How to Cultivate a Positive Attitude to Relieve Stress
Your Attitude is What You Make It
A Positive Attitude Begins with You
No one else is responsible for your attitude; it is uniquely yours. But, you say, the kids don't listen; my boss is too demanding; my spouse just doesn't understand. Even if all of those issues are true for you, it isn't the issues that create your attitude -- it's your thinking and your choice of how you respond to the issues that makes a difference.
If you feel like a victim to life's circumstances, stop it. Victims are helpless people. You are not helpless. You have a mind. You are an adult and as such you alone are responsible for your own thoughts, actions, reactions and words. Do not allow life to hold you hostage; that can only happen if you allow it to be so.
In order to have a positive attitude, you need to begin to think in a positive manner. You need to believe you can do something. You need to feel the motivation to do what needs to be done. You have to be the person who sees the silver lining ready to emerge from the dark clouds.
Only when you believe all of this to be true; only when you are ready and willing to take responsibility for your own thoughts, attitudes and action will you be able to take the first steps forward.
What will be your reward? You will begin to see the world around you differently because essentially, you'll have traded in your "negative eyeglasses" for a pair of positive ones. You will begin to feel empowered -- because you are. You'll take less notice of the small things that happen around you -- the pebbles that used to look like rocks to you. You may feel less anxiety, less depression and you'll certainly reduce the stress in your life.
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." Ralph Waldo Emerson
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How Does Positive Thinking Beat Stress?
Let's look at what stress really is. Stress is not the people, places and situations around us, stress is our reaction to those things. Stress, it has been said, occurs when two forces are trying to move in opposite directions.
Those two forces could be just about anything: the difference between your expectations and the reality of the situation at hand; a desire to be right and the other party feels you are wrong; ordering a chocolate ice cream cone and receiving a vanilla one. The way you feel about an event has everything to do with how you view life in general as well as your beliefs, mores and ethics.
Choosing to look at life more positively is good; the beginning to do so is the real test. It isn't going to be easy; most things worth having require effort. You've been thinking and feeling the way you do for a long period of time -- perhaps your whole life. Everything will not change in a day or two, but it will change because you are putting active thought into it.
From the moment you decide you want to think more positively, that a positive attitude is important to you, begin to mold realistic expectations for yourself. Positive thinking and having a positive attitude will come one step at a time as long as you are actively pursuing those goals. In a month or maybe a little more, your new way of thinking and reacting to life will begin to become second nature.
Don't let the effort to be a more positive person cause you to react in a stressful way. That would defeat much of the purpose of your changes. Maybe at first you're only able to change your thinking and attitude at home. Instead of seeing this as a defeat, which would be negative thinking, view it for the victory it is and resolve to use your new positive tools in other aspects of your life.
"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." William James
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How Does Positive Thinking Lead to a Positive Attitude?
How does positive thinking lead to a positive attitude? The fact is, it's nearly impossible to have one without the other. You can fake it on the outside. You can smile, modulate your voice and affect your body posture to convince another person that you have a positive attitude about whatever is going on, but that is acting and lasts only so long.
How much better it is to think and feel positive on the inside, on the part that counts for you as a human being, than merely acting the part. When you begin to see the glass as half full, when you begin to see the possibilities in change, when you know you can adapt to whatever comes your way in life, your attitude will mirror your thoughts. Others will notice the changes in you, even if they don't mention it. It will be little things; you appear more confident, slower to anger, are more assertive in communicating your thoughts and needs and you are more present in each and every moment.
"The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances." William James
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How to Think Positively
Positive thoughts begin with "I can" or "I will" or "Maybe it will work this way." Positive thinking is seeing the possibilities, of thinking outside the box, of being creative to your approach to an event or circumstance. Positive thinking begins with looking for a solution.
Positive thinking and a positive attitude are two of the best factors to relieve stress. How are you going to react negatively to an event when you are thinking positively?