Maintaining a Positive Attitude

One way to increase your level of happiness, improve your health and boost your confidence is to consistently maintain a positive attitude. Take a moment to pause and reflect on just how much more pleasant a day is when it is filled with positive occurrences. Because we don't live in a perfect world where negativity is non-existent, it's up to us to find the positive aspects of our lives and focus on those rather than allow negative thoughts and occurrences to hinder our happiness and adversely impact our health.

Knowing a few of the ways a positive attitude can be beneficial to your physical health could be an incentive that will propel you toward a goal of living in a positive frame of mind. Research shows that when people have a positive attitude, they have lower levels of stress and a reduced risk of depression. It has been substantiated in numerous medical studies that stress has a negative impact on your physical health. Studies show that stress adversely impacts your immune system, which may also affect your body's ability to fight diseases such as cancer. Stress slows down your body's healing process and is a factor in many other issues that can impede your health. A positive attitude greatly increases your coping skills, thereby expediting healing and improving the manner in which you deal with the potentially difficult situations and stressful events that life sometimes tosses at you.

This precise moment is the perfect time for you to set a goal of living in a positive frame of mind. If negativity has crept into your life, there are ways to banish it and replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. The following ideas can serve as a guide to help you find ways to gain the inspiration you need to develop and maintain a positive attitude that will benefit you physically, mentally and emotionally.

The first step toward living in a positive frame of mind is to recognize that it's not material possessions that hold the key to personal happiness. One of the ways to develop and maintain a positive attitude is to keep a gratitude journal. At the end of every day, you should take time to list 5 or more things that you are grateful for. When you first start keeping a gratitude journal, you may find yourself relying on material things in order to come up with five things you're thankful for. It's okay to be grateful for material possessions, but as you progress toward your goal of developing and maintaining a positive attitude, you'll notice that it's not the material things that form the foundation for grateful living and positive thinking.

Start your day off in a positive manner. If you need some quiet time to meditate each morning, set your clock to get up a little early to allow you that opportunity. If a morning walk or physical exercise is the best way to start your day, make that a priority. Many people find music a great motivational force. Waking up to music with a positive or inspiring message can set the tone for the day. A simple, yet highly effective way to maintain a positive attitude is to post some inspirational and encouraging quotes in areas where you can see them often. The bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, the dash of your car, inside your purse, briefcase or laptop carrying case and numerous other places are good locations for posting positive quotes.

Make it a point to celebrate small pleasures. This can include pleasurable experiences such as catching a glimpse of a magnificent sunrise or a gorgeous sunset, the arrival of a new bird at your feeding station, a spontaneous memory-making moment with your spouse, child or pet, an indulgent edible treat that stirs a pleasant memory or any other small event that makes your heart happy and puts a smile on your face.

The environment you are in can impact your attitude. Complaining is contagious. Unlike with physical conditions, such as the flu, there is no vaccine to protect you from being affected by complainers. Surrounding yourself with positive minded people is one of your best methods of defense. What you read and what you hear penetrates your mind and can affect your attitude. Read books that offer inspiration and encouragement. Choose to watch television programs and movies that have a positive slant to them or that can generate a good laugh. Laughter is a key element in achieving a happy, positive state of mind. It's always helpful to have a photo posted in your work area, displayed in your home or on your phone that can instantly bring a smile to your face. When a negative thought starts to creep in, just a quick glance at this picture can divert that negativity.

The thoughts inside your head and the inner voice that speaks to you can sometimes be your worst enemy. You have to gain control of that conversation and see that it stays positive. No one is perfect. There will be moments or days when it takes a greater, more intentional effort to keep a positive attitude. That doesn't mean you are failing in your attempt to stay positive. It could be that you have slowly started letting negative thoughts creep in. You may have allowed complainers into your personal space. It may be that you've diverted your attention from the true sources of happiness and let your eyes and mind wander toward the materialistic things that only provide temporary pleasure. When you find your positive attitude fading, the means of retrieving it lies within. Set aside some time for personal reflection, increase the length of your gratitude list and seek out some additional ways to support the maintenance of a positive attitude.

When you go though life with a positive attitude, your level of confidence will be higher. Recognizing and acknowledging the good things you have in your life provides a barrier that deflects the negative thoughts that attempt to intrude on your happiness. Knowing that it is the simple pleasures that are your greatest source of happiness, not material possessions, assures you that you'll always have an inner resource to draw from to provide support for your positive attitude.