Ever notice how negative some people tend to get when things don’t go their way, or when faced with minor inconveniences? Even if you consider yourself to be a relatively optimistic person most of the time, we’re all guilty of taking on a negative mindset during times of hardship and uncertainty at some point or another. It’s normal, but it’s not very fun.

Finding the good in difficult and emotional situations might seem wrong and totally unnatural. To the undisciplined mind it certainly does, and while uncovering the seemingly nonexistent good qualities of a difficult situation requires a higher level of awareness than immediately experiencing good feelings of a more favorable situation, it’s definitely not impossible to do.

Let go of your strong desire for control.

It’s no secret that most os us prefer to feel like we’re in control of everything that’s happening around us. We want to be certain that undesirable to unknown situations are going to turn out okay, and when we feel like we’re not in control, we struggle to stay positive. Understanding and accepting that life is a fluid, constantly changing string of events is one of the first key steps to conquering a negative mindset.

Treat every situation like it’s an experiment.

In other words, get curious. Put your worries and negative assumptions to the test by simply moving forward to see what will happen. Chances are that the process and the outcome won’t be nearly as bad as your thoughts made them out to be. Make sure you take the time to really recognize this and let it sink in.

Look for the lesson.

When times get tough, the pain and discomfort sometimes blinds us from everything else. But you can always extract significant meaning from any situation, even when it seems totally unbearable. It may take some time to fully recognize and accept, but the lesson you identify can be used as a tool to help you become stronger and resilient.

Laugh a little (or a lot).

We’ve all experienced tense, serious situations where someone around us unexpectedly cracks a joke and instantly shifts the energy of the entire room. Laughter is how we naturally relieve tension. If you can find even just one little silly thing to smile or giggle about, it can seriously make all the difference.

Change your perspective to be more grateful.

Stepping into somebody else’s shoes is good advice when you can’t seem to see past all your negative thoughts and feelings. And sometimes it takes talking to other people to force you to take a look at a certain situation from a different perspective so you’re able to see that it’s really not as bad as you’ve made it out to be. Changing your perspective also opens you up to pa more natural state of gratitude, helping you to acknowledge and appreciate those positive aspects that may not have been as obvious to you before.

Being positive and finding the good in every situation doesn’t mean pretending that things aren’t challenging or emotionally distressing. It’s more about achieving balance by neutralizing those negative attributes with the positive ones. With enough practice, you may even find that the positive attributes will naturally start to outshine your negativity.