Whether you heard it from a coach, a teacher, or a parent, almost every one of us has been reprimanded for a lousy attitude at one time or another. While it may be tempting to assume that the work of maintaining a positive outlook is the domain of childhood and adolescence — e.g. something we can leave behind once we’ve entered the realm of adulthood, the reality is that the necessity of a good attitude never diminishes — especially if you want to be successful in life, relationships, and work. From being able to make better decisions to overcoming incompetence, here are some of the benefits you’ll gain just by practicing and maintaining a positive attitude.
Stress Will Dissipate
Negative thoughts and feelings actually have a real effect on the amount of stress you experience, which means cutting back on negativity can help stress dissipate. While life can be a challenge and true hardships do occur, focusing on the negative parts of your life — especially those that are out of your control — can increase your suffering and block any path to relief. Even when things are hard, try turning your attention toward what is well in your life. You’ll keep your stress levels lower by doing so, which will have a positive effect on how you feel and your overall health.
You’ll Get More Work Done
People with good attitudes have less mental and emotional friction to overcome on a day-to-day basis, and because of this reality, they’re often better workers than people with poor attitudes. How you view the world, yourself, the people around you, and your own possibilities really does impact your life and work, so be sure to tool it toward the positive. Whether you’re a high-level executive in need of some HR help or you’re a stay-at-home mom in need of a break, your perspective affects whether or not you succeed.
You’ll Feel Better
The way we think has a direct effect on our bodies and how well — or poorly — they function, which means how good or lousy you feel can be a direct result of your attitude. When you’re down in the dumps with negative thoughts, such as anxiety, anger, or resentment, you’ll feel the weight of all that negativity in bodily form. To combat it, change your attitude to one that is lighter, more positive, and more grateful. You’ll get better sleep, experience less muscle tension, have less anxiety, and enjoy more energy. And while it may not solve your problems, it will at least help you feel better while you’re tackling them.
You’ll Make Better Decisions
People who view their glass as half-full tend to be better decision makers, because their thoughts aren’t clouded by dark, muddy, woe-is-me emotions. When we’re negatively focused on an issue that isn’t directly in front of us, and it’s something that takes a lot of energy and attention, we do a poor job of making decisions in the moment. If you find yourself making choices that you regret on a regular basis, your attitude may be the culprit. Try looking on the bright side and see if it doesn’t free up your mind to better see the path that’s right in front of you.
Fear Will Disappear
Fear can be a helpful tool, so long as it works as a motivator and not a limiter. For many people who suffer from a poor attitude, fear can become difficult to escape. If you’d like to live a life with less fear, your attitude is the first place to start. More important than your actual context, how you perceive your context can determine whether or not you can act.
While it takes some practice, the next time you feel afraid, ask yourself about your attitude. Are you considering all the good aspects in your life? Are you remembering your positive traits? Re-focus your energy toward the positive and fear will have a tough time sticking around.
It Will Make Up for Incompetence
You might not be the smartest guy in the room, but if you’re the guy with the best attitude, you’ll be able to make up for it with the hard work that comes along with believing in yourself. We all have certain limitations, and some of them can’t be changed, but with the help of a good attitude, any incompetence we have can be met and overcome.
If your life and work aren’t what you want them to be, don’t despair, and don’t assume things will never change, either. Adjust your attitude to one that is positive, willing to work, and focused on what is going right in your life, and you’ll experience a change in no time.