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Keeping A Positive Attitude

Aug 17, 2007
People see things differently. While some concentrate on negative possibilities and see their glasses half empty instead of half full, others consistently look on the bright side. But being positive does not mean being unrealistic. So an important question to ask yourself when evaluating one's demeanor: Is your glass half empty or half full?

While life can bring challenging times, having a positive attitude often can have real mind and body benefits. People who are less burdened by pessimistic thinking do not suffer the health risks associated with stress. They feel more empowered to change their lives for the better. If your perspective seems focused on negative thoughts, try these tips:

1. Eliminate negative self-talk.

When we constantly tell ourselves what we ought to do, should have done, and can not accomplish, we are filling ourselves with negative self-talk. This can make us feel unable to make positive changes. Turn negative self-talk into positive self-coaching. For example, instead of focusing on what you think you can not do, brainstorm about your strengths.

2. Stay flexible.

Change can be difficult. Often, we do not have control over the changes in our lives. Instead of concentrating on the way things were, focus on how you can make the best of the way things are. For example, if changes at work mean new challenges in your job, try to excel at your new duties instead of dwelling on the past.

3. Get involved.

Activities that provide a sense of accomplishment -- such as volunteering at a nursing home or homeless shelter -- can make a big difference in both your life and the lives of others. You will feel good about the work you do and help someone else in the process.

4. Speak up.

Learning to assert yourself at work and home is important in cultivating a positive attitude. When you express your ideas tactfully, you feel better about yourself and earn respect from others. Keeping things to yourself can lead to stress and frustration.

5. Be adventurous.

Encourage yourself to try new things -- take a class, begin an exercise program, try for that promotion. Challenge yourself to break out of your rut, and you will be rewarded by feeling better.

6. Avoid unhealthy responses to stress.

When times get tough, it is easy to let a negative outlook lead to destructive behavior. Smoking, drinking and substance abuse are typical methods people may use to distract themselves from difficult situations. These destructive habits can only make you feel worse.

7. Live for today.

Today's little pleasures and accomplishments are the events that make up our lives. Instead of reminiscing about the past or living life in anticipation of tomorrow, take time to enjoy and savor the special moments today brings.
About the Author
Pj Germain
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