The world news can sometimes be overwhelming. Looking for inspiration, I came across a quote by Mahatma Gandhi:
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
You and I may individually not be able to control all the crazy things that happen in our world,
But I believe individually we can make our own lives better – which will ultimately make this world a better place.
How This Relates to Positive Attitudes
So back to Gandhi’s quote “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
Let’s think about how each of us might make a change that in some way, little or big, that will have a positive impact in our world.
Because I personally get brought down and even feel stressed by the world news and political quarreling, let’s say “the change” we want is for the world to be a more positive place.
Based on Gandhi’s wise words, if we want the world to be more positive, then we must first change ourselves to be more positive.
I’m just one little person in this big world… can a personal change I make in my life really make a difference to the world?
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Think about how ONE bad attitude can affect a whole group. It’s like the ol’ saying, “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.” It only takes one person to spew negativity to make the whole group focus on the negative side.
On the flip side, ONE person with a glowing positive attitude can reshape the conversation to something that feels so much better.
I know I feel much better about myself when I’m that cheerful, positive person in the group versus the Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer who wreaks havoc on office morale or who drains the festive spirit out of a family event.
Bad attitudes, negative thinking, and dim outlooks can spread like wildfire.
So based on what I’ve learned from the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, here’s how I believe each of us individually can make this world a better place, and it’s really quite simple:
Give focus to what makes you feel good emotionally.
Focusing on the bad feels heavy and tends to drain the life right out me.
Focusing on the positive helps me personally stay more optimistic and joyful, and the bottom line is I feel better. When I feel good, it makes life feel brighter and not so burdensome.
From experience I know that my thoughts and what I focus on determines how I feel, and how I feel forms my overall attitude about life.
For example, after watching a news story about some horrific situation, I feel sad or maybe even fearful.
However, after watching a feel-good story such as a group of people who are volunteering to help others, I feel uplifted and motivated to see how I might be able to do something similar.
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Another example is how you feel after ranting about your awful ______________ (fill-in the blank). If you catch your thought or conversation going downhill, be mindful that swinging it to the positive side will have you walking away feeling a lot better.
Again, Gandhi’s quote is “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Any “change” or good new habit requires practice, so building a more positive attitude will likely require some practicing.
Becoming a more positive person is a process, it’s not a jump you make one day. So let’s get going with tips for how to have a more positive attitude.
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8 Ideas to Build a More Positive Attitude
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All of these ideas are simple and you can start them TODAY.
Consider how each change will help you focus on things that make you feel good emotionally, and will ultimately help you build a more positive mindset.
1) Let it go
Stop thinking again and again about a negative situation.
Ask yourself, will this matter a month from now? Don’t sweat the small things, move on to something better. Practice this until you’re able to look at something and know it’ll pass.
Talk less about things that are going wrong, and talk more about what is going good. Get so focused and excited about what you DO want, that you forget about what you don’t want.
I sometimes remind myself to pick my battles. I ask myself if this situation is really worth getting all upset over, making someone angry, or even possibly damaging a relationship.
Usually I choose to let it go. What seems like a big deal in the moment quickly diffuses itself when I simply refocus my thoughts. Here are 3 Tips for How to “Let Go” of the Little Things.
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For tips on what to do when catch yourself with a poor choice of thoughts or talk, read my post Become the Most Positive Person You Know for tips on deactivating negative thoughts. Also, keep reading and take special note of idea #2 below.
2) Your Thoughts. Your Choice.
Choose your thoughts wisely. In any situation, you have the choice of making the best or worst of it. You have the option of making it hard or easy. Choose wisely.
When you catch yourself thinking negatively (and we all do!), change your thought to something more in line with appreciation.
You act the way you think and feel, so breaking a cycle of thinking about something as being miserable or hopeless is really important.
You might be thinking that’s easy to say but not so easy to do. Here’s the thing….
You can’t magically change from feeling miserable to extraordinary, but you can shift your thoughts just a little to something that feels at least a bit better.
Example: Let’s say you signed up for a class and you’re sitting there thinking it’s a big waste of time and money. That feels pretty crappy.
What if you changed your thought to… even though the class isn’t what I thought it would be, I’ll try to get a few good nuggets out of it and there are a few cool people here.
You’re not pretending it’s an awesome class, you’re just adjusting your thought to something that feels better and can benefit you. You’re choosing a thought that is helpful instead of a thought that will certainly sabotage your classroom experience.
If you’re feeling hopeless about a situation, try to purposely think about how you want that situation to be. Focus on it and find reason to believe you might be able to get to that situation.
At first you just need to get a little more hopeful, that’s it. Maybe you’ll still feel frustrated but that’s a step better than hopeless.
As you continue to choose thoughts that improve your emotions little by little, you will find a glimmer of hope.
You’re not reaching for feeling bliss on the first step – you’re simply gently guiding yourself to feeling a slight bit better.
YOU can control how you feel. Day by day, reach for the best feeling thought you can find. By taking control of your thoughts, you empower yourself to climb up the emotional ladder one rung at a time. You’ll get there!
3) Do some weeding
Surround yourself with positive people. The people you hang out with influence your thoughts, actions, habits, choices and even what you dream of for your own life.
There are real benefits of spending time with people who are confident and are authentically interested in both their own and your personal growth.
Think about the people you spend time with.
- Are they someone you’d choose as a mentor?
- Do you have similar aspirations?
- Do you respect their character?
- Are they actively trying to better themselves?
