Unless genetically predisposed to positivity, most people are either neutral to outright negative in their mental outlook most of the time. However, a positive frame of mind is not only vastly better from the point of view of living a happier life, it can be shown to lead to enhanced productivity, better quality work, and more resilience in dealing with the unexpected challenges we all encounter.
Yes, unless you are naturally inclined that way (and very few of us are), it is definitely hard to develop and maintain a positive attitude. Let’s explore a few ways in which this may be readily achieved…
First of all, what do we mean by a positive frame of mind? It means that when your plans do not turn to as you expected, and even when life deals you a particularly bitter blow, you continue to think and function in a positive proactive manner; without letting things get you down into a mire of depression and self-reproach.
That old cliché of the glass half-full or half-empty is a true reflection of the situation. Some people will view a redundancy as the end of their lives (suicides have actually occurred because of this!). Others will regard it as an opportunity to start a new adventure or get a better position. If your house burns down, you could look upon it as an unmitigated disaster. Everything is lost and it will be impossible to begin afresh. Alternatively, you might be grateful that you and your family survived, and now you have the chance to create something even better than before.
The fact is that it is not the events that have emotional charge in and of themselves. It is the meaning that you give to them that is absolutely critical. Yes, there are definitely situations that are utterly horrific in nature, and there is no denying that. There are several going on right now, on the TV News, aren’t there? However, even then, the maintaining of a positive frame of mind is critical to increasing your chances of surviving such events and living to tell the tale. You have to actually believe it is possible to even bother to try…
It is definitely true that even the most positive person can suffer tremendous setbacks in life, no matter how positive the mental mindset. There may be times when the universe seems to be setting you up for disaster, and when nothing you decide or try goes right. Yes, there can even be terrible tragedy. Nobody is exempt. Yet, it is how each person responds to such events that sorts out the winners from the losers.
So, what do we do at such times?…
One key is to recall difficult past periods in your life when the world seemed to be ending, and yet it didn’t. Not only did you survive, but you actually thrived. After all, you’re still here reading this! So, if you managed to come through that experience, and hopefully learned valuable lessons in doing so, you can do the same again in the present situation. You just have to sit out the storm.
As Jim Rohn taught, life comes in seasons. Winter eventually gives way to Spring. It is inevitable. Things never stay bad forever. Even if you have suffered the loss of a very precious one, the mind adjusts eventually over time. It seems inconceivable in the moment that you could ever recover, but it is so. This is true of me even as I write this very sentence, which is why it occurred to me to say it.
Another key to maintaining a positive frame of mind is to recall that we do not know or understand all the hidden reasons behind events. If you have the awareness and openness, it is possible to understand that there is a larger pattern to your life than you might be aware of at any given time. Often, things that you regret in the moment, even consider as utter disasters, turn out to be the best thing that could ever have happened. Why? You were diverted towards wonderful new things that could never have manifested if your path had not been diverted in this way.
Try to avoid responding with bitterness, anger and hate. It is very easy to do and understandable in its own way. However, it is also illogical and unprofitable. It not only perpetuates the current unpleasant situation, but also makes it more likely that other similar negative scenarios may arise. Beyond that, it also trains your mind in the wrong way i.e. to become more reactive and fearful, and ever less resourceful. There is the strong danger of becoming a thoroughly disagreeable embittered person. Weeds have a habit of growing relentlessly once they have taken root; even in the garden of your own mind! If you keep up the process of feeding your brain with poison, there will come a point when it will be almost impossible to redeem it. Hence, this alone is reason enough to maintain a positive outlook at all times possible.
Understand that all kinds of emotions and feelings pass through your mind and body. You respond to them habitually, as does everyone else. So, you feel sad, angry, ecstatic, depressed, or whatever. However, you don’t have to! You literally do not have to respond as the thoughts, feelings and emotions pass through you. You can simply choose to witness them rise and fade away. This is a more meditative approach to life and towards generating the correct mindset. This is indeed a deep training and takes a lot of self-awareness, patience and self-nurturing. Nevertheless, you can choose to simply let things go that would usually have bothered you intensely.
In conclusion, try to keep a positive frame of mind at all times. Even if negative events happen, see them as part of a larger grander plan for your life. That can sometimes be very hard. However, take a deep breath and understand that the season must change eventually. It is a law of Nature.
There is a deeper plan for you. Darkness must finally turn to light. Having a positive outlook will cause that to manifest faster. Then, someday soon, you will look back and actually smile!
If you found this article helpful, then I invite you to continue the journey. Download my new free report, 5 Steps To Unleashing Your Greatness . You also get access to my personal improvement free ezine, Aspire To Wisdom; packed with personal development tips, strategies and resources to transform your life!