Positive Attitude: What Is It and How Do You Get One?
What is a positive attitude?
Technically, an attitude is something that others observe in you. So whether or not you have a positive attitude depends on how you interact with the world, and how they see you. But what they see in you is often a reflection of who you are. Are you able to see the bright side of challenging situations? Are you kind to people even when they may not deserve it? Do you smile and laugh and generally enjoy life? Well, my friend, then you likely have a positive attitude.
Why is it important to develop a positive attitude?
Many of us might prefer to just be a Grumpy Gus — What's the point in getting all jazzed up about everything all the time, right? Sometimes it feels easier to just be negative. But ask yourself this: Do you like being around people who are negative and complaining all the time? I certainly don't.
This is why building a positive attitude is so important. We're not only happier with our lives, people are more likely to want to be around us, which makes even happier yet.
How do you develop a positive attitude?
To build a positive attitude, you have start changing your perspective on life. Stop looking for all the negatives and start appreciating the positives a bit more. Try practicing gratitude, finding the benefits, thinking positive a bit more, and with practice, it'll get easier.
How do you trick your brain into being more positive?
What?! You want me to be more positive?! How on earth an I supposed to do that?!
I know, I know. If you currently have a negative attitude, you're probably already doubting and finding flaws with my suggestions for how to build a positive attitude. Believe me — I get it.
Rather than trying to just flip some magic switch and change everything about who you are, it's better to start small. We do that by activating regions of your brain that — let's face it — could use a bit of a workout: The positive regions of your brain.
It's just like if you haven't gone to the gym in years. Jumping right back in is going to hurt. So instead of hurting your "positivity muscles", let's just start with a light stretch of those muscles.
One way to get the positive part of your brain humming again is by memorizing, and recalling, lists of positive words. That's right. When you force your brain to use positive words frequently, you make these words more accessible in your daily life and you activate other related connections in your brain. So later, when you're trying to have a positive attitude, positive thoughts, memories, and emotions may come to more more easily.
Not sure which words are positive? Psychologists have painstakingly measured thousands of words to determine how positive and negative they are. To make this research useful for our purposes, we've selected only the most positive of the positive words and turned it into a positivity workbook for adults, and a workbook for kids.
So if you're struggling with the whole idea of thinking positively, try memorizing positive words first. It's the stretching that makes the other "positivity workouts" easier.
To keep growing your "positive brain", use this positive information in new ways. For example, you could memorize positive words and set an alarm that reminds you to recall these words, in reverse order, at the end of the day.
Or, you could print out these words on cards, cut them into 2 pieces, shuffle them all together and then find each card's match. For example, the word "laughter" would be cut into "laug" and "hter". To match the word pieces, your brain has to search through all of the positive information it has. So again, it helps you activate infrequently used regions of the brain — and activating them makes them stronger.
What is benefit finding and how does it build a positive attitude?
Ready to try another strategy for developing a positive attitude? Try benefit finding.
Benefit finding involves thinking through and mentally listing all the positive things associated with a situation. For example, let’s say I lose my job. Although there may be negatives associated with this experience, there are also likely to be positives. I may have not really liked my boss or maybe now I can finally pursue another interest that I have been wanting to pursue. Of course, it can still be hard, but focusing on the positives makes it a bit easier.
There will be many times in life when we experience tough situations and tough emotions. When we find the benefits in these situations we can make them a bit more tolerable and may even be able to grow and learn new things we never could have imagined. Often times it is life's challenges that lead to truly rewarding opportunities. When we remind ourselves of this we become capable of experiencing happiness, even when we are struggling.
Some more tips of developing a positive personality
Activities to develop this skill:
Still eager to learn more skills to develop your positive attitude? Try these activities below:
Learn about other emotional skills >>