7 Tips to Maintaining a Positive Attitude
Jan 18, 2019
The consequences of negativity
We’ve all seen what happens if we are negative. Our thinking narrows, making us more and more fearful. We experience stress and all of the medical conditions that can result.
Think about a time when you were experiencing high stress. Did you find it hard to concentrate? How did that negative state of mind affect your productivity?
The power of positivity
Most of us prefer to be positive. After all, it feels good to be happy, and we all like to be near those who are light-hearted. But did you know that the impact of being positive goes way beyond mood?
According to Barbara Fredrickson at the University of Michigan, people who think positively see more possibilities and it doesn’t end there. Because they see more possibilities, they have an enhanced ability to build new skills and develop resources they can use later in life. You can read about it for yourself in “The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions” paper".
Being positive is a skill
A different way to think of it is to realize that a positive attitude makes your world larger. How’s that for a powerful tool? If we maintain a positive attitude, we learn more and create more resources. But it doesn’t just happen. Being positive takes focus and effort, as well as skill. It is a muscle that needs to be exercised every day.
Here are 7 tips to help you maintain a positive attitude:
- Be kind to yourself. Instead of looking for the good feeling from external sources, give it to yourself. In our busy and demanding lives, we can forget to offer the same consideration we give to others to ourselves. It’s a simple matter of acknowledging your good qualities, supporting your areas of growth, and doing things that nurture yourself. You wouldn’t give a gift without thinking about what the person you’re giving it to needs. Do this also for yourself. Think about what you need and help yourself get it.
- Show appreciation. Every day there are people in your life being kind and helpful. It might be your colleague, your boss, or the barista at your favourite coffee shop. Take the time to say thank you. Better yet, give them a card or a kind gesture. It will multiply the positivity.
- Take responsibility for your own actions. A lot of suffering comes from doing something wrong and then trying to hide it. It is always best to admit your mistakes right away. People will trust you and appreciate you.
- Better yourself. Few things are more exciting than learning new skills or discovering new parts of yourself. This comes from stretching. Confidence is earned by effort and it’s easier to be positive if you’re feeling good about yourself.
- Laugh. As Audrey Hepburn said, “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” We all know how contagious a good laugh is. Let yours come from deep in your belly.
- Take breaks. Studies have shown that people who take short breaks during the workday and stop to eat a proper lunch are more productive. This tip returns to the first one on our list. It is about being kind to yourself. Everyone needs to rest some of the time.
- Take the time to be grateful. It helps if you write it down. Once a week, set aside ten minutes to think about the things in your life that make you grateful and write them down. It’s a matter of perspective. We all receive many negative messages from the news and other people. That’s why it’s so important to tip the balance in a different direction by focusing on what is good.
Call to Action
Over the next week, pick a different tip each day and practice nurturing your positive attitude.
The best is yet to come. It starts with you.