Positive Mental Attitude – How to Get One, and How to Use it for Success
on June 5, 2020 • Grace
Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
That is the basis of what it means to develop a positive mental attitude (PMA). In other words, a positive mental attitude is a philosophy that believes that an optimistic mindset attracts positive change and increases your chances of success.
With this belief, people who have a PMA also have a greater well-being and are more likely to achieve their goals. That’s because a positive mindset helps you stay resilient, open-minded and motivated. In fact, experts believe that this type of attitude is the key to success.
So no matter how hard you are working toward your goals — whether you’re training for hours each day, or taking classes to gain new skills, or networking your butt off — you will only make it so far without a positive mental attitude.
What’s more, a positive mindset can also increase your lifespan, reduce rates of depression and improve your overall psychological and physical health.
Here are five ways to start developing a PMA — and therefore getting one step closer to success — today:
Become Aware of Your Negativity
The first steps to achieving a positive mental attitude is to become aware of your current negativity, and then to purposefully focus on being positive.
Often, a negative mindset results from having too many distractions and stressors. Take some time to reflect on what is causing your negative mindsets, as well as how this negativity manifests itself.
Perhaps you tend to jump to conclusions when faced with a challenge, or only think in black and white when working toward your goals. To become aware of this negative way of thinking, use a visual trigger, like a rubber band on your wrist or a ring on your finger. Everytime you notice the rubber band or ring, take note of what you are thinking and feeling.
Once you’ve acknowledged your negativity, you can combat it with new habits. Using the same rubber band or ring technique, now try moving the object to the other hand every time you notice negative thinking. This will help you physically break up your thoughts, and also separate this mindset from you as a person.
Reframe Your Language and Thoughts
Remember: A PMA is not about avoiding or repressing feelings of negativity. It is simply about trying to use all of your emotions in positive ways and to not allow your negative thoughts define you.
In other words, a positive mental attitude helps you gain control over your language and thoughts. Start developing this mindset by reframing the negative thoughts that come your way (the ones you notice when you move the rubber band from one wrist to another, for example) into positive ones.
According to Dr. Tchiki Davis, some ways to do this are:
- To visualise your success.
- To do things that make you feel positive, such as watching a funny video, going for a scenic walk or listening to uplifting music.
- To change your language. For example, change the words “setbacks” to “challenges,” and “problems” to “opportunities.”
- To practice positive self-talk.
That last one is a big one. That’s because what you tell yourself ultimately has power over you. Being kinder to yourself with your thoughts and thinking of positive affirmations in the face of challenges are some of the best ways to gain a positive mental attitude.
Think this sounds too easy to be true? Recent research published in Health Psychology proves otherwise. These researchers studied the level of physical activity and overall health of over 60,000 adults over a 16-year period. They found that the people who mentally compared their fitness progress to the people around them were 71% more likely to die sooner. That’s because they believed that they were less healthy than others, even if their fitness levels were exactly the same. In fact, most of these people were underestimating just how active and healthy they were.
As personal trainer Carmine Rotolo said about these results, “The research, I must say, is spot-on ….Being positive is much harder than being negative, and negative self-talk will wreck everything if we allow it to. But if we use it as a positive motivator, it will help us break through and achieve things we never thought possible.”
Focus Your Mind
Not only should you try to focus on the positive, but you should also challenge yourself to start focusing on only one task or problem at a time. This will reduce your feelings of stress and launch you toward success.
A good way to do this is to measure your progress. No matter what your goals are, if you focus on the steps you are making toward achieving them, you are activating your positive mindset. This will help you stay laser-focused on your purpose, keeping the negative stressors and distractions at bay while also boosting your motivation.
Even if your progress doesn’t feel like much, start measuring it. For example, keep track of how often you go to the gym each week. If you went an extra day or stayed for an extra half hour this week compared to last week, you are progressing in the right direction!
This practice will also show you the power you have over your circumstances, even if that power is just with your thoughts. By monitoring your resilience in the face of challenges, you are creating the foundation for a positive mental attitude.
An essential part of a PMA is simply being grateful for what you already have.
Practicing gratitude is another way of focusing your mind on the positive rather than the negative. Because of this, it’s also something that successful people swear by.
One of the simplest ways to start practicing gratitude every day is to keep a gratitude journal. Every day — morning or night — write down something you are grateful for. This could be a person in your life or something you accomplished that day, or something simpler like the fact that you got a good parking spot at the gym.
Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to keep a gratitude journal. Maybe you want to write each entry as stream-of-consciousness, or maybe you’re more of a list person. No matter your style, just taking the time each day to reflect on the positive things in your life will change your entire mindset for the better.
Keeping a gratitude journal will also help you turn your foresight into hindset. As fitness entrepreneur Aubrey Marcus says, “In hindsight we are clearly able to see the purpose in our failures and disappointments. In hindsight, we are almost always grateful.”
This causes you to stay present, mindful and more aware of the positivity you have right now.
If you’re set on achieving your goals and finding success now, developing a positive mental attitude is the perfect place to start. If you need that extra push, check out how I can help you along your journey here.