What if we told you a slight change in your attitude could guarantee better mental health, reduce stress, and create greater happiness in your life? While a positive mindset won’t eliminate life’s many challenges, it is the best way to handle feeling overwhelmed. 

In the song “Beautiful Day”, singer Bono tells the story of “a man who has lost everything, but finds joy in what he still has.” Is there really any better way to live life? Worrying less about our losses and focusing more on what we can be grateful for is the key to a happier way of life. Making it a habit to notice the positive in all situations is the best way to change your mental perspective. Find the silver linings! Here are a few ways to see the bright side of things:

  • Let go of negativity – Exhale bad feelings and inhale the good vibes. Maintaining a positive attitude helps us to better overcome day-to-day challenges. Rather than seeing complications as tragedies, try to look at them as opportunities to learn and grow. Challenge yourself to find 3 things to celebrate every day!
  • Don’t expect too much – Sometimes, the cause of disappointments in life is setting too high of expectations. Stay grounded and practical. 
  • Don’t dwell on the past – Many negative and hurtful things happen in life, but you will never move forward unless you free yourself from the past. Learn to forgive and let go as you welcome new, positive experiences.
  • Surround yourself with uplifting people – If you hang out with people who have positive attitudes, those attitudes are contagious. It can be said that a forward-looking attitude is the best thing you can carry around with you because it makes difficult situations easier to deal with. Whether it is finding the silver lining in a bad scenario or looking at the glass half full, rather than half empty; a good attitude can add a lot to your life.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle – Exercise releases endorphins, which are the  “happiness hormones.” Being active keeps your mind busy. Movement is meditation! Get outside, go for a walk, and see if you don’t feel a bit better when you’re through. 

A positive mindset stimulates many health benefits. It affects you mentally, emotionally, and physically. People with a good outlook often live longer because they have lower stress levels. Positivity also lowers a person’s chance of depression, strengthens their immunity to common sicknesses, lessens the risks of cardiovascular disease, and coping skills are enhanced during challenges. Studies also show that people who are positive-minded live healthier lifestyles because they exercise regularly and eat healthy foods.

If you tend to have a negative outlook, don’t expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually, your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you.

“Life is a reflection of your thoughts. If you change your thinking, you change your life”

                                                                                     -Brian Tracy

Blog written by Debi Kopman, Life Enrichment Director for Sonoma Hills Retirement