Cultivating a positive mental attitude starts with a realization — a realization that you’re not the only one who has struggled, who has survived, and who has started over again. You are not alone, and there is a way through the darkness. There is simple wisdom, which can be relied upon, to help.
Find support, but also learn self-care in how you treat yourself which is what positivity is all about. That self talk, that perception, that attitude you choose changes you and changes those around you.
Positivity is not about just being happy, which is often the misconception. In fact, acknowledging a range of emotions is healthy. Positivity is persistence while using positive thinking strategies.
It is sitting with your feelings; it is acceptance of what is; it is holding onto what makes you happy; it is purpose found in pain.
And the reasoning behind choosing to be positive — you get what you give. You receive what you believe.
Here’re 5 steps to cultivate a positive mental attitude. In part, they detail why it’s important to be positive as an understanding assists in the pursuit as much as the adoption of the mindset.
1. Attitude is What We Can Change
When you have a negative attitude, your brain gives itself permission to develop negative thinking patterns and in turn, difficult and dark emotions. You spend all your days ruminating, or worrying about the same thing over and over again, thinking that will solve it. Doing this will cause you to miss the answers rather than make the most of the moments in front of you.
In actuality, the first thing you need to do is calm yourself. It feels counter intuitive, but that means to release your troubled mentality. When you release what is bothering you, you choose a safer attitude. One that helps you to accept your emotions, accept what is happening and accept that you don’t have all the answers. You’re less afraid of that fact.
Attitude is everything. It’s how we heal ourselves. It’s how we stay positive. It’s how we secure things. It’s how we overcome.
2. Positivity Is Your Unique Power
When you have lost it all, a positive attitude can help you regain it or to regain your strength. It’s the best way to live. It’s the best way to learn from life and love. When you are positive, you have a power that circumstance nor others cannot take from you.
Recognizing the power you have to carry on, to make the best of things, to keep going when everything inside you wants to quit is worth everything.
You can’t always have it all, but you can always have a positive attitude. This in itself helps you stand out, helps you to shine. It’s enough to save yourself (and others potentially) with. That power keeps you grounded and safe.
positivity affects one’s stress levels and overall health. It is that powerful. When you are positive about a situation, you are less stressful and more calm and able to reason better to solve the very problem in front of you.
3. Be Absolutely Present
In life, you have control over your ability to be present in the moment, even if not control over everything. You have the moment.
Positivity is telling yourself that this moment is what matters. You can’t regret the past or see the future. The only way to be positive is to be here. What do you have right in front of you? Suddenly, your life shifts to gratitude.
Gratitude serves us in letting go of what we do not need. Listing what makes us happy is one way to stay present. What do you have right now that you can use? You have the tools to be positive.
4. Practice Self-Love
Self-talk is the core of self-love, the core of what positivity is all about. Positive self-talk leads to self-love. And when our own cup is empty, we can pour into another’s. We have to help ourselves first before we can help others.
This is also how self-love works. What you tell yourself is powerful and makes its mark. Here are examples of things you could tell yourself to practice positivity:
- I am enough.
- I am worthwhile.
- I can do this, I just have to hold on.
- I will make it through this.
- I am powerful.
- I am unstoppable.
5. Avoid Toxic Positivity (Unhealthy Positivity)
Avoid the white knuckling type of positivity where you don’t acknowledge your struggles or pain (as they also serve you). You don’t just want to tell yourself to move on because that equates to repression.
Emotions are part of positivity. You want to sit with your feelings. You want to acknowledge them, give them a voice. Instead of telling yourself to move on, you let your emotions lead to a breakthrough that helps you cope with the changes of life.
The greatest misconceptions made about being positive is assuming one does not have to feel in order to change. Throwing away hurt, anger, grief, sadness, all those emotions we associate with being “negative” only thwart our growth and power.
Positivity is USING these things to better yourself or the world around you because you’re not going to give in to them. They do not become you or your identity.
Positivity is not about wearing a mask; it is the opposite of a mask. It is freedom from negative thinking strategies such as jumping to conclusions, black or white thinking, worst case scenario assumptions and more. It’s acknowledging that there may be more strength or ability in you than previously assumed. And it’s worth it to find out.
Toxic positivity may suggest you simply put a smile on and act fine. That’s not real positivity. Healthy positivity is about showing up when you’re tired; loving when you are feeling loss; healing when you want to cling to your hurt. It’s realization that you are worth it, not worth writing off. And you care about the outcome, so you stay to sort it out. You don’t abandon or jump ship. You hold on. That’s healthy positivity.
In every moment, you’re not going to want to be positive. There will be times when you want to throw in the towel. But even then, choosing your attitude, recognizing the power of positivity, being absolutely present, practicing self-love and avoiding toxic or unhealthy positivity will better your days and assist through your trials.
Being positive isn’t easy, but it’s worth it to see what is going to happen next. Just around the corner may be the change you need, but you’ll never know if you don’t hold on to find out.
Positivity is about being curious enough to stay for the outcome because you simply believe, hold onto and trust in yourself and some goodness in this world. That’s enough to keep one going, and enough to help them go from surviving to thriving which is where you want to be.
Everyone has low moments. There’s nothing to be ashamed of for that. You can feel negative emotions though without shaming yourself for them by practicing healthy positivity. These steps are how to cultivate a positive mental attitude.
That way you don’t live with regret. You live in the moment.