How To Have A Positive Mental Attitude

positive-mental-attitude

This post on having positive mental attitude appeared on Growthzer at first.

Since I began to pay more attention to my mood, I realized that at some days everything feels amazing and the entire world smiles at you and the next day you feel horrible even though nothing really changed. I thought that it would be incredibly beneficial to learn how to have the positive attitude and this is what this article is all about.

One of the things I realized is that positive mental attitude is not just about your mind. It has plenty to do with your actions and routines and I’m about to reveal the ones that help me tremendously.

Meditate

Meditation keeps my mind in a good condition. It helps me avoid self-destructive thoughts and behaviors. You can train your mind like you’d train your muscles in the gym and meditation is the best exercise. I meditate at the end of the day right before going to sleep. It allows me to clear my mind and get rid of all the thoughts, concerns, problems, confusions, plans and so on (clearing your mind is not meant to last forever but for the very moment of meditation). At least this is what I am at during each session.

If you’ve never meditated before and don’t know how to get started, there is plenty of guided meditations all over the internet: here is an example. Currently, I meditate for up to half an hour but I started doing 5-minute sessions or even less. It is one of the best habits you can develop in order to have a positive attitude.

Journal

Daily journaling is a habit I started doing regularly again a few weeks ago and it was absolutely worth it. My journals read horribly and they wouldn’t make sense to most of people but their only purpose is to give me a moment of reflection about the day that just passed. I write about things that happened, small goals I reached, opportunities I missed, the way I felt and whatever I feel like writing during the very moment. Usually it’s a few lines of text which is short, simple and does the job.

Sometimes, I go back to my past entries and it usually serves as a great life lesson. I realize that what seemed problematic a while a go no longer bothers me. I notice the changes I’ve made in my life. It’s just a few lines of thoughts but it serves you greatly when you want to reflect on your life.

Track Your Progress

Whenever I don’t feel like I’m moving forward, I don’t truly enjoy my life. On the other hand, when I do my daily routines and reach milestone after milestone in various areas of my life, I literally feel exceptionally amazing. It feels like you’re in a different zone, life just tastes better.

I tried tons and tons of different ways of tracking my habits and this app is so far my favorite. You can set reminders, get different stats, use different schedule options and so on. It literally has all it needs without any extra fluff.

From time to time, I will stop tracking my habits and just do them as I go and then I notice that it doesn’t feel as rewarding as seeing your progress clearly. This allows you to maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated.

Eat Healthy

Eating unhealthy is one of the biggest mood killers for me. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a cheat meal every now and then. The fact is, being smart about unhealthy food will actually improve your mood. If you watch your plate and then reward yourself with a pleasure of choice, then you know that the reward was earned and there is nothing wrong with that.

On the other hand, if you eat processed food full of sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, unnecessary additives and chemicals all the time, you’ll affect your mood in a negative way whether. Your weight goes up. You become tired because of sudden sugar spikes. You feel guilty because losing weight was your New Year’s resolution five years in a row and you still eat keep lying to yourself that you’ll start tomorrow.

Exercise

So if you spend your life sitting in the office and then laying on the coach wondering how to have a positive attitude then let me reveal that sweating your ass off will have a tremendous impact on your overall approach to life. Although I really enjoy working out, it can get painful when you push extra hard but once you challenge yourself and go through it successfully, you feel amazing. This has to do with the release of happiness hormones kicking in as well as the simple realization of you becoming a badass.

Whenever I neglect being physically active, I can feel the consequences on my mood. However, when working out is part of my weekly routine, life just tastes better.

Then again, to make exercise work in your favor and keep that positive attitude, pick something that you enjoy. A few days ago I’ve seen an overweight woman literally crying as she was exercising under a supervision of her personal trainer. I do salute to her motivation to lose weight, but I think she could go through the process a lot happier if she’d choose a form of training that is more enjoyable to her.

Take Yourself Less Seriously

This is not something I’ve mastered but I believe it’s a key element to a lot more positive life. The quote below is a gem I found a while ago and started a new wave of existential thoughts in my head.

I think my life is of great importance, but I also think it is meaningless — Albert Camus.

We all have our individual goals, plans, concerns, problems, worries and views. And all those things are of a real importance. But the truth is, they’re also meaningless from a broader perspective. The real message behind this quote is not to give up everything because the universe is much greater than we can imagine.

What we should do is focus on the positive side of life (which is of a great importance) and ignore all the worries, anxieties and confusions as they’re likely meaningless with hindsight.

Stop Seeking Approval

There is a huge correlation between ignoring others’ disapproval and feeling positively about yourself. The more immune I become to the idea of living according to social approval, the happier I feel. It’s not about becoming a badass rebel throwing Molotov cocktails at your local embassy.

It’s about fulfilling your deepest desires and going after things that you truly want to experience and that make you happy regardless of whether or not it’s widely approved. In the past, I used to care a lot about people’s perception of myself but since I started eradicating internal beliefs that worked in my disfavor, negative assumptions began fading away.

Stop living as a slave of other’s approval and worrying about people who aren’t worried about you and your positive mental attitude will drastically improve.

Spend Time Outside

Especially during the winter, it’s easy to live your life constantly surrounded by walls but it’s completely against our human nature and doing so will leave an impact on you. This factor to having a positive attitude is extremely straightforward. Go out as much as you can, enjoy the sun and fresh air and simply walk. I go out every single day for at least an hour just to walk around the city or in the nature, depending on my location. Not only it’s necessary considering I work behind desk, but it also keep myself happier. Yes, it’s the simple things that keep you positive. Beside that, walking is also a great weight loss method.

