What happens when you stop watering a plant? Eventually, of course, the plant expires but before that, it undergoes a series of unfortunate changes. Each leaf loses its luster before falling; the body begins to weaken and shrivel before becoming dry and brittle to the touch.
In truth, neglecting anything usually only leads to disappointment and this is especially accurate when it comes to your attitude. Cultivating a positive attitude requires dedication and a genuine desire to improve oneself.
Just as we water plants to help them thrive, it is important to nurture ourselves if we hope to flourish. Negative thinking can easily dominate our minds if we do not take the necessary measures to maintain a positive way of seeing things. Without a positive outlook, achieving personal goals, overcoming adversity, and drawing strength from within becomes difficult. Worst case scenario: We lose all hope.
Here are six essential steps to ensure your positive attitude doesn’t go the way of an abandoned plant:
Seriously (but not too seriously), life should not be dull and dreary. We release endorphins when we laugh which makes us happier and reduces stress levels. There is nothing more contagious than a smile and while you may not always feel like it, it literally takes less physical effort to smile than frown. Additionally, being able to laugh through life’s toughest moments is the hallmark of a positive attitude.
Stop holding grudges
It is impossible to change the past. Maybe a close friend hurt your feelings, or you were passed you up for a promotion at work. Dealing with things like this is not easy but it’s important to remember that you are actually causing yourself more pain by not letting things go. Understanding this will allow you to see the endless opportunities that lie ahead.
Beware of instant gratification
If we’re not careful (and disciplined), long-term life goals can end up on hold (or missed altogether) because we focus too much on things that provide us with immediate satisfaction. A positive attitude requires long-term thinking and a step-by-step plan to achieve those “big” goals. The best things in life take time, and effort and planning.
Acting before considering long-term consequences is also something to be aware of. For example, when someone road rages at you, you can respond with negative words and gestures which is gratifying in the moment. Or you can just drive away and not allow the incident to disturb you peace. Keep your positive attitude by being the bigger person.
Motivation can be found in thousands of books or on hundreds of podcasts, videos, and many other platforms. Challenge yourself to make it a mission to learn something new every day. Being inspired sows the seeds for change as the stimulation of your mind encourages positive mental growth.
Keep good company
You can drastically change your outlook on life when you have sincere friendships that are truly supportive. The key to a positive attitude is to avoid drama, not spread gossip, and be pure in your intentions. The people we spend most of our time with have a great impact on us. Make sure that your influence doesn’t come from someone who complains, is jealous of your success or never tries to see the bright sides of things.
Don’t forget to say thank you
A good trick is to keep a gratitude journal to track the things you are most grateful for. We all tend to air our grievances, but what good does that ever do? Taking the time to list positive influences and happenings in our lives makes us realize we have a lot more to be thankful for than we might think.
Be nice to yourself
If you continue to nourish your well-being by being kind and patient to yourself, you will never lose your positive attitude. Some people forget to water their plants, while others lack the motivation to do so. Just know that a bountiful harvest never spawns in the night. As you navigate your way through life, your efforts to maintain your peace will become second nature.