The word “positive thinking” is definitely overused online.
However, this doesn’t mean that a positive attitude is not important.
Positive thinking can have many advantages for our daily lives, improving our mental attitude and physical well-being.
It can make us more resilient in life when it comes to facing negative self-talk and stress.
In this article, let’s look at what it means to have a positive mental attitude.
What Is A Positive Mental Attitude?
“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay for a person to get discouraged. Keeping and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” – Lucille Ball.
A positive attitude in life is an optimistic disposition that is focused on the good things to find the silver lining rather than the negative thinking and negative emotions.
It is an attitude that allows you to recognize and acknowledge everything that is going your way, empowering yourself to achieve a better future and promote positive changes in life.
A positive attitude isn’t just for yourself but it’s also being a beacon for your family, friends, and others.
It is something that all of us can exercise in order to achieve a more positive outlook in life.
The power of being that positive example for others allows others not to feel so alone when they’re facing emotions of hardship and self-doubt.
They’ll see you as their inspiring person to power them through, since you came out stronger from your situation.
This kind of positive attitude doesn’t mean having the ability to see something going wrong or never feeling fear or negative emotions.
It does, however, lead us to focus more on the brighter side of things instead of the bad ones and maintain a healthy optimism, gratitude for what we do have, and hopefulness toward future results.
Of course, you don’t have to be cheerful all the time or deny emotions that make you feel bad.
But to set a good example for the ones we love and respect, we may want to focus on the bright side more and look for that silver lining attitude whenever possible.
In life, we can link a positive attitude with some positive psychology practices like:
Maintain positive feelings and a mental attitude that things will improve toward the future, that things will turn out fine in life as there is always a bigger picture in the long run.
A first step in fostering a positive attitude in life can be helping others like family, friends even some kindness toward strangers and expecting nothing in return.
The ability to develop the art of being grateful and truly recognize all the good things we have in life.
There are many benefits in using a gratitude journal with prompts that can guide us in fostering more self-awareness and a positive outlook in life.
Positive psychology talks a lot about the importance of mindfulness in our daily life and being fully present at the moment, recognizing all that is happening to, “the self.”
5. Self Talk
Changing our inner (self) dialogue and outer dialogue (when communicating with others.)
Spend some time practicing every day on words that can re-frame a more positive dialogue toward a positive outlook in life with more happiness and gratitude.
The Advantages Of A Positive Mindset
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” – Helen Keller
Why is it a good idea to work on developing a positive attitude?
Some people might feel pessimistic by nature.
So is it worth the effort of making such a significant shift toward a positive thinking mental attitude in life?
Research would suggest there are many benefits to do so-
• Greater happiness
One of the benefits is that a positive attitude is linked to greater happiness.
People who can focus on a positive outlook tend to feel more grateful and satisfied with their lives and achieve better personal and professional relationships.
A better mindset such as a positive mental attitude allows the person to feel more confident in life, even when facing a difficult situation.
• Better health
When people perceive an optimistic outlook they tend to have better physical and emotional health overall.
The other benefits seem to be that they are less prone to anxiety and depression.
On the physical side, their immune system works better, and they are less likely to develop some chronic conditions, like cardiovascular issues.
This is not a magical situation either, as the power of positive thinking has been known to help with reducing stress and improve beneficial physiological processes, which impact our overall well-being.
• Higher resilience
When we maintain a positive attitude, it allows us to face obstacles and hardships without giving up.
If we believe things will improve, we feel that we’re better equipped emotionally to wait for a stormy moment to pass.
A positive mindset also allows us to take a bad thing as a learning experience and recognize the positive aspects it has, even if we don’t feel too great about it in the moment.
• More creativity and fun
Positive thinking tends to promote creativity, happiness, and fun. We have the ability and energy to open our minds to the bright side of new possibilities and ideas when we are feeling good emotions and focus on good things to happen.
It helps us recognize and focus on the good we have and the potentially great opportunities lying in store for our future.
How To Develop A Positive Mindset?
“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” – Benjamin Franklin
Many of us could be used to seeing the negative first? It can be so ingrained in us that it’s hard even to imagine perceiving things in a different way. For fear of something negative or bad might be waiting around the corner for us if we stay happy for too long.
After all, there are so many problems out there. Isn’t it just realistic to keep the feelings of a negative attitude?
In practice to maintain a positive attitude is not as hard as it would seem. Changing your mindset, you might need to spend time and some effort, but it is achievable through simple practices that take a few minutes every day to create positive thinking patterns that make you feel happier and more confident.