- When together, are you doing fun, positive, healthy things that make you feel awesome?
Negative people are like weeds – their negative attitude grows fast and fiercely, and it can choke your work at growing a positive mindset.
Might it benefit you to spend less time with someone in particular? Some people you can’t eliminate from your life, but you can recognize how they negatively influence you, and try to keep a healthy distance, if possible.
Here’s a really good article about How to Build a Circle of Support for Your Life.
Choose to spend time with people who make you feel fantastic about yourself and inspire you to improve and make your dreams a reality!
And when you find one or two people like this, be grateful because they are a real blessing in your life.
4) Bring out the good in people
Treat people with love and respect, and make sure they know you appreciate them. Take it a step further and actually tell them why you appreciate them.
Lifting people up in this positive manner will give them a little confidence boost and will also increase the likelihood that they’ll continue that good behavior. As little as it seems, you will make a difference in someone’s life, and that can have a domino effect.
Bringing out the good in people can create an upward spiral of positive changes in relationships with family and friends.
It’s a win-win because when you make people feel good about themselves, you will in return feel good about yourself.
Bringing out the good in people will spread contagious positive vibes!
5) Get Moving
Exercise! Walk, run, dance, go to the gym, whatever! I always feel like I’m in a better frame of mind after a good walk.
Studies show that exercise nurtures a positive state of mental health. Exercise releases endorphins which are brain chemicals that reduce pain and enhance feelings of well being.
Of course there are plenty other reasons to exercise, but if you’re working on gaining a more positive attitude, that’s reason enough to get moving.
A friend of my recently shared her idea of dancing every morning to the song Best Day of My Life. What a great idea! Who can be in a bad mood when dancing?!??!
To take her idea a step further, I created an Amazon Music playlist called “self-care activities, even if only for a few minutes each day. Nothing like some “me-time” to help adjust your attitude.
If you’re worn out and tired, there’s no way you can be happy yourself – much less be there for other people in your life.
My post Self-Care: Fill Your Own Cup First is a deep dive into why self-care is important, and little changes you can make to re-energize yourself (aka fill your own cup).
8) Practice makes perfect
When you find yourself slipping, recognize it and guide yourself back to a more positive place.
Having that positive attitude will even help to more easily overcome and learn from setbacks. You’ll be better equipped to get through challenging times and still maintain your positive outlook on life.
Again, adjust your attitude in doable steps. Don’t expect yourself to be able to jump from miserable to bliss.
- Go from miserable to frustrated.
- Then go from frustrated to slightly hopeful.
- Then go from hopeful to confident.
You get the point. Practice and it’ll start to become more natural.
MORE QUICK YET POWERFUL READS TO INCREASE POSITIVITY:
- Read 5 Simple Daily Tips for Positive Thinking for additional things you can do to make it a habit to focus on more positive thoughts.
- Read Self-Care: How to Fill You Own Cup First to learn how about filling your personal supply of energy so you’ll be your best personal self.
- Visit If It Brings You Joy on Pinterest that is filled with inspiration and tips to increase happiness and ideas for personal growth.
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To wrap it up, I’ll end with another great quote by Gandhi:
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.
Having a positive attitude doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time.
Having a positive attitude doesn’t solve every problem.
But if you build a positive attitude, then on the hard days you’ll more easily remember that there are better days ahead. And positive thinking is certainly a better tool than negative thinking.
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23 Replies to “How to Have a More Positive Attitude”
True! When I’m with pessimistic, cranky people, it puts me in a bad mood. Be happy, people!
It is easier to be happy when my thoughts are on happy things. When I’m working on my photo books, it takes my mind off of everything and I feel re-energized. Good food for thought, thanks!
I love this, it’s so very true. Our mind is a powerful tool that has an impact on many things
“Powerful tool” – that’s a great way to say it. Thanks!
My husband has been practicing positivity at his work and seeing great results: earning the respect even of people who others perceive as difficult to get along with, and people have started viewing him as the kind of person who will find a way to get things done instead of complaining. It’s amazing what new opportunities such a seemingly small change can bring.
Thank you for sharing your story – very inspirational!
that quote by ghandi left me feeling so inspired at the end! this was great. sometimes i just need a little inspo and need a reminder to take care of myself and always stay positive! xo
Self-care is important!
I really did need to read this because as of lately i’ve been in such a negative head space, and I know I need to separate myself to regroup get right. If my mood changes and my outlook, i know its time to remove negative people from my life.
Recognizing the negative mood is the key, so you got this!
Great ways to bring a positive attitude every day. Sometimes it’s hard when times are tough but with these tips you have the choice to make every day bright. Thanks
Thanks for you input! Happiness is a choice 🙂
I like that you must be the change that you want to see in the world.
I think that being positive attracts people who are positive. I also believe that if we are feeling negative we need to give ourselves a bit of time to process that feeling and then move on to looking for the silver lining.
Excellent insight. Thank you.
Positive thoughts keep us healthy and productive. A positive mind is a productive mind. To be happy is a choice and I know people who tell me, no it is not. No, it shall be, because even if we have challenges in life, we can easily resolve them with happiness.
All good points. Thanks for the comment!
True. I believe that being positive will get you through a rough day!
Absolutely! It can turn that rough day around. Thanks for the comment.
Love the “A great…” quote. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Keeping perspective takes intention. Great post!
Thanks Audra! I’m also a fan of your favorite quote. 💗
Great article. It re-emphasizes the importance of positive thinking.
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