Keeping A Positive Attitude
Keeping a positive attitude and outlook on life. Glass Half Full – Simple tactics to living the glass half full life.
Ever wonder how some people seem to always have a positive attitude? The ones who are regularly cheery and smiley. The ones who you love to be around but also find a little irritating because they don’t complain and never get angry. Do you find yourself asking: How do they do it?
It’s not magic and no they weren’t born with some fairy dust that you missed out on.
Sure some people are more naturally inclined to see the “glass half full”. They see the positive side even when it’s difficult to find. Most of us don’t have that natural inclination. Does this mean we are doomed to a lifetime of negativity? The answer to this question is a resounding NO. The act of seeing the glass half full vs. half empty is an acquired skill that takes practice. If you’re tired of always seeing the downside, feeling defeated, bummed out and that life is “unfair” then consider giving yourself the gift of learning how to see the glass as half full.
Is this easier said than done? Why of course. Saying something and doing something are two different things. So I’m going to share with you some of the simplest tactics that when practiced daily, will lead you to living the glass half full life. Give it a try and who knows you might even become one of those slightly irritating people with few complaints and no angry bone in your body.
When you smile, good things start happening in your brain. The feel-good neurotransmitters – dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and oxytocin are released. The release of these feel-good brain chemicals activates the pleasure centers of the brain and promotes calmness, lowers stress, improves mood and heightens connection. Who doesn’t want more of that? This doesn’t mean that all you need to do in order to see the glass half full is to run around with a fake smile on your face throughout the day. Does a forced smile work? – surprisingly the answer here is yes. The facial muscles used to smile signal to your brain that you are happy. So if you’re feeling irritated or blue, go ahead and try on a smile.
Of course authentic smiles are good too and yes probably better than a forced one. When you can’t spend time with people who make you smile, try treating yourself to watching some quick funny cat videos (or whatever tickles your funny bone). Another fun note about smiling is that it is contagious. So by choosing to help yourself see the glass half full as you walk around with a smile on your face, you are also providing that possibility to those you smile at. It’s a two glasses half full for the price of one!
Ways to Keep a Positive Attitude
2. Give thanks
Choosing to be thankful and practicing gratitude is an automatic mood booster. Focusing on what you appreciate feel grateful for will bring layers of satisfaction and happiness to your life. When we do the opposite and complain about what is wrong or what we do not have we feel that empty space and we see that empty half of the glass more clearly.
Consider practicing gratitude daily by keeping a daily log or journal. Simply write down1-3 things each day that you are grateful for. Writing not your thing? That’s ok, just take a moment each morning upon waking and each evening before lying down to sleep to think internally about what you feel grateful for that day and even in that moment. Connect with loved ones by sharing with them when you feel grateful. Hint: Saying a warm thank you for even the smallest of things can be a big deal, not just for the person saying it but for the one receiving too.
3. Be kind
It’s sometimes all too easy to take people and things for granted. Remember the saying – treat others how you wish to be treated? Being kind doesn’t have to mean going above and beyond and compromising yourself. It can include going the extra mile, but being kind can be so much simpler and carry the same weight. If you value someone in your life, tell them that. If you appreciate something someone did for you, tell them with a full and whole hearted thank you.
Give compliments freely and not just to those you know but strangers too. As you enter a building, wait the extra 10 seconds to hold the door for someone. Not only will it brighten their day, it will brighten yours and they will probably keep the kindness going to brighten the days of others as well. Being kind isn’t reserved to just others. It is also important to be kind to yourself. Choose positive and motivating words when talking to yourself and resist the urge to judge and criticize.
Try positive language such as:
Today I believe in myself.
I can do difficult things.
I’m going to shine today.
4. Be present
Instead of worrying about the future or ruminating about the past try focusing on and being in the present moment. Being in the present moment does not mean emptying your mind of thoughts. In your everyday life being preset means giving full focus to what you are doing in the moment. This could mean writing an email without stopping 5 times to check your phone. If you are having a conversation try keeping your focus only on that conversation. Avoid outside distractions and really hear and see the person you are with. If you are engaging in exercise or reading a book consciously absorb yourself into those actions.
A good practice is to focus on your activated senses. In any given moment ask yourself what am I seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. And when you do practice being present also do this kindly. Don’t scold yourself for thinking about what’s next. Simply notice that your thoughts started to wander and bring them back to what’s right in front of you, gently and kindly. Be mindful.
The truth is that life will always bring you challenges. But these challenges can be less daunting if you choose to follow these tips. When you see a challenge from a positive glass half full viewpoint your more inclined to think clearly and find practical solutions more easily.
Smile ~ Give Thanks ~ Be Kind ~ Be Present