There is no doubt about it, 2020 was a challenging year. The beginning of 2021 will continue to test us, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The new year will be a good deal better if all of us adopt a more positive attitude.
You can spot certain people coming down the hall headed in your direction. They are the negative people at work or in our social circle who come up to us, plug in and try to drain us of our positive energy. Fortunately, there are also those “energized” people with whom we can share some positive energy. We can briefly plug into them when we need a little lift. Who is in your close work and social circle?
Do you respond to most things with negative feelings, or are you a person who sees the positive aspects of most situations?
The benefits of a positive attitude
There are many benefits to having a positive attitude. They include:
- The ability to cope with stress and manage difficult situations
- Improved mental health with less depression and anxiety
- Improved physical health
- Live longer
- Improved immune system with fewer colds
- Improved social life
- More successful
Who wouldn’t want all of these benefits? You may think that this is going to be difficult, but it’s not really. Let’s take a look at 10 easy steps to a more positive attitude.
What can you do?
- Smile more. It is not difficult. You will feel better, and you will be surprised at how people respond to you in a positive way.
- Learn to reframe the situation. For example, you are in a long line at the grocery store and are getting frustrated. Reframe the situation to, “I am fortunate I can afford all of these groceries while others are in a long line at the food bank.” Try it out any time you find yourself frustrated or angry.
- Surround yourself with positive people. If you do not have one, seek out a positive partner.
- Meditate—it works. If you think you do not have time to meditate then you definitely need to meditate. There is a good reason that mindfulness is so popular.
- Try positive affirmations. A commonly used quote that many have claimed is, “I am in charge of how I feel and, today, I choose happiness.” If you don’t like it, just Google “positive affirmations,” and you will have thousands to choose from.
- Practice positive self-talk. An example: I did poorly on my last math test, but the next time I will do better. Or, I need to practice this after one of many errant shots on the golf course.
- Start a gratitude journal. List the good things in your life each day. I covered this in a previous article.
- Listen to music. We all have music that makes us smile, laugh or remember good times. Create a positive playlist. Better yet, do it with your partner.
- Don’t watch negative TV or social media. It is time to unglue yourself from your devices.
- Exercise. This doesn’t mean you should make some unrealistic New Year’s resolution. Get out and walk in your neighborhood. You will see people, get to chat at a distance and feel part of a community.
Is that too much? Then start with two or three that appeal to you. Did it help? If not, try some others. It is good for your physical and mental health, not to mention the health of the people around you.