4 Ways to Cultivate a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude is sort of what skincare is to makeup: a defining base.
In makeup, no matter how expensive your products are, no matter what brand you have purchased, if you don't take care of your skin, your makeup won't last or look its best.
Attitude is a "set" way of thinking or feeling towards something. It is a combination of our internal filters (beliefs, judgments, past emotional experiences etc.) and our external filters (our physical senses). It affects the way we perceive and interpret things.
Having a positive attitude does not mean denying or ignoring circumstances. It simply means that we focus those internal and external filters on seeing the good and possible benefits in any situation. And just like skincare, there is no magic trick to having a positive attitude. It is something that simply must be done daily to have visible results.
Making a positive attitude a daily practice is crucial to living a life of joy and peace, especially if you’ve grown up in a negative or toxic environment because it's something that may not come naturally. But with daily practice, it can be achieved.
Here are four things you can do to cultivate a more positive outlook:
#1 Take a break
With so much technology, it can be easy to get caught in up in busyness because we are constantly connected. There are so many distractions and notifications that are constantly stimulating our attention and it can become easy to get lost in all of the external noise.
Pro Tip: Find a favorite spot in your home, workplace (bathroom break anyone?!) etc. and take a quick break. Focus on your breathing. This will help ground and center your outlook in a more optimistic way because you are reconnecting with yourself and to your voice.
#2 Gratitude list
Our RAS system (reticular activating system) is the part of our brain that is responsible for filtering information and works as a gatekeeper for what we allow our mind to focus on. Ever notice how when you like a certain car, you start to see it everywhere? Yup, that's your RAS system shifting your focus on the car because it has caught your attention through your interest.
A gratitude list will keep your mind active looking for even more positive things.
Pro Tip: Write a list of 10 things that you are grateful for. The first 5 will probably come really easy but you might have to dig a little deeper for the last 5. This will help keep your RAS system focused on positive things.
#3 Engage your senses
Since attitude has to do with perception, we can stimulate our external filters: our senses. Since our senses have the power to influence our perception, we can create enjoyable experiences by engaging them in positive ways.
Pro Tip: Here a few ideas of how to engage your senses in a positive way.
Smell: aromatherapy, your favorite perfume.
Touch: a soft and plush fabric such as a scarf or blanket, a stress ball.
Sight: observing a beautiful painting, color therapy, look at beautiful flowers or trees.
Hearing: Listen to your favorite podcast, audiobooks or song.
Taste: a breath mint, sip some tea.
#4 Enjoy your favorite activity
Making time to enjoy our favorite activities can make or break us in the long run. If we constantly have feelings of deprivation, it can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude.
Pro Tip: Schedule some time during your week to enjoy an activity you love. It can be cooking, reading, makeup, painting, drawing, yoga, running, etc. Usually when we are immersed in activities we enjoy, we can feel a sense of wellbeing, fulfillment and joy which helps increase our positivity.
Make sure to take out a few minutes each day to cultivate a positive outlook in your life. Do you have any tips that can help? Feel free to share them below.