In a hectic world with our busy lives, it can be easy to view things negatively all of the time. But with the effects it can have on our outlook, our relationships, our work-it’s better to work on developing a positive mental attitude and turn things around.
A positive mental attitude can make a huge difference in how we form and foster relationships, view our work, and live our daily lives. Using positive thoughts, uplifting words, and believing in ourselves can improve our outlooks and make life so much happier.
When something bad or unexpected happens, to you view it as a roadblock or a reason to quit? Are you ready to work on turning your mental attitude from a negative one to a positive one?
What Is a Positive Mental Attitude?
A positive mental attitude is a choice. We can choose to look upon the world with a negative view or a positive one. It’s choosing to be optimistic even in the worst of times. We can survive illness, debt, heartbreak, and loss and still maintain a positive mental attitude. It’s not always easy, but it’s also not always difficult.
There are some characteristics of people who have a positive mental attitude:
- Optimism-always looking at the bright side of things.
- Gratitude-being thankful and gracious for everything good.
- Resilience-ability to bounce back when times are bad.
- Happiness-always seem to be happy and smiling when you see them.
- Mindfulness-awareness of what’s important, being present in the moment.
It sounds like this attitude shift could be life altering, and it absolutely can be!
Why Is a Positive Mental Attitude Important?
A positive mental attitude is important for productivity and resilience. When we approach a challenge with optimism and develop a sense of belief in ourselves, and are more likely to achieve goals and overcome obstacles. A positive mental attitude is also important for self-esteem and emotional and physical well-being.
It’s important to maintain a positive mental attitude for many reasons. Here’s just a few:
- It gives you hope while others may not have it
- It contributes to persistence in life
- Your mood will be improved
- You can avoid bias and negative feelings towards others
- You’ll feel more happiness
- It’s easier to keep things in perspective
- More happy people will gravitate towards you
- Improves self esteem
- What others think won’t matter much anymore
I don’t know about you, but all of these sound so much better than the alternative. Negativity never got anyone very far in life. So let’s take a look at how to get you started and turn that frown upside-down!
A positive mental attitude can make a huge difference in how we form and foster relationships, view our work, and live our daily lives.
How Do I Get a Positive Mental Attitude?
Let’s start with acceptance. Accept that you may have adopted a negative view of life and events a long time ago and it will take time and persistence to switch that view.
Next there’s identification. Acknowledge the thoughts as they march (or race) through your head and identify them as being positive or negative. When you identify negative thoughts, try to find a way to alter that thinking. Also understand that sometimes a negative view is acceptable at times, as it can help you avoid danger.
Now let’s look at the day to day. Start each day with positive thoughts and self-talk. Say encouraging things to yourself. Focus on the good things that you have planned and accept when things don’t go right. Don’t focus on the negatives! Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people, and filter out the negative people.
As you practice changing your viewpoint from negative to positive, it will get easier. You’ll probably also find that your mood has improved and you’re learning.
Sure bad things will happen, but you can learn to choose to adopt a positive outlook. It will be challenging at first, but practice will make it come more naturally with time.
Examples of a Positive Mental Attitude
A positive mental attitude may look different depending on the person, the place, and the event. Let’s look at some of examples of what it looks like.
You wake up in the morning knowing it’s going to be a long, tough day. When you get to work, instead of complaining about it, you tell people “Good morning”!
Someone gets the promotion you were training for and hoping to receive. Rather than telling them “It is what it is”, you congratulate them and ask how you can help them prepare.
You woke up early in preparation for a long bike ride and discover there’s a big thunderstorm approaching. Instead of being upset about not getting to ride, be happy that the plants in your gardens are getting watered! Then you can postpone your bike ride until after the rain passes.
It’s been a super hard shift at the hospital with several new admissions and the unit was short staffed. Rather than complain to the oncoming shift about everything bad that happened, include some of the good things that happened like the patient that improved and got to go home.
It can be really easy to focus on the negatives, the things that didn’t go as planned, and the unexpected. But as you’ve seen here, there are several ways to change your attitude and put a positive spin on things.
Developing Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude
Have you ever heard the saying, “You reap what you sow”? Basically what that means is if we expect bad things to happen, they will. If we view the world with negative glasses, everything will seem negative.
We can be much more successful in life if we adopt a positive mental attitude. When we nurture positivity, we receive more positivity. Mistakes are going to happen, but a positive mental attitude would tell us that those mistakes are learning opportunities. Chances to do better and to grow.
Failure is not a reason to give up, but to try again. Everyone experiences some degree of failure, but only some will view it with positivity and as an excuse to try harder. If everyone was negative and gave up when they failed, where would we be today?
Here is an insightful video that dives into the power of positivity:
Exercises to Develop a Positive Mental Attitude
Finally, let’s discuss some ways you can develop your own positive mental attitude. They’re called exercises, and some of them are physically active-but you choose what fits your lifestyle and what you’re comfortable doing.
- Practice journaling. Write down your thoughts, and focus on the positives. For the negatives you identify, figure out how to switch that mindset or how to make it better.
- Let go. Of the bad things that have happened, the people who disappointed or hurt you, your previous failures. Let. Them. GO.
- Use positive words. When communicating with others, when journaling, when thinking, use words that are happy, positive, and uplifting.
- Don’t criticize yourself. Be nicer to yourself. Focus on what you’ve done well and what you like about yourself.
- Avoid negative people. You know the ones-they complain about everything and never have anything nice or positive to say. Filter them out of your life.
- Believe in yourself and your potential for success. Hard work and dedication work too, but believing in yourself makes it that much easier to attain.
- Relax. Some things are going to happen regardless of what you do-welcome events and see the positive in them. Visualize them as opportunities.
- Have fun! What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing? Do more of that! You’ll find it makes you happier and more positive.
Examples of a Positive Mental Attitude – From Real People
I asked 5 family/friends what top 4 ways they would prefer practicing to help develop a positive mental attitude. Here is what I learned and what they shared:
|Positive Mental Attitude Practice||# of People|
|Let go of past failures||5|
|Be nicer to myself||3|
|Believe in myself/my success||4|
|Read self-help books||1|
|Focus on the positive things in my life||4|
|Be more thankful||3|
|Stop criticizing myself||2|
|Help others in need||4|
|Have more fun||4|
- Looking Within – My Successful Experience with Reflection
- Affirmations – Guide to the Practice with a List of Ideas
- Look Within – Learn the Source of You – From My Experience
- How To Forgive Yourself – Being Your Own Best Friend
- Self Validation – Learning the Most Powerful Source of You
- Essentialism – What’s Truly Necessary for Identity
- Intuition – Understanding Gut Feel Without Reason
- Collect Meaning – Living a Life of Depth and Happiness
- Intuitive – Those Who Feel and Perceive Deeply Around Them
- Id, Ego, & Superego – For Understanding and Self-Reflection
A positive mental attitude can make a great difference in how we see ourselves, our lives, our work, our world. Taking small steps daily to focus on the positive, to take better mental care of ourselves, and to switch our mindset changes things. Not only can it improve our own lives and outlook, it can change someone else’s life as well.