Gratitude is a positive Attitude
Your attitude comes from your thinking. How you are internalising your world around you and making sense of it. Your actions are very much interlinked with your attitude. Basically, we end up acting and reacting based on our thoughts. How we think and feel as to what is going on in our world around us.
From this, you can see why what you are thinking is very important. Why a positive attitude can affect your behaviour and in turn your life experience.
Change your attitude, change your whole world.
The wonderful thing is we can have control on our thinking. We can choose to change our attitude to a positive one. We can become more aware of our thought processes and take action to change it.
We self-reflect and self-talk all the time. We can be cynical, pessimistic, judgmental and harsh on ourselves and others with our thought process. This way of thinking is normal, maybe unfortunately so, but it’s not really positive or necessarily helpful.
For example, instead of using our self-talk to be harsh on ourselves we can use it to encourage and to self-praise.
If something you wanted didn’t go to plan, instead of thinking in terms of loss or failure, you can frame the situation differently. You can take on the attitude that you tried and did your best. You can acknowledge your efforts, thank and appreciate yourself for how you tried. Doing that is a lot more positive than criticising yourself.
You are more likely to be empowered to try again if you see this one situation in a more positive context. Just because you were not successful now or things didn’t work out like how you wanted them to, does not mean you yourself are a failure. Neither does it mean that next time you won’t be successful. The reality is that success and positive results often comes from sustained effort. True also is that we cannot control some outcomes.
Your thinking is reflected in your actions
You can, at any time, take a moment to appreciate what you have achieved so far. To reflect a moment on all that you can be thankful for is a positive action for you to take.
This gives you the opportunity to relax a little. Relax not just mentally but physically. Remember, our minds and bodies are interconnected. We respond physically to our emotional thoughts.
When we think a harsh or upsetting thought, our body responds with stress hormones and our muscles tense. In reverse, when we think of happy soothing thoughts our body reacts by relaxing muscles and releasing ‘feel good’ hormones.
Even a simple thought such as being appreciative of the blue sky or your nice lunch is a positive thought. To focus on a positive, no matter what that positive is, distracts you from focusing on the negative.
It is a simple but powerful technique of stress management to alter your attitude in this way.
In times of anxiety, or when we are upset, we have the ability to take a moment to consider the many interactions we have had with others where they were nice or kind to us.
Our memory can conjure up those happy and positive times with others in the past. Even in times of crisis we can do this, and even find ourselves smiling at those memories.
Instead of focusing on where we have been let down, we have the ability to change our thoughts to recall those that have supported us. This can have a calming and empowering effect.
Focusing on a positive distracts you from the negative
A positive attitude makes us nicer people to be around. It improves our interactions with others and allows for a more positive experience. We are far more likely to smile at or be kind to others when we have acknowledged how important those interactions can be. The concept of ‘Paying it Forward’ whereby we pass on positive feelings to others is all part of this positive attitude.
The ability to alter our perception as you can see can make us more aware and centred in ourselves. This is the very essence of calm self-control.
To be aware of and in control of your thoughts is an essential self-help tool. It is a tool that can be taught to you and supported through psychotherapy and counselling.The ability to switch your perspective is a very helpful resource.
A psychotherapist such as myself would teach you such tools so that you can self-manage your moods and perception.
The final thought here is that positivity is always possible, even in difficult times.
Positive Psychology research and discussion on ‘What is Gratitude’ – Click here
About the author:
Clair O’Brien Meany is a professional psychotherapist with an educational background in Psychology, Psychotherapy & Coaching. Clarity Therapy is her professional practice and offers counselling and support services for when you need it.
Face to face sessions in the Costa del Sol area and also appointments phone/online using Skype, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger video calling are available.