the Hereafter. Ask Him to be merciful on them and their family.
10. Be a realistic optimist.
This is someone that recognizes the positives and negatives of every situation. You focus your efforts on the positive but are still cognizant of the negatives. Furthermore, you take the negatives and turn them to positives by learning from them and letting them motivate you. You realize they may just be the will of God. You're not blind to reality by thinking we live in a perfect world with no problems.
Example: I was on the way to school but I took one wrong turn and I missed the first 30 min of class.
Pessimist: I'm angry because I missed a portion of class. I couldn't concentrate in class because of the anger. Crap like this always happens to me.
Optimist: This is a rare case, I don't typically take the wrong way. It happened!
Realistic Optimist: It happened for a reason. God could've made me take that route to avoid an accident that was going to happen. Next time, I'll leave 10 min earlier to give myself extra time for incidents like this.
11. Accept who you are/where you are, but know there's always room for improvement.
Be happy with the person you are & the place you are in your life in this very moment. Now take that confidence and move forward, knowing that that person/place can always be better. You can always be in a better place, at a better job, helping more people. You can always be kinder, more generous, more loving, more selfless. We're not perfect; we never will be, but we have to strive to be.
12. Keep your eye on the prize.
This life is a test. The prize? Heaven. The only way to constantly remember that throughout the day is through prayer. That's why there's such a stress on it—it's the only means of keeping your mind decluttered and focused on why we humans are on this earth.
13. Know that God loves you.
He woke you up this morning. He's allowing your blood to pump and your lungs to breathe. He gave you the bed you sleep on and the food you eat. He's the one that blesses you with those beautiful memories you have with your family, those late nights you spent with your friends...because He loves you. Don't take that for granted. Be thankful, appreciate, and use the blessings for good. The love of the One that created you should be enough to live a life of hope and optimism.
Feel free to leave any comments of times you've struggled with positivity and how you are or will overcome it. I'd love to hear y'alls stories!