One of the biggest attributes that defines your personality, reputation and presence is attitude. Maintaining a positive attitude, although sometimes difficult, can improve your health, social life and even benefit your career with the achievement of a promotion according to resumetarget.com.
So, what is it about attitude that makes it such a defining character trait? Control. You have full control of your attitude.
This means it can help you or hurt you depending on how you choose to “feed it,” as defined in the parable “Two Wolves”:
“A grandfather is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, comparison, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The grandfather simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Feed your positive attitude by following the tips outlined below:
- Use Positive Language – positive speak is very powerful and influential
- Never Criticize Anyone – in person OR virtually
- Stay Away From Gossip – let others own the distribution of their news
- Put Teamwork First – be the good teammate who is motivating
- Don’t Complain – Grandma used to tell me, “complaining is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere.”
- Take Some Time Away to Refocus – if you find yourself in an especially dark place, step away to clear your head. Think about the people or things you are thankful for.
- Exercise – moving your body is a great stress reliever and can help you find perspective when you may be struggling
While maintaining your positive attitude can be difficult, it is just as important in keeping you healthy.
Negative thinking can take a physical toll on your body:
- Side effects of negative thinking induces can cause multiple physical symptoms and increase your risk of diseases and a shortened lifespan
- Stress and other negative emotions trigger several processes in our bodies, including stress hormone release, metabolism, and immune function
- Long periods of stress increase inflammation in your body, headaches, body aches, nausea, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping
- Cynicism, stress, anger, and hostility have been linked heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and dementia
It is important to appreciate that we are all wired differently, and some may have a harder time trying to maintain a positive attitude. That is okay. Keep this in mind when dealing with others and ask yourself how you can help.
If you feel consumed by negative thoughts and are having trouble controlling your emotions, find a trusted source to confide in, such as a doctor, therapist, physiatrist, trainer, etc.
The last year has been hard on us all, but keeping perspective and focusing on the positive is a great way to make it through.
Chris Salazar-Mangrum is the VP of USAV, The PSA Network.