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The many advantages to a positive attitude

Have you taken in some of the beautiful sights during this autumn season? Better hurry if not, the colorful leaves will be gone at the first sign of a strong wind. I love this time of year for other reasons as well. It is the beginning of the holiday season. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time because it should make us stop and quiet our minds before the hustle and bustle of Christmas begins. Please take the time to give thanks for all of the blessings that we have- as a nation, as a family or as an individual person. I always liked this quote from John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” In doing so, you become uplifted and a feeling of positivity overcomes you. In years past I have explained the history of Thanksgiving and provided much information on this holiday. Today, however, I’d like to talk about those positive and negative feelings that all of us experience, especially this time of year. Have you noticed that you would rather be around positive people than negative people? I certainly enjoy talking to people who are positive and upbeat. I like to think that the glass is half-full rather than half-empty. My mother used to say that you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. Don’t you really try to find the positive even in a bad situation? Some people automatically go straight to negative thinking if they hear something they dislike, instead of looking for a positive in a bad situation. Winston Churchill once said “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” and “Never, never, never give up.” Let’s look at what a positive attitude is and the benefits of having a good one.

When you adopt a positive frame of mind you become happy. Happiness does not depend on external causes; it comes from within us. You do not need to lose weight, get a promotion or win the lottery to be happy — it is a matter of attitude. Roy T. Bennett said “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make, makes you. Choose wisely”. While having a positive outlook on life will make you happy and joyful, being negative will make you unhappy. Being positive makes you a pleasant person to be with, and makes it easier to be liked and gain friends.

It also increases your motivation — a wonderful trait and quality to have. It produces more energy, enthusiasm, interest and even curiosity, making life more interesting. Motivation can push you forward, encourage you and help you overcome obstacles.

People who think positively are usually healthier than those who think negatively. The mind has a strong effect on the body and on health. When you think positively your immune system is healthier and your body recuperates faster. I’ve heard this saying before- “it isn’t our position but our disposition which makes us happy.”

Your attitude and the way you think have much to do with how you feel about yourself. If you adopt a positive attitude and think positively, you will have a better opinion of yourself, which means a sense of self-esteem. Don’t worry about negative people, and about what they think and say about you. When you have a positive attitude toward yourself, the people around you will have a better opinion of you, and will treat you with more respect. A great quote comes from Francesca Reigler: “Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

Another reason why you should adopt a positive way of thinking is the effect it has on your relationships with others. People tend to gravitate and to like positive people, and to keep a distance from negative people. Positive people bring joy, happiness and uplifting energy and are fun to be around. A positive frame of mind can help you in many ways and in many situations. It will help you stay calm in difficult situations, not to lose hope and to continue whatever you are doing, despite difficulties or failure. Obstacles do not spoil your happiness and optimism. You do not focus on them you focus on solutions. A main feature of a positive frame of mind is the ability to stay immune to negative thoughts, negative comments, negative people and discouragement, and not allow them to affect your state of mind. A positive attitude leads to happiness and success and can change your life. If you look at the bright side of life, your whole life becomes filled with light. This light affects not only you and the way you look at the world, but it also affects your environment and the people around you. If this attitude is strong enough, it becomes contagious.

So, if you want to work on changing your attitude, here are several ways to help you develop a more positive one. CHOOSE to be happy. When negative thoughts enter your mind, refuse to think about them. Do your best to substitute them with happy thoughts. Find reasons to smile more often. Just look around you. There are funny events, funny incidents and small daily accomplishments just waiting for a smile! CHOOSE to be optimistic. No matter how tough a situation is, there is always some good in it, some insight or lesson to learn. Have faith in yourself! A strong belief in yourself and your ability to cope with every situation, fosters a positive attitude in you. Read inspiring stories, quotes, and repeat affirmations to inspire and motivate yourself. Learn to develop a focused mind and master your thoughts.

As we begin to enter into this season of thanksgiving, be mindful of all the blessings that our good Lord above has bestowed upon us. Share with others in the many ways that open up during the holidays ahead. Perhaps next month we will write about some of these ways. I would like to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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