Today is the first in a five part series addressing the top habits that will nudge you toward living at a human scale and pace. A positive and hopeful attitude drives positive gain in our lives. This has been a hot topic in the social sciences lately because of depression and other disorders that are on the rise. We need tools, especially today, to help fight the negativity bias and whatever else may contribute to negativity and despair. In an earlier post, I talked about living deliberately, and that certainly helps. It is difficult or impossible to change if you’re on auto-pilot.
The virtue of self discipline, otherwise known as self mastery, realizes that we don’t operate on instinct by itself, but have the power to use reason and reflection to guide ourselves into the future. If you want it, will it. That will greatly increase your chances of success, but I can guarantee that if you don’t will it, it won’t happen.
The quality of your view depends on where you are standing. It is the same way with perception and our outlook on the world and the circumstances in our life. It isn’t always possible to change our circumstances, but we can always change our behavior – how we react or if we react at all. Making the leap to positivity from negativity or apathy is the most necessary component in any attempt to change for the better.
What are two things you can do to attain a consistent positive attitude? Write it down. This is a popular habit in many circles because it works. At the end of the day, look back and find three things you’re grateful for and why. Then, for the times when you’ll start to get negative again, write them down in a notebook. It helps to have those consistent positive messages to turn to. Second, Mr. Miyagi was right: breathe. Take a minute to put yourself back into your body and in the moment. Nothing works better to get you there than taking deep, calm breaths and focusing on the process. Eyes closed, breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. Repeat. Have a positive day.