A positive mental attitude attracts positivity and success in one’s life. According to the law of attraction: like attracts like. While these philosophical statements may be hard to embrace at first, there’s no doubt that they offer life-changing rewards.
A positive mental attitude is less about always being happy and more about how you relate to every circumstance and emotion. When faced with a challenge, a positive mental attitude helps one see the issue as a learning opportunity, rather than allowing it to darken their spirit, and/or perspective.
The challenge of these concepts is taking them out of theory and *actually* applying them to one’s life. How does one face the crushing devastation of loss? How does one remain positive when every creative endeavor seems to end in failure? In this article, I’m going to share how living with a positive mental attitude is fully obtainable and can lead you to success, both in the physical and spiritual.
Through a positive mental attitude, you can redirect self-judgment into self-compassion.
What Is a Positive Mental Attitude or PMA?
A positive mental attitude (PMA) is choosing to face every day with optimism, hope, gratitude, and trust. It is not allowing petty chatter to overrule your thoughts, such as negative thoughts about others, yourself, or your circumstances.
PMA was first put into specific words by Napoleon Hill in the 1930s. He explains in his book, Think and Grow Rich, how thinking positively can lead you to success. While his motives were largely focused on wealth and material gain (there’s even speculation he’s a fraud), the concept of a strong mental attitude has also been explored throughout numerous spiritual texts and philosophies. In those contexts, “success” is spiritual connection and union with the divine.
There’s a bit of a misconception that a positive mental attitude means always being in a state of happiness or bliss. While this may be a reality for monks or saints who have devoted their lives to spiritual connection, it isn’t the reality for the rest of us – and that’s okay.
Emotions are a normal part of the human experience – even the hard and unwanted ones. A positive mental attitude isn’t about never experiencing those emotions again, it’s more about how you deal with and relate to them. In this way, committing to PMA may successfully free oneself from an old pattern, such as negative self-talk, self-doubt, and being insecure.
For example, let’s say you made a mistake doing X, Y, or Z. Your normal pattern is to relate to the mistake by punishing yourself. You do this through negative self-talk, such as “I suck at doing X, Y, and Z … “I always make mistakes” … “I’m such a failure.” And so on and so forth. What this does is cause a spiral in one’s mind of negativity, and can put them in a dark rut.
When implementing a positive mental attitude, you may first notice yourself falling into this old pattern, and that’s okay (patterns don’t disappear overnight in most cases). But, because you’ve been strengthening your mind, you dismiss the negative thought, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you’re still learning. Mistakes are how you learn and become better at whatever you’re doing. Challenges help grow us into stronger and wiser versions of ourselves.
Through a positive mental attitude, you can redirect self-judgment into self-compassion. You can have confidence that you can figure out whatever challenge is presented to you.
Benefits of a Positive Mental Attitude
How one relates to their environment, the people they interact with, and their daily experiences shape how one sees their life. It is referred to as the law of attraction: what one focuses on is what one will receive. So, if someone is constantly focused on the negative aspects of every experience and encounter, then they will continue to receive negativity. In other words, you see what you want to see and you believe what you want to believe.
A strong positive mentality can help you stay focused on your goals.
In the same way, if one consistently focuses on the positive and what they’re grateful for, then that is what they will attract. Furthermore, a positive mental attitude brings more joy, connection, compassion, creativity, and inspiration into one’s life. It strengthens one’s mind and allows one more control over how they want to relate to their environment, which leads to more peace and happiness in one’s life.
Not only does a positive mental attitude improve one’s mental and emotional wellbeing, but it also strengthens and supports one physical health as well. This is because these parts of ourselves are not separate, but interconnected. What affects the mind will affect the body.
Scientific studies show that a positive outlook on life specifically strengthens the heart. This is shown in a research study done by John Hopkins University. This article goes on to suggest based on research that “people who are more positive may be better protected against the inflammatory damage of stress.”
Another study published by PubMed done on the elderly showed that a positive mental attitude reduced the risk of death and disease.
“Those with a positive mental attitude or psychological well-being differ from those with a more negative outlook on a number of health processes—healthier lipid profile, lower levels of inflammatory markers, higher levels of serum antioxidants, better immune responses, and healthier autonomic function—and on a number of healthier behaviors—increased physical activity, nonsmoking, healthier diets, and higher quality of sleep. These may partly serve as mechanisms for the association of mental attitude with mortality.”
