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How to Cultivate a Positive Attitude to Relieve Stress

Updated on March 13, 2013

Your Attitude is What You Make It

"Fake it 'til you make it!" Practice smiling on the outside -- it may find its way inward.
"Fake it 'til you make it!" Practice smiling on the outside -- it may find its way inward. | Source

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

Be Positive More Often than You Are Anything Else to Reduce Stress

Not every moment of ever day must be filled with laughter or smiles, but having an "Oh yeah?" attitude often won't decrease drama -- or stress --- in your life.
Not every moment of ever day must be filled with laughter or smiles, but having an "Oh yeah?" attitude often won't decrease drama -- or stress --- in your life. | Source

How to Have a Terrific Day

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

Attitude Makes All the Difference

Want to Beat Stress? Check Your Attitude

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to sail through life's dramas without succumbing to stress? It's likely because they have positive attitudes toward life.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to sail through life's dramas without succumbing to stress? It's likely because they have positive attitudes toward life. | Source

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

The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do for Your Stress

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?


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    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      5 years ago

      I agree with you, without an open mind, most of golden tools will not work.

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Taleb80, thank you for your kind words. I'm convinced that some people see the term "positive attitude" and scoff, thinking that such an attitude is only for those who view the world through rose-colored glasses. An open mind is needed to grasp the concept and make it one's own.

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      5 years ago

      I find myself voting Awesome as you hub is really worth that. I shared with followers here & in twitter. Thanks.

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Torrilynn, it's good to know that you've found that having a positive attitude and way of thinking is helping to reduce and relieve the stress in your life. As a student and young adult, the pressures can mount up quickly without a positive mindset.

      Thank you for reading, commenting and voting.

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      @ iguidenetwork: Positive or negative, whichever way we choose to perceive the events in our lives, it all begins to snowball, doesn't it? It isn't long before a thought or reaction turns into a mood and things either turn uphill or downhill from there. I agree with you. There is enough stress in life, so we need to learn how to manage it.

      Thank you for voting and Sharing.

      @ DDE: I agree with you completely. As adults, we are responsible for what we say and do. The way we think mirrors itself in our attitudes and actions. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      @ Gyspy48: Thank you for sharing your experience and happy to learn you were able to turn around your negative way of thinking to attract more positive results. Those results serve to affirm even more positive thinking, yes? Thank you for the read and voting.

      @ RebeccaMealey: I'm happy to have played a role in beginning your day on a positive note. I appreciate your read and comments.

    • torrilynn profile image


      5 years ago

      L.L. Woodard,

      i think keeping a positive mindset is great and

      really does contribute to stress relieve. realizing that you

      shouldnt stress about everything and that things will get better

      is a great way to start. thanks. and voted up.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for sharing all these thoughts on positive thinking. It is a great way to start my day this morning!

    • Gypsy48 profile image


      5 years ago

      Negative behavior produces negative results. I know that from experience. I now focus on being as positive as I can which has made my life much happier. Interesting hub:) Voted up.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Every individual is responsible for their actions and how they project themselves makes them who they really are.

    • iguidenetwork profile image


      5 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks for sharing this... stress triggers bad moods, and we all really need a way to relieve and reduce it. Up and useful, shared. :)

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Thelma, you've got the right attitude! I don't think many of us can be positive thinkers all the time, but the more often we are able to be, the more positive our attitudes will be and we will attract positive things into our lives.

      Thank you for reading, your comment and Sharing.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      5 years ago from Germany

      Positive thinking is one way of keeping us healthy for negative thoughts are making us sick. I try everyday to be positive but sometimes I can´t, but when I think about my health, well I said to myself "think of your stomach". I don´t like to have stomachache so I try not to get angry. Thanks for sharing this very informative hub;-) Shared!

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Denise, I realize that changing one's way of thinking isn't done easily, but it really is such an important step to take if you've been a negative thinker or tend to look at events as being under another person's control. When we take control of our thoughts and attitudes, it can make a world of difference.

      Thank you for the read and your comments.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      5 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Looking at the positive in difficult situations certainly helps a person to deal with them in a more productive manner. Thanks for the tips on looking on the bright side in an effort to make life more meaningful and happiness a possibility.


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