How to Create a Winning Attitude!
Some thoughts on Attitude
In a busy, fast paced and often negative world it is easy to lose sight of the important things.
For many of us it is only when we or someone we love experiences a crisis that we stop and consider the things and people we are thankful for but often take for granted.
Being grateful is not a New Age idea. If you are thankful for what and who you have in your life you create a state of mind that lifts your spirits and opens you up creatively.
There is ample scientific proof that a positive perspective and a balanced outlook tend to enhance the natural power of the immune system, helping one to fight disease and stress more effectively.
There is also ample scientific proof that being angry, bitter and generally stressed out compromises the immune system, making one more susceptible to disease and system breakdown.
The immune system is delicate and can break down when stress hormones (acid like substances) are continually attacking it.
The Way We Think
The way we think influences the way we feel. We are emotionally driven creatures, even if at times we are not fully aware of how we feel or why.
Think about the way you feel and behave when you are having a “bad” day. Almost anything you do has a negative quality to it. Your perspective is dark, your thoughts are pessimistic, and you’re feeling low, perhaps irritable or angry as you see a narrow or limited picture of the world.
Now think about the way you feel on a “good” day. You’re upbeat, your thoughts are positive, your mind is open and creative and you are a lot more pleasant to be with.
What’s the difference between the “good” and “bad” days? Your perspective or attitude! How you see the world, the emotional lens you look through determines your mood and what type of day you will have…and you are in charge!
Our behavior is informed or driven by the emotional state in which we put ourselves. The more often we experience an emotional state, good or bad, the easier it is to slip back into that state again.
If you are accustomed to being in a pessimistic or negative state of mind then it is likely that, as a result of the way you have trained your brain, you will fall into that state more easily.
That same principle can be applied to being in a positive state of mind.
A sense of gratitude helps to create a positive state of mind. It lifts the spirit, causing a more desirable effect on the mind and body.
Practicing gratitude can help you change your thoughts from fearful and negative to thankful and hopeful. It is often one of the best therapeutic tools you can use, switching from a state of complaining (the “poor me” syndrome) to being thankful.
This type of switching can be learned. You can train yourself to create a better state of mind. Using gratitude or thankfulness as a vehicle to achieve a better attitude or perspective is a method that people have been using for generations.
Creating the Winning Attitude
If we work from the assumption that, short of any real physical or mental health issues, how we think determines the way we feel, we can program our minds to create a winning attitude. The following tips can help you do just that.
During the next week decide to implement these strategies. You will likely feel better and others will notice the change.
Ask Better Questions
If you think of your brain as a magnificent computer, programmed to respond to specifics, then it makes sense that if you ask it a poor question, “why do bad things always happen to me?”, it will come up with the answers to that particular question, answers that will support that mindset. Likewise, if you have trained yourself to ask better questions like, “what can I do to improve my situation?” it will come up with answers that will help you to solve your problem.
Live in the present, Learn from the past.
We have a tendency to hold onto past events and forecast the future by using them as a guide. The past does not equal the future. You may have tried something and either failed or not achieved as much as you had hoped. That does not mean that you are doomed to fail again! Use each experience as an opportunity to learn a better way forward. The trick to doing so is an honest analysis of your decision making.
See your dark, pessimistic assumptions for what they are… just assumptions, not facts. Everyone is not out to get you and you are not cursed! There may have been some specific things that did not work out as you had hoped but that doesn’t mean that you are doomed. Keep your thoughts reasoned and your perspective open minded.
Focus on what you can change.
Circumstances beyond our control will occur in everyone’s life. You are in control of how you think about and react to them. Your inner world belongs to you alone and you get to decide what type of effect something will have on you. When faced with a distressing situation ask yourself if you really have control over the events. If you do, change what you can. If you don’t, learn to adapt and move on. Adaptation to circumstances and making the most out of them will help you to feel back in control again.
Let go of anger and resentment
Hanging on to negative emotions like anger or resentment will drain your energy and hinder you from moving forward. The best way to let go of these emotions is to fully acknowledge the feelings associated with the initial negative experience. Honor those feelings and let them go as they no longer serve you; replace them with something positive. The objective is to learn from that initial negative experience
Do something “Good” for someone every day.
Everyday choose to do something positive for someone else without expecting something in return. Whether this is an act of courtesy or true charity the important thing is that it will help you to become a little less self-centered. Acts of selflessness often help us to feel good….try it for one week.
Recognize the positives.
If you are at a low point it may be difficult to recognize the positives in your life. However it is still very important to do so. Make a list of all the positive forces you can identify. Who or what is in your life right now that you consider yourself lucky to have? How have things improved up until the time your motivation waned? What would life be like without those people or things? Taking a real inventory of your good fortune (whatever it may be) can help bring things into perspective again.
About the Author
Dr. Stan Hyman is a licensed psychotherapist and Life Coach in private practice in Miami, Florida. He works with individuals, couples and business partners helping them to resolve conflict, stay positive and create great relationships.