Imagine your mind is a garden and your thoughts are the seeds. Will you choose to grow flowers or choose to grow weeds?
The way you go through life is completely determined by one thing....your attitude. In life bad things will happen and good things will happen. They happen to everyone, it's the way life is. One thing is for sure, life is not fair.
Some people have to battle far bigger problems than others but the difference between the people who let it break them down and the people who learn from it is their attitude.
Your attitude is the single most important thing that determines whether you will become a success or a victim in your life. The fact is people with positive attitudes enjoy life more. It's that simple!
Here's the thing, everyone has the same 24 hours in the day. In that same 24 hours some people will build an empire and some people will sit dreaming about winning the lotto (btw that's something that is statistically highly unlikely to happen to you!). My point is the only thing that is stopping you from making your dreams a reality is your attitude towards your dreams and your life.
No one was made to be put on this earth to be better or worse than anyone else. We are not born with a positive or negative attitude, we develop it over time and most likely learn it from our parents and siblings. However, studies show that people with positive attitudes enjoy life more, become more successful overall and suffer less from mental health issues such as chronic stress, anxiety and depression. It can even affect your physical health by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.
Your attitude is the first thing people notice about you after your physical appearance. It takes just one tenth of a second for someone to form their first impression of you. To put that into perspective, it takes someone one third of a second to blink. That's how little time you have to make your first impression on someone....less than a blink of an eye!
You have little control over how someone pre-judges you in that short space of time but what you do have a lot of control over is how they judge you in the time after that first blink. Your attitude defines the way you hold yourself, the way you listen to someone when they are speaking, the way you speak about others, the respect you show to others, your manner, your disposition, your feelings and they way you want people to react to you.
Would you like people to want to be around you or would you prefer they avoid you and cross the road when they see you coming towards them? I doubt it's the latter!
By adopting a positive attitude and training yourself to see the positive in as many situations as possible you become a much happier person overall and someone that others enjoy being around. You don't need to go around with a silly grin on your face all day, it's not about that. It's about changing your thoughts so that you change your outlook on life and attract other positive thinking people into your life. No one wants to be around a Negative Nelly and you certainly don't want to be that person.
Your attitude is not something that you can change within a few minutes but by practicing a few steps every day you will begin to see things in a more positive light and I guarantee you that others will notice the difference in you too. Change is a good thing!
Here are a few things you can do to start training yourself into having a positive attitude:
- Figure out what is making you feel negative or unhappy - this sounds kinda easy but unfortunately it's usually not! If you can pick it out straight away then what are you waiting for? Get rid of it now!
Most of us take longer to get to the root of what is causing our negative opinions or thoughts. The way you were brought up can have a big affect on how you form your thoughts as an adult. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or jumping to conclusions about someone try to think of something positive about them instead. Maybe they are wearing a nice shirt today, or maybe they are really good at making a nice cup of coffee. Whatever it is make sure you replace a negative thought with a positive thought no matter how big or small it is.
- Find a role model who makes you feel good - There's usually someone you look up to and wish you were more like. It may be because they are rich or good looking or look like they have everything going for them but the difference between you and them is almost certainly your attitude towards life.
You're not going to want to look up to someone who comments negatively about others or complains about their life. They are grateful for what they have and have worked hard for it. They appreciate waking up every morning and they have a positive outlook on life regardless of the troubles that face them. When you start to think negatively about something as yourself what would your role model do and mimic their behaviour. Soon it will become natural for you to form more positive thoughts and behaviours.
- Surround yourself with positive people - This one should be pretty obvious. We all know that person who we dread talking to because they never have anything good to say about anyone. You definitely don't want to be that person! Studies show that surrounding yourself with people who have positive attitudes you begin to act more like them and change your negative thoughts towards others and your life. You become what you think and you also become the people around you. Cut negative people out of your life if necessary. See how I did it here.
- Realise that optimism is a choice - I've said it before and I'll say it again. You are not born with a positive or negative outlook on life. It is learned. If you have learned to have a negative disposition you can train yourself to be more optimistic. No one knows what will happen in the future but worrying and thinking negative thoughts about it will only ruin your present.
Think about your role model and ask yourself what they would do in this situation when you start to feel negative thoughts slipping into your mind. Remind yourself that each time you think of a negative thought you need to make a conscious effort to pick one positive thought to counteract it. The more often you start thinking positively the happier you will begin to feel. Ask yourself are you someone that's going to let your thoughts get in the way of your own happiness.
- Practice Mindfulness - Yup, here I am again talking about mindfulness and how important it is in your life! :) Have you tried it? If not you need to read this and then come back to me. Practicing mindfulness for a few minutes a day is a no brainer when it comes to changing your attitude and perceptions or the world and the people around you. It teaches you to live in the present moment, pay attention on purpose and to be less judgemental of others feelings.
- Compliment people daily - Everyone loves to hear a compliment. So often we admire something about someone but we don't tell them. Start complimenting people with genuine compliments and see the joy it brings them. Paying people compliments and smiling releases happy endorphins into your blood stream and makes you feel good about yourself too. It's a win/win situation! The next time you think someone's hair looks nice, tell them. They will love you for it!
- Stop judging others - No matter how well you think you know another person you only know how much they want you to know. It's so easy to jump to conclusions and pre-judge people in any situation. When we see a child kicking off in public we very often look with disgust and think that the parent has no control over their child. In reality the child may have a condition like autism where they are not comfortable in new situations and they cannot possibly understand how to behave in public. Instead of thinking they are a bad parent ask yourself could there be something else going on that is the reason the child is kicking off.
Judging others is never beneficial and more often than not leads to negative thoughts and altered behaviour towards someone else. Judges do it all the time on TV talent shows and can be visibly shocked when the contestant blasts out an unbelievable voice. It's natural to pre-judge people, it's human nature, but maybe if you try pre-judging in a positive light you will be pleasantly surprised.
Let me tell you a little secret. When I am in a situation where I am uncomfortable or feel like my negative thoughts far outweigh the positives I repeat in my head, "you are being tested". The stubborn girl inside me doesn't allow me to give up or take the easy road and I know this bad situation will pass. All I have to do for now is continue taking one step in front of the other and one hour at a time.
By following these points you will soon see changes in your thoughts and attitudes towards others and your own life. It is said that a bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can't get far until you change it.
You have the choice to change your attitude and the vibes you give off to the world - let's make them positive vibes only!