Maintaining a positive outlook can significantly enhance your overall happiness. Cultivating a positive attitude involves acquiring the ability to manage it effectively. If you tend to view the glass as half-empty, consider retraining your thought patterns to embrace a more optimistic perspective, as suggested by Shawn Achor, the author of ‘Before Happiness’, using the strategies outlined below.
01. Convince yourself that you have the capacity to transform
Happiness doesn’t stem from the conviction that you have no need for change; instead, it arises from the understanding that change is possible. Take a moment to recognize the connection between personal growth and the process of change.
Give this a try: Jot down the three most significant instances of change in your life that have led you to become the person you genuinely admire today. These moments could be as evident as relocating to a new city or as subtle and intimate as forming a friendship with your closest confidant.
Display your list in your bathroom or above your work desk to inspire a shift in your mindset and maintain a positive attitude.
02. Seek an alternative location
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s common to magnify minor issues. However, research indicates that a change of environment can positively shift your perspective. Achor recounts an experiment involving Yale medical students who temporarily left their classes to study ancient paintings at a nearby art museum.
Following this excursion, the students collectively exhibited a 10 percent enhancement in their ability to discern crucial medical details, surpassing the performance of students who didn’t take the same break. By training their minds to perceive different viewpoints, these students acquired the skill of approaching problems with a broader and more profound outlook.
Give this a try: If you find yourself stuck, expose your mind to a fresh setting – either physically by relocating to a different place, or by reading or observing something new – to induce a positive shift in your perspective.
03. Replenish and revitalize yourself
It’s common knowledge that a combination of fatigue and hunger can lead to unhappiness, but this pairing may have more detrimental effects than you realize. Your brain perceives sleep deprivation as a threat to the central nervous system, which can impair your judgment.
Just one night of insufficient sleep can result in a 59 percent reduction in the recollection of positive words, potentially causing an undue focus on negative aspects. When you are well-rested and adequately nourished, it becomes easier to discern a broader spectrum of valuable details, information, and possibilities. In a widely recognized study at Columbia Business School, judges only granted parole to 20 percent of applicants before lunch, but this figure increased to 60 percent after they had eaten.
Give this a try: If you find yourself consistently in a negative mood, assess your sleeping and eating routines. Incorporating a mid-morning snack (such as a combination of apple and peanut butter, rich in protein and healthy fats) can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Additionally, sleep is essential for safeguarding your brain against conditions like Alzheimer’s.
04. Recognize both the favorable and unfavorable aspects
Regardless of how grim a situation may appear, there is invariably a bright side to be found. It’s highly unlikely that you’ve come across a setting devoid of positive elements.
Give this a try: Concentrate on an object or a task and jot down as many descriptions as you can within a 30-second timeframe. Assign three points for each positive description and one for each negative description.
Why include negatives? Acknowledging negatives can serve as a motivator for taking action, and the act of actively seeking them out can enhance the adaptability and agility of our brains. Moreover, it safeguards us from succumbing to an excessively positive attitude.
05. Engage with the appropriate individuals for support
Sharing your personal challenges with a coworker or a family member might have adverse effects rather than being beneficial. Repeatedly seeking advice from those who share similar views can lead to a continuous echo of the same perspective, hindering effective problem-solving. To cultivate a positive attitude, it’s important to seek diverse viewpoints that allow for a comprehensive examination of the issue.
Give this a try: When making significant decisions, such as ending a relationship or requesting a promotion, employ a three-person reality check. Seek input from someone with a distinct personality, varying economic circumstances, and belonging to a different age group. This approach ensures a well-rounded assessment of your situation.
06. Direct your stress
Stress exacerbates unfavorable situations, doesn’t it? Or does it? The hormones released during stress can enhance memory and cognitive abilities, and deliberately reframing stress in a positive light can lead to improved performance, as well as enhanced physical and mental well-being.
In a particular study, managers who were trained to recognize the benefits of stress reported a 23 percent reduction in physical symptoms such as headaches, backaches, and fatigue.
Give this a try: When you find yourself overwhelmed, identify the underlying cause. If you’re anxious about a work presentation, your stress might be more about impressing your boss than speaking in front of a group. The aim is to redirect that stress towards delivering your presentation with greater confidence.
How you can develop a positive attitude in 6 simple steps conclusion
Fostering a positive attitude and mindset isn’t just advantageous for your mental well-being; it also has a positive impact on your productivity, relationships, and various aspects of your life. Hence, why not employ the six straightforward steps outlined above to acquire practical techniques for nurturing a positive attitude that will boost your self-assurance, happiness, and achievements in your everyday life.