Your attitude determines how you live your life.
Even if –at any given time–your choices of action are limited, your choices regarding your attitude are not. Always choose a positive attitude.
A positive attitude makes you happier and more resilient, it improves your relationships, and it even increases your chances of success in any endeavor. In addition, having a positive attitude makes you more creative and it can help you to make better decisions. To top it all off, there are studies that show that people with a positive attitude live longer than their sourpuss counterparts. Below you’ll discover 21 ways to create and maintain a positive attitude.
1. Have a Morning Routine. How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Make sure that you have an attitude-boosting morning routine that puts you in a good mood so that you can start the day off right.
2. Carry An Attitude of Happiness With You. Instead of waiting for external things to make you happy, be happy and then watch how that influences the things that go on around you. That is, instead of telling yourself that first something good has to happen, and then you’ll be happy, be happy first. Happiness is an attitude, not a situation.
3. Relish Small Pleasures. Big pleasures—graduation, getting married, being promoted, having your book published—come too infrequently. Life is made up of tiny victories and simple pleasures. With the right mental attitude, watching the sunset, eating an ice cream cone, and walking barefoot on the grass are all you need to be filled with joy.
4. Smile. Smiling will give you an instantaneous attitude boost. Try smiling for a minute while you think of a happy memory or the last thing that made you smile. Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, also known as the feel good hormones. It’s a lot easier to adopt a positive attitude when the chemicals being released by your body are conducive to well-being.
5. Upload Positivity to Your Brain. Read books with a positive message, listen to music with uplifting lyrics, and watch movies in which the protagonist’s optimism helps him/her to overcome obstacles and win, despite the odds. Change your attitude for the better by uploading as much positivity into your brain as you possibly can.
6. Take Responsibility. At any moment your attitude can be that of a victim or of a creator. The first step you need to take to shift from victim-mode to creator-mode is to take responsibility. Here’s the attitude of a creator:
- I create my life.
- I am responsible for me.
- I’m in charge of my destiny.
7. Have a Zen Attitude. Think of life not as something that’s happening to you, but as something that’s happening for you. Look at any challenging situation, person, or event as a teacher that’s been brought into your life to teach you something.
The next time you find yourself thinking, “Why is this happening to me?” choose to have a Zen attitude, instead. Ask yourself, “What am I supposed to learn or gain from this”? or “How will this help me grow and become a better, more enlightened being?”
8. Be Proactive. A reactive person allows others and external events to determine how they will feel. A proactive person decides how they will feel regardless of what may be going on around them. Be proactive by choosing your attitude and maintaining it throughout the day, regardless of what the day may bring.
9. Change Your Thoughts. Positive thoughts lead to a positive attitude, while negative thoughts lead to a negative attitude. Changing your attitude is as easy as hitting the “pause” button on what you’re thinking and choosing to think different thoughts.
10. Have a Purpose. Having a purpose in life gives you a fixed point in the horizon to focus on, so that you can remain steady amid life’s vicissitudes and challenges. Bringing meaning and purpose into your life—knowing why you are here—will do wonders for your attitude.
11. Focus On the Good. In order to have a positive attitude, focus on the good. Focus on the good in yourself, the good in your life, and the good in others.
12. Stop Expecting Life to Be Easy. The truth is, life gets tough at times. For all of us. It can even be painful. But you’re brave and resourceful, and you can take it. Know that sometimes things won’t be easy, and adopt the attitude that you have what it takes to deal with anything that life throws at you.
13. Keep Up Your Enthusiasm. Enthusiastic people have a great attitude toward life. Have a list of ways to lift your enthusiasm ready for those times when you feel your zest for life draining away. Being enthusiastic will help you maintain the attitude that life is good and that you’re lucky to be alive.
14. Give Up On Having An Attitude of Entitlement. Think of the parable “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson. Two little mice and two miniature people are put in a maze. Here’s what happens:
- When the mice discover that the cheese isn’t where it’s supposed to be, they immediately get to work on finding another piece of cheese.
- The two miniature people, instead, get angry that the cheese has been moved. They waste time expressing outrage and blaming each other.
Stop demanding that things be handed to you. Your attitude at all times should be the following:
- It’s up to me to get what I want.
- Good things come to those who work hard.
- I adapt to change easily and quickly.
- I keep going even when things get tough.
15. Visualize. When things aren’t going your way, keep a positive attitude by visualizing yourself succeeding and achieving your goals. When Nelson Mandela was incarcerated—in a tiny cell that was just 6 feet wide–he kept his hopes up by visualizing himself being set free.
Mandela once said, “I thought of the day when I would walk free. Over and over again, I fantasized about what I would like to do.” By visualizing his release he was able to maintain a positive attitude, even when he found himself under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
16. Limit Your Complaints. Whining about anything and everything is not conducive to a positive attitude. When you complain you’re saying negative things about a person, place, or event, without offering a solution to fix the situation. Instead of complaining, do the following:
- Remove yourself from the situation.
- Shift your perspective about the situation.
- Offer a possible solution.
- Accept that there’s nothing you can do to change the situation and that complaining about it just fosters negativity.
Constantly complaining leads to a bad attitude. So stop complaining. Instead, start looking for solutions or accept what cannot be changed.
17. Watch Your Words. Use positive words when you talk to yourself. Studies have found that positive self-talk can boost your willpower and help you psych yourself up when you need to get through a difficult task. In addition, it can calm you down when you’re worried or anxious.
If you want to change your attitude from “I can’t do this” or “I’m going to fail”, to “I’ve got this” or “I’m going to do great”, change your self -talk.
18. Use The Power of Humor. People who know how to laugh at themselves and at life’s absurdities have a great attitude. Your sense of humor is a power tool, and you can use it to lift your mood and enhance your emotional state at any time.
When something goes wrong, ask yourself, “What’s funny about this?” A humorous perspective will have a positive effect on your attitude.
19. Use Gratitude to Improve Your Attitude. When you find yourself focusing on what’s wrong in your life, what you don’t have, or what you’re missing out on, adjust your attitude by feeling gratitude.
Studies show that having an attitude of gratitude is beneficial for every aspect of your life: being grateful improves your health, your mood, your relationships, your career satisfaction, and on, and on. If you need an attitude lift simply think of all the things that you have to be grateful for.
20. Develop an Attitude of Curiosity. The best way to approach any situation is to be open to what you can learn from it. That is, be curious.
Curiosity gives you a present-moment orientation which is similar to mindfulness. Being curious about a situation allows you to experience it more fully. In addition, curiosity will help you to approach uncertainty in your daily life with a positive attitude.
21. Seek Out Others With a Positive Attitude. A positive attitude is contagious. When you feel that you need an attitude boost, find someone with a great attitude and look for an excuse to hang out with them. Their attitude can’t help but rub itself off on you and you’ll be able to face the world with renewed optimism.
John Mitchell once said the following: “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude toward us.” The 21 tips above will help you to keep a positive attitude at all times. Live your best life by having a great attitude.
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