Real life is not all tea and pancakes. The difficulties life brings are all part of parcel of existence. Coming face to face with hardship should not be seen as a bad thing – what counts is the way in which we deal with it. A positive frame of mind is important because positive thinking is proven to boost our performance and quality of work. We tend to think more dynamically and perform more efficiently when we are feeling positive and well.
There are some biological explanations for this. A positive frame of mind is triggered by enhanced levels of neuro transmitters such as serotonin that regulate the performance capabilities of the brain. The consequential effects of a positive frame of mind also include better physical and mental health. This is because the immune system is boosted by the positive hormones produced by being in a positive frame of mind.
If we expand on this rule we can see that the reverse is also true. When we are depressed we are far more likely to contract other diseases or develop mental health problems. As our relationships with others deteriorate, our thinking becomes irrational and our productivity grinds to a halt. To put it simply, this is a frame of mind that is best avoided at any cost. Being occasionally unhappy is not unusual and how we choose to deal with it comes from our pre-installed mindset.
Having a positive mental attitude is also about giving yourself a ‘can do’ attitude. People who think positively are far more likely to see opportunities rather than setbacks or challenges rather than problems. For example, top business people become successful because they can see opportunities for growth where others only see problems. The positive mental attitude of successful business people dictates that opportunity becomes a reality – because they have developed the necessary drive and motivation to succeed in making their dreams come true. It should now be obvious that there is so much to be gained from possessing a positive mental attitude. The biggest hurdle for a lot of people is in developing one to start with.
Another life truth is that some people are more positive than others. Emanating a so called ‘sunny disposition’ suggests that there is something inherent or genetic to vindicate a particular frame of mind. While this may be true in some cases, it is also true that a positive frame of mind is not restricted to the privileged few. It is open to anyone who is prepared to put in the necessary work to attain it.
A good way to establish your frame of mind is to think about how you are with other people. Try picturing how you behave towards people you do not know. Are you outgoing and willing to meet and talk with them, or are you insular and scared. Actually, one of the best ways to conquer a negative frame of mind is to change your attitude to the world around you but especially the people in it. If you are typically anxious around others then try this experiment. When you feel ready, force yourself to start a conversation with a random stranger in a public place. Don’t worry about how you look or appear – or what you begin or end up talking about. A few words about the weather or anything will do. Just try it and take notice of how you feel afterwards.
You see, the way you are with others will determine which opportunities you are offered. You want some more proof, then look at this example – who would you expect to progress further in a workplace between two people of equal experience and ability except for one big difference – one is anxious and uncomfortable with others around them but the other is easy going and relaxed in the company of others. If I was their manager I know which one I would pick – every time.
By: Ian Russell
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