Get Positive Reference Experience

If you’ve read so far, it’s great that you’re expanding your mind and look for advice on how to improve your life. However, if you don’t apply it, then no article will help you. In order to experience the benefits of things I mentioned above and actually develop that positive mental attitude, you need to apply the knowledge and get the positive reference experience.

You know that exercising and positive diet will make you feel better. You can keep reading about the benefits or you can actually commit to a healthier lifestyle, see the benefits first-hand and get the positive reference experience that will keep you exploring. Once you work on one of the above areas (or anything else that sharpens your positive mental attitude), other pieces of the puzzle will start to fall into place and soon enough, you’ll realize that your life changed for better drastically.

Positivity Book: 7 Essential Books on Optimism

positivity-book

Every once in a while, we all get burned out. Sometimes, charred. And while a healthy dose of cynicism and skepticism may help us get by, it’s in those times that we need nothing more than to embrace life’s promise of positivity with open arms. Here are seven wonderful books that help do just that with an arsenal ranging from the light visceral stimulation of optimistic design to the serious neuroscience findings about our proclivity for the positive. Make sure to check out this positivity book on Amazon.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, one of our must–read children’s books with philosophy for grown-ups, is among the most poetic and hopeful reflections on human existence ever penned. Lyrical, charmingly written and beautifully illustrated, it sweeps you into a whirlwind of childhood imagination to peel away at the deepest truths about the world and our place in it.

Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Published in 1943, translated into 180 languages since and adapted to just about every medium, Exupéry’s famous novella is one of the best-selling books of all time. More importantly, it’s one of the most important handbooks to being a thoughtful, introspective and, yes, hopeful human being.

LEARNED OPTIMISM

Martin Seligman is a Brain Pickingsregular — known for his research on learned helplessness and revered as the father ofpositive psychology, his Authentic Happiness is one of the 7 most essential books on the art and science of happiness, and his Flourish made our 2011 Summer Reading List. But his second book, originally published over 20 years ago, remains one of his most influential.Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life does away with the usual cliches of the self-help genre to deliver a clinical researcher’s crisp prescription for developing the cognitive skills necessary for transcending pessimism, which Seligman argues is fully escapable.

As you read this book, you will see that there is an epidemic of depression among young adults and among children in the United States today. [Depression] is not just about mental suffering; it is also about lowered productivity and worsened physical health. If this epidemic continues, I believe America’s place in the world will be in jeopardy. America will lose its economic place to less pessimistic nations than ours, and this pessimism will sap out our will to bring about social justice in our own country.” ~ Martin Seligman, 1990

From a fascinating background on the study and psychology of optimism to hands-on tests you (and your child) can do at home to tangible metrics for your progress, the book is a powerful blueprint for reforming your deepest pessimistic tendencies, whether you consider them mild, moderate or profoundly severe.

EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK

In a world brimming with cynicism, it’s a rare and wonderful occasion to find an oasis of sincerity and optimism. That’s exactly what you’ll find in Everything Is Going To Be OK — a delightful pocket-sized anthology of positive artwork from a diverse lineup of independent and emerging artists, designers and illustrators, including Brain Pickings favorites Marian Bantjes, Marc Johns and Mike Perry. The project is an invitation to look at existential truisms with new eyes in a context of honesty and simplicity, delivered through such outstanding graphic design that the medium itself becomes part of the charm of the message. Continue reading

What’s the Most Loving Thing You Can Do?

The question I’ve been asking myself lately, before I do anything, is a deceptively simple one: “What’s the most loving thing you can do in this situation?

Now, that might sound corny to some of you, might seem irrelevant to most of you. But give me one minute of your time to explain.

I’ve been experimenting for awhile with letting go. Not running when I have uncertainty, fear, discomfort. Not acting on my fears or frustrations. Not letting these things drive me, but sitting still with them instead, and facing them with courage.

That’s wonderful, but what if you actually need to act? You could sit still all day, but then you’d never help anyone, never create anything, never do anything.

So there’s a need to not act, to sit still … and there’s a need to act. How do we determine which is which?

By asking that question. “What’s the most loving thing you can do in this situation?”

When you’re about to take an action (including running away, going away from uncertainty to comfort, procrastinating, going to distractions or comfort food) … stop and sit still.

Turn inward and see if fear or stress is coming up, see if you’re feeling uncertainty and wanting to cope by getting control. See if you’re trying to comfort yourself, or to lash out, to close down.

In this case, the most loving thing you can do is nothing.

The most loving thing you can do, for yourself and others, is to sit still. Face the fear and uncertainty. Not act out wanting to control these emotions, wanting to comfort yourself.

But in other cases, you want to take action. Doing your work, for example, could be something that helps you or your team or the world. Taking care of someone, talking to them, being there for them, serving them … those can be very helpful things to do.

In these cases, acting to help yourself or someone else is the most loving thing you can do.

If I’m going to read with my kid, take a walk with my wife, clean the kitchen for my family, write a book for my readers … these are loving acts.

If I’m running to check email or social media because I want something easy to do instead of writing that book for my readers … the loving act is to sit still and face this discomfort, fear and uncertainty.

When I’m talking to someone out of frustration, the most loving thing I can do is to refrain from trying to criticize or control them or be defensive. Instead, I can face this frustration. When I calm myself down, I can talk to them in a loving way and try to help them, try to empathize with them, try to be there for them.

Each time I’m about to act, the best thing I can do is ask that question: What’s the most loving thing you can do in this situation? I might not always remember, but when I do, it is always a helpful question.

source: http://zenhabits.net/loving/