How to Practice Positive Mental Attitude
One of the best ways to start practicing a positive mental attitude is to consistently reflect on your blessings or what you’re thankful for. It’s also helpful not to engage in negative conversations such as gossip or hopeless political perspectives.
It’s important to note that a positive mental attitude is not necessarily something to be achieved, but a practice that becomes someone’s way of life. Sustainable optimism isn’t found by sweeping issues or challenges under the rug, rather it’s having the courage to face hard emotions and explore them as a learning opportunity. Then after exploring, conclude with positivity, such as compassion, hope, and/or faith.
You’ll also want to pay attention to where your negativity originates, or what your negative habits are, and then redirect the pattern from there.
For example, I’ve noticed that in my life I tend to focus on the negative aspects or interactions with the individuals around me. I can be overly critical and judgemental of others and myself. Because I want to lead a more joyful and positive life, I’ve been able to redirect the pattern by focusing on what I admire and love about those around me. Whenever I start going down a negative thought pattern about someone else, I redirect and find something I like or appreciate about that person.
Start The Day With Positivity
To maintain a positive mindset throughout the day, it’s best to start your morning with positivity. Explore what may be the best way you can do this, such as a gratitude journal, stretching/yoga, prayer, or watching the natural world with appreciation.
When we begin our day with intentions to be positive, it’s much easier to continue that joyful momentum throughout the day.
Positive Mental Attitude Exercises
Following journal exercises may help you develop a positive mental attitude. This article from PositivePsychology gives 19 exercises to help you have a positive attitude. This helpful article goes into detail on each and is a great way to introduce the concept to your psyche.
Positive mental attitude exercises can help cultivate a positive mindset and promote overall well-being. Here are some activities you can practice:
- Gratitude journaling
- Surround yourself with positivity
- Physical exercise
- Positive self-talk
- Acts of kindness
- Mindfulness and meditation
Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude
When one has a goal they would like to achieve; a dream to manifest into reality – they need a strong mental attitude to see it through. This is because every ambition is going to be met with challenges and failure.
A positive mental attitude helps you prepare for these challenges and it helps you face the challenge when it is presented. Achieving a goal takes dedication, determination, and plain hard work. A strong positive mentality can help you stay focused on your goals.
You’ll also find success through a positive mental attitude because when we’re grateful for what we have, abundance flows freely. Here’s a quote from author Ted Andrews that emphasizes my point:
“The quickest way to stop the flow of abundance is by failing to honor that which has already come to you.”
- Animal Speak, Ted Andrews
How Do You Succeed With a Positive Mental Attitude?
A positive mental attitude is an internal resource that will help you succeed. A positive mental attitude is just one aspect of what it takes to succeed, and shouldn’t be seen as the only resource to help you obtain your goals. Along with PMA, you need to work hard, stay focused, be creative, and be confident in your endeavors. A positive mental attitude will help fuel and maintain each of these aspects.
Why Is a Positive Mental Attitude Important?
A positive mental attitude is important because it helps us have a peaceful and joyous life. It not only strengthens our minds but also strengthens our bodies; helping us to be healthier individuals.
Ways People Practice A Positive Mental Attitude
Everyone has a unique way of maintaining a positive mental attitude. To show this, I asked a few of my friends and family what are three ways they practice a positive mental attitude. Here’s what I discovered:
|Practice||Tally of Family/Friends|
|Not make assumptions||7%|
|By acknowledging “what is” vs “what isn’t” in my reality, then choose how to move forward with what I can control||7%|
|Deep breathing with eyes closed||7%|
|Redirecting negative self-talk||7%|
|Not being negative about the weather||7%|
|Letting little things go||6%|
|Rest in the knowledge that “this too shall pass”||6%|
|Become aware of how I’m relating to my experience and move forward by defining/choosing how I want to relate to it.||6%|
Check out this helpful video about how to reprogram your mind to think more positively.
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- Building Habits – The Methods I Use for Lasting Change
- Zorro Circle – An Effective Method to Make Personal Change
- Morning Routine – How to Set the Day for Happiness
- Time Wasters: Master Your Time, From Someone Who’s Done It
- My Morning Routine – Creating Positive Momentum for the Day
- Personal Goals – Clear Steps to Fulfillment and Growth
Our minds and thoughts are powerful. They have the ability to change and direct our lives, for good and for bad. With a positive mental attitude, we can have the strength to face difficult challenges, achieve our goals, and the courage to find joy in every circumstance.