Keep in mind that consistency is key. Be thorough with your habits, and the positive mindset will become a habit in itself.
At first, you might feel strange, or the positive thoughts might seem fake. However, little by little, you will feel more comfortable as it will leave you with feelings of more happiness in everyday life.
A positive mindset will feel as natural as a negative one, and once you’ve got the hang of it, you won’t want to go back to those negative emotions at all.
Recognize The Good
Now, try the opposite exercise if you find it easy to discover the wrong side of any situation. Whenever you feel caught in a spiral of negative thoughts or focused on a bad experience, try to identify something good about it as well.
(Example- Sometimes, the worst day in our life, can be the best day in our life, cause it was our ultimate turning point, toward living a much better future.)
Consider a positive consequence, or somehow, it turned out in your favor in the long run.
If you think critically about yourself or another person, try to develop a couple of positive qualities or accomplishments. Do this consciously until you can, easily recognize the good just like the bad.
Appreciate What You Have
It’s easy to get bored with what we have and stop seeing the good relationships or situations that become routine.
Spend time to practice being grateful, focus and recognize everything nice about your life.
Create a positive daily ritual, set down a few minutes, three-five times a week to sit down and write all the things you are grateful for.
Use a gratitude journal to make it easier for you. You’ll even find some journals have writing prompts inside to help you along. Say thanks to the people around you and make thankfulness a daily practice.
Do Good To Feel Good
Make kindness a bigger part of your life. We tend to be submerged in an atmosphere of negativity, especially online.
Find spaces to practice and create more good in the world around you, which is likely to have a huge shift in your mood and make it easier for you to see things in a positive light.
Do small acts of kindness, like paying for a coffee for a stranger or helping someone with a task.
Feel the difference it makes for you, a simple gesture becomes a ripple effect for others around you, family, friends, and strangers.
Consider Positive Outcomes
Often, our mind jumps to the worst conclusions. We expect things to go as wrong as they possibly can.
Instead, as your first step, develop some healthy and optimistic alternative scenarios and focus on potential positive outcomes instead.
What else might happen? Even if you can’t easily believe it at first, it will help you avoid getting stuck with a stress on a negative spin scenario instead.
Which Lifestyle Changes Help A Positive Mindset?
For example, in addition to the positive attitude practices, some lifestyle changes encourage and support a healthy positive mindset.
Here are a few with solid empirical evidence behind them-
Exercise and physical activity
Physical activity can boost your positive mindset.
You don’t need to get on a hardcore exercise program either.
Getting into practice with a simple walk every day can be enough to feel better with a positive attitude and projecting happiness outward to the world.
It can be tough to stay positive when all you can think about is going back to bed cause of brain overload and exhaustion.
Having a regular sleep schedule and getting around 8 hours every night is a huge contributor to our overall mood and mental health.
Being sleep deprived makes people irritable, have more stress, and be more negative, and enough sleep tends to have the opposite effect.
Vitamins and nutrients
To function well, stay happy, and have gratitude, we need to give our body everything it needs for optimal health, including a positive mindset.
Constant irritability may also be a sign of an unbalanced diet, as it’s so easy to do with a fast-paced lifestyle and any shift work, job roles.
Ensure you support yourself by getting all the elements you need for a healthy diet and checking if you need to boost your fruit and vegetable intake for optimal physical and mental health.
Meditation is a powerful way of calming your mind and gaining more control over your emotional states.
Spend some personal time, like 10-15 minutes a day.
Practicing meditation can give your well-being a solid energy boost and help you feel the serenity, and lower those stress levels.
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” – Martin Luther King.
It’s not easy to keep a positive mindset every moment when the world seems to have such big issues. But it’s worth building one anyway.
A positive mindset will not blind you to reality or the negatives, but it will help you see more positives and contribute to more happiness and overall health in your everyday life.
Having a positive mindset can help us overcome a difficult situation in a more constructive way, build better relationships, achieve better outcomes at work and in our personal life.
It creates better results and magnetizes abundant opportunities and possibilities, achieving more happiness in life.
Give it a try; you’ve got nothing to lose but a smile on your face, right?
Catalino, L. I., Algoe, S. B., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2014). Prioritizing positivity: an effective approach to pursuing happiness?. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 14(6), 1155–1161. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038029
Conversano, C., Rotondo, A., Lensi, E., Della Vista, O., Arpone, F., & Reda, M. A. (2010). Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being. Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health : CP & EMH, 6, 25–29. https://doi.org/10.2174/1745017901006010025
Mayo Clinic. (2020). Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950
Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2010). Gratitude and well being: the benefits of appreciation. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), 7(11), 18–22.
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