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Ask Amanda: How to Stay Positive in a Stressful Time

posted on March 7, 2014 | by Amanda Holstein

Ask Amanda: How to Stay Positive in a Stressful Time

The advice column features questions submitted by actual readers.
Their questions are only featured with their permission.


I’m going through rather a difficult/stressful time in my life (college application season, to be exact), and sometimes it’s easy to get pretty negative about things and life in general. I know that a lot of people say that the best way not to wallow in negativity is to stay positive, but that’s definitely easier said than done. Could you share some specific tips on how to become a more positive individual? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


First of all, college application season is definitely a stressful time, so the first thing I want you to tell yourself is – it’s normal that you’re stressed and not feeling the most positive. Don’t get down on yourself for not being up beat and happy, because honestly, it is difficult!

Once you can allow yourself some space to feel stressed about it, the next thing that may help you see things in a more positive light is to get some perspective. Look at the big picture – I know that’s hard to do, especially at your age, but realize that no matter what, you will get in to a good school because you’re trying hard, and in the long run, which school you go to really doesn’t make a huge difference in life. You sound like an ambitious person who cares about your career and accomplishing what you want – and that will get you so far, no matter what school you end up at.

I think the key to staying positive is believing in yourself and not letting that voice take over that second guesses yourself. It’s a hard thing to get control of, especially in your teens and twenties, but you’ll learn to feel that confidence within you as you grow. You know deep down that you are capable of so much, and that is all that really matters.

Working on staying positive is a life-long process but the fact that you want to start now is amazing! Recognizing the way you think and being self-aware is such a mature quality that will get you far in life. I think you’re going to do amazing things :).

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