I truly believe that our brain is the most powerful organ we have... it is likely the most complex as well. Not only is it responsible for our conscious thoughts and actions, it controls our subconsciousness. It is the combination of these that impacts how we experience the world AND how the world impacts our holistic being (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual)
Take a moment... I want you to think about your last couple days. Now tell me, what thoughts fill your head? Would you label them as positive, or negative?
Now let's say you are walking down the street with these thoughts. Do you think anyone who would meet you would be able to tell you what’s on your mind?
The answer to number one is up to you. But, the answer number two can be pretty generic. Although people will not be able to tell you exactly what you think, they may more or less have an idea of how you are feeling.
Thoughts are very powerful. They affect your general attitude. The attitude you carry reflects on your appearance, too – unless, of course, you are a great actor.
And it doesn't end there. Your attitude can also affect people around you...it can be positively or negatively infectious.
The type of attitude you carry depends on you. It can be either positive or negative... beneficial or detrimental.
Positive thoughts have a filling effect. They are invigorating effect. Plus, the people around a person carrying positive thoughts are usually energized by this type of attitude.
Negative thoughts on the other hand have a sapping effect on other people. Aside from making you look gloomy and sad, negative thoughts can turn a meeting or gathering that is meant to be positive and uplifting, into a dreaded energy sucking time.
A positive attitude attracts people, while a negative attitude repels them. People tend to shy away from those who carry a negative attitude.
We can also define attitude as the way of looking at the world. If you choose to focus on the negative things in the world, more or less you have a negative attitude brewing up. However, if you choose to focus on the positive things, you are more likely to carry a positive attitude.
You have much to gain from a very positive attitude. For one, studies have shown that a positive attitude promotes better health. Those with this kind of attitude also have more friends. Projecting a positive attitude also helps a person handle stress and problems better than those who have a negative attitude. While a storm can be brewing around you, calm people can withstand it, use willpower to get through it, and when they get pushed down, get back up and bounce back.
A positive attitude begins with a healthy self-image. If you love the way you are and are satisfied, confident, and self-assured, you also make others around feel the same way. A positive mental attitude can help you see what you have to offer and seek ways to contribute.
A negative attitude, on the other hand, has, of course, an opposite effect. So, carrying a negative attitude has a twofold drawback. You feel bad about yourself, and this energy transfers onto others.
If you want to have a positive attitude, you have to feature healthy thoughts. This can seem very hard to do nowadays given our third wave of the covid-19 pandemic and being inundated with negative or unrealistic media feeds.
Although it is almost impossible to shelter ourselves from the negative things around us, you can still carry a positive attitude by focusing on the good people and events around you, the positive small steps you might be taking to move forward, and the joyful things in life.
And this positive attitude you now carry can be of benefit to other people. Now I'm not saying you need to be that bubbly, optimistic do-gooder person. You can have a positive impact on others by trying to see opportunities during difficult times... by simply smiling, nodding, or waving to others as you go about your day!
If a positive attitude is lovely, why do people choose to adopt a negative attitude instead? One who carries a negative or pessimistic attitude may be actually sending a signal for attention. Before you get me wrong, feeling sad, angry, or gloomy is not wrong itself. But dwelling on these thoughts for far too long is not healthy either. Shifting perspective can be very empowering - seeing problems as something you can overcome, not simply to endure.
There are definitely going to be times where being positive is going to be hard and take extra effort and focus... and it is these times that grow us and set the tone for further positive dynamics and soon the momentum can shift group think from negative to positive AND from being a recipient of the world effects TO impacting how the world can impact others while improving your own environment.
You do not have much to lose by adopting a healthy, positive attitude. Studies show that such an attitude actually retards aging (less furrows and stress lines on our face), makes you healthier, helps you develop a better stress coping mechanism, and has a very positive effect on all the people you meet every day. So, what's not to like about a positive attitude?
So now that you understand the importance of a positive attitude... how can you cultivate it in your life?
5 Steps Toward a Positive Attitude Life
1️⃣ Committing to a positive attitude shift: I truly believe that no one person really wants to live in pessimism and negativity. Now that you've committed to positivity, write positive affirmation everywhere (words, pictures, thoughts) - in your day timer, on your mirror, on your desk, as a calendar reminder, as a screen saver on your phone or computer. Positivity breeds positivity so surround yourself with positive reflections.
2️⃣ Taking time for self-reflection: on past and current situations and events - how you reacted to them and how they impacted your attitude. Taking time to reflect on how you could have reacted differently or chosen different more positive approach.
3️⃣ Take time to practice self-love by improving yourself through:
a) Exercise which stimulates healthy brain chemicals, builds energy for each day, and improves self-confidence as our body shape and tone improves.
b) Nutrition - clean eating with a balanced diet and limiting processed foods can help improve energy and mental wellbeing. Vitamin & mineral deficiencies (e.g. B12, omegas) are associated with mental fog and worsening mood.
c) Self-growth - get inspired by reading a new book, learning a new skill or hobby, advancing a current skill or area of knowledge
4️⃣ Practicing Positivity - when you catch yourself in a negative state, having a negative reaction, or self-doubt, take a moment... take a moment to acknowledge the thought and identify your part in these feelings/reaction. Okay, now cut yourself some slack for being in this negative state, but then commend yourself for being committed to change. Now think about how to alter your thinking, approach, feelings to shift to a more positive state. You And Only You are responsible for your reactions and You Have The Power to shift to a more positive state.
5️⃣ Surround yourself with positive people - their positivity will rub off on you. To further improve, ask them to keep you accountable for your attitude - give you feedback when your attitude shifts to the negative side of life. You must be open to this feedback and be willing to go back to previous steps to once again shift to more positivity!
Cindy is an experienced RN(NP) residing in Southern Manitoba, Canada, with a passion to support her patients looking and feeling their best at every age. This blog is to support patients in gaining knowledge about skincare, medical aesthetics procedures, and health & wellness practices. It is her goal to share the knowledge she gains from continuous reading of research, and regular continuing professional development sessions. Pursuit of personal and professional growth is paramount to Cindy and she loves to share this learning with her patients.