Originally published at growthzer.com.
Since I began to pay more attention to my mood, I realized that at some days everything feels amazing and the entire world smiles at you and the next day you feel horrible even though nothing really changed. I thought that it would be incredibly beneficial to learn how to have the positive attitude and this is what this article is all about.
One of the things I realized is that positive mental attitude is not just about your mind. It has plenty to do with your actions and routines and I’m about to reveal the ones that help me tremendously.
Meditation keeps my mind in a good condition. It helps me avoid self-destructive thoughts and behaviors. You can train your mind like you’d train your muscles in the gym and meditation is the best exercise. I meditate at the end of the day right before going to sleep. It allows me to clear my mind and get rid of all the thoughts, concerns, problems, confusions, plans and so on (clearing your mind is not meant to last forever but for the very moment of meditation). At least this is what I aim at during each session.
If you’ve never meditated before and don’t know how to get started, there is plenty of guided meditations all over the internet: here is an example. Currently, I meditate for up to half an hour but I started doing 5-minute sessions or even less. It is one of the best habits you can develop in order to have a positive attitude.
Daily journaling is a habit I started doing regularly again a few weeks ago and it was absolutely worth it. My journals read horribly and they wouldn’t make sense to most of people but their only purpose is to give me a moment of reflection about the day that just passed. I write about things that happened, small goals I reached, opportunities I missed, the way I felt and whatever I feel like writing during the very moment. Usually it’s a few lines of text which is short, simple and does the job.
Sometimes, I go back to my past entries and it usually serves as a great life lesson. I realize that what seemed problematic a while a go no longer bothers me. I notice the changes I’ve made in my life. It’s just a few lines of thoughts but it serves you greatly when you want to reflect on your life.
Track Your Progress
Whenever I don’t feel like I’m moving forward, I don’t truly enjoy my life. On the other hand, when I do my daily routines and reach milestone after milestone in various areas of my life, I literally feel exceptionally amazing. It feels like you’re in a different zone, life just tastes better.
I tried tons and tons of different ways of tracking my habits and this app is so far my favorite. You can set reminders, get different stats, use different schedule options and so on. It literally has all it needs without any extra fluff.
From time to time, I will stop tracking my habits and just do them as I go and then I notice that it doesn’t feel as rewarding as seeing your progress clearly. This allows you to maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated.
Eating unhealthy is one of the biggest mood killers for me. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a cheat meal every now and then. The fact is, being smart about unhealthy food will actually improve your mood. If you watch your plate and then reward yourself with a pleasure of choice, then you know that the reward was earned and there is nothing wrong with that.
On the other hand, if you eat processed food full of sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, unnecessary additives and chemicals all the time, you’ll affect your mood in a negative way whether. Your weight goes up. You become tired because of sudden sugar spikes. You feel guilty because losing weight was your New Year’s resolution five years in a row and you still eat keep lying to yourself that you’ll start tomorrow.
So if you spend your life sitting in the office and then laying on the coach wondering how to have a positive attitude then let me reveal that sweating your ass off will have a tremendous impact on your overall approach to life. Although I really enjoy working out, it can get painful when you push extra hard but once you challenge yourself and go through it successfully, you feel amazing. This has to do with the release of happiness hormones kicking in as well as the simple realization of you becoming a badass.
Whenever I neglect being physically active, I can feel the consequences on my mood. However, when working out is part of my weekly routine, life just tastes better.
Then again, to make exercise work in your favor and keep that positive attitude, pick something that you enjoy. A few days ago I’ve seen an overweight woman literally crying as she was exercising under a supervision of her personal trainer. I do salute to her motivation to lose weight, but I think she could go through the process a lot happier if she’d choose a form of training that is more enjoyable to her.
Take Yourself Less Seriously
This is not something I’ve mastered but I believe it’s a key element to a lot more positive life. The quote below is a gem I found a while ago and started a new wave of existential thoughts in my head.
I think my life is of great importance, but I also think it is meaningless — Albert Camus.
We all have our individual goals, plans, concerns, problems, worries and views. And all those things are of a real importance. But the truth is, they’re also meaningless from a broader perspective. The real message behind this quote is not to give up everything because the universe is much greater than we can imagine.
What we should do is focus on the positive side of life (which is of a great importance) and ignore all the worries, anxieties and confusions as they’re likely meaningless with hindsight.
Stop Seeking Approval
There is a huge correlation between ignoring others’ disapproval and feeling positively about yourself. The more immune I become to the idea of living according to social approval, the happier I feel. It’s not about becoming a badass rebel throwing Molotov cocktails at your local embassy.
It’s about fulfilling your deepest desires and going after things that you truly want to experience and that make you happy regardless of whether or not it’s widely approved. In the past, I used to care a lot about people’s perception of myself but since I started eradicating internal beliefs that worked in my disfavor, negative assumptions began fading away.
Stop living as a slave of other’s approval and worrying about people who aren’t worried about you and your positive mental attitude will drastically improve.
Spend Time Outside
Especially during the winter, it’s easy to live your life constantly surrounded by walls but it’s completely against our human nature and doing so will leave an impact on you. This factor to having a positive attitude is extremely straightforward. Go out as much as you can, enjoy the sun and fresh air and simply walk. I go out every single day for at least an hour just to walk around the city or in the nature, depending on my location. Not only it’s necessary considering I work behind desk, but it also keep myself happier. Yes, it’s the simple things that keep you positive. Beside that, walking is also a great weight loss method.
Get Positive Reference Experience
If you’ve read so far, it’s great that you’re expanding your mind and look for advice on how to improve your life. However, if you don’t apply it, then no article will help you. In order to experience the benefits of things I mentioned above and actually develop that positive mental attitude, you need to apply the knowledge and get the positive reference experience.
You know that exercising and positive diet will make you feel better. You can keep reading about the benefits or you can actually commit to a healthier lifestyle, see the benefits first-hand and get the positive reference experience that will keep you exploring. Once you work on one of the above areas (or anything else that sharpens your positive mental attitude), other pieces of the puzzle will start to fall into place and soon enough, you’ll realize that your life changed for better drastically.
If you’d like to learn more on how to have a positive attitude, check out my recent book.