1) Constantly keep yourself focusedOne of the hardest things about keeping a positive attitude, is remembering to constantly focus on the desired end result.
Life throws lots of negativity at us and it can sometimes get to the point where lashing out against the onslaught is nothing less than self defense. However, if you create a negative state of mind by reacting in a less than positive manner – no matter how justified that reaction may be – you will still have created that negative state of mind.
2) Don't let negative thoughts develop more than you wantNo matter how motivated you are to improve your life there will always be people who regularly insist on bringing negativity into your life. Get rid of them and the situations.
Yes, yes, I know. You can’t get rid of your family members, you can’t fire you co-workers, blah, blah, blah.
No, you may not be able to completely get rid of them, but you can limit your interaction with them, and you can tell them to take a hike when they are being negative.
What’s the worst that could happen? Some negative family member or annoying co-worker stops talking to you?? Don’t be afraid to tell negative people to get out of your bubble!
3) Look for the Golden PotWhat I said until now helps you!! Look for the good!
There is some positive aspect to even the most mind-numbing situations, and by finding that silver lining, you can turn a perceived bad set of circumstances into something that works towards your own interests.
Having trouble figuring out how to be happy about obnoxious teenagers, what is good about your jerk of a boss, or what possible positive outcome could happen as a result of your car breaking down?
Each of these things gives us contrast. They teach us how to behave (or not behave), they teach us to be better prepared, or they simply teach us to enjoy the times in our lives when those circumstances are not present.
Would you really know how to appreciate a roaring fire and a cup of hot cocoa if you had never come close to freezing to death after walking a mile in the snow after your car broke down?
4) Plan your goodEvery day, plan to do something completely selfless. No, it can’t be something that looks selfless, but is actually all about you. It has to be something that you do for someone else, and you expect absolutely nothing in return.
This act doesn’t have to be some major undertaking, either. Do a chore around the house that you normally wouldn’t do. Bring your co-worker a cup of their favorite beverage from the coffee shop. Buy someone lunch. Help an elderly person load their groceries into their car.
Do something like that every day. In fact, plan it out in advance, so that you are sure to get it done. Can’t see what helping other people has to do with becoming a positive person?
Try it every day for a week and then come back and post a comment on this blog about how great you feel!
5) Work on a natural smile from the heartWhen all else fails, smile like you mean it – even if you don’t! Human beings are naturally social creatures, and even if we are in the foulest of moods, by interacting with other people in a positive manner, we start the slow or even sudden climb to feeling more positive.
Whenever I workout at the gym, I have zero interest in talking to other people. I am there to workout, I am very focused, and I would prefer not to be disturbed.
However, when someone motions for me to help them with something, and I begrudgingly take off my headphones so I can hear what they are saying, something miraculous happens:
I help them, or answer their question, and then I feel better afterwards! Even if I just wrap my headphones back around my head and go back to working out in my undisturbed manner, I always feel better for having interacted with and assisted another person.
6)Look for motivational helpExperience positive and uplifting circumstances throughout each day. It’s just not possible to run around in a negative mood all the time if you consistently experience and appreciate things that you consider to be positive.
Everyone has their own definition of what is positive for them, but here is a brief list of things that you can experience frequently throughout each day:
- Affirmations – No, not affirmations that you say (although those are great, too), but rather affirmations that you see. Put uplifting messages on your computer wallpaper or around your office, set up your email program to send you affirmations at certain times each day, use your cell phone or PDA to send yourself positive messages and reminders at preselected intervals.
- Audio content – Listen to empowering audio while you are driving, on your computer, or on your portable music player when you are working out. Again, by constantly inputting positive information, it just won’t be possible to maintain a negative state of mind.
- Look around – Everyone has things in their immediate surroundings at any given time that they can be grateful for. However, if you don’t take the time to consciously appreciate those things, you will get into the habit of just taking them for granted. Every few hours just stop what you are doing, and for 5 minutes just look around wherever you are and appreciate things that you normally just take for granted.
7) Remember why you are importantAnd last, but hardly least, remind yourself several times per day (or several dozen!) that you want to have a positive outlook on life, and remind yourself about why you even care.
You can use exercises like those mentioned above all day long, but if you don’t have a true desire to actually have a positive attitude, then these types of activities won’t do you much good. If you choose to live your life as a positive person, then you must have some reason for choosing that path.
Each time a potentially negative influence crosses your path, remind yourself of your reason for wanting to be a positive person. Your desire to be positive will outweigh your desire to have a negative reaction to the outside stimulus, and after awhile this entire process will become second nature.