Do your days ever start off crappy? Your kid has a cold, you run into heavy traffic on your way to work, and the milk in your coffee is sour. Really? If it’s not one thing, it’s another. You get cut off by a driver, your computer goes on the fritz, or your favorite shirt gets stained. Sound familiar? None of these problems is so monumental that you’d step out onto a ledge, but some people still go to extremes by saying, “My life sucks!” Is your glass half-full or half-empty?
Some people can accept nuisances in the normal course of events while others go off the rails and think the world is coming to an end. Of course, you have the right to get upset when bad things happen. But negativity, in general, can be counterproductive — especially when you allow negative thoughts to spiral out of control. That kind of behavior not only puts you in a bad mood, it can undermine all of the positive things that you do.
Is Your Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?
Do you see the glass as half-full or half-empty? Although both ways of looking at things are technically correct, your perspective can have a huge impact on your success and happiness.
Happiness. When you continually see the glass as half-empty, you may convince yourself that you’re having a bad day even when you’re not. So if you don’t want to put yourself in a lousy mood, stop being negative and making yourself feel bad.
Success. Negative thoughts can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you expect a bad outcome, you look for evidence to support that view. Your expectations can have a significant impact on results.
If you don’t believe that’s true, think of the impact that a placebo can have on your health. According to an article in Harvard Health Publishing, “Your mind can be a powerful healing tool when given the chance. The idea that your brain can convince your body a fake treatment is the real thing — the so-called placebo effect — and thus stimulate healing has been around for millennia. Now science has found that under the right circumstances, a placebo can be just as effective as traditional treatments.” Give that some thought next time you think, “I’m doomed from the start” or “People like me don’t stand a chance.”
Look on the Bright Side
A positive mental attitude can improve your health, enhance your relationships, increase your chances of success, and add years to your life. What can you do to change your mindset? Here are seven places to start:
Get real. Things happen. Get over it. Even if life were a bed of roses, you’d still need to avoid the thorns.
See it from a different angle. Situations are rarely black or white; the truth lies somewhere in-between.
Keep things in perspective. Don’t blow things out of proportion and make a mountain out of a molehill.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself. If you can’t make it better, don’t make it worse by being negative.
Be nice. Some people are nicer to friends than they are to themselves. When you say, “I’m such an idiot,” “I can’t do anything right,” or “I’m such a loser,” you undermine your self-worth and confidence.
Break the habit. Stop complaining. It won’t solve anything. It’ll only drag you down.
Fake it. Be conscious of your thoughts and try to see the bright side.As Dale Carnegie said, “Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.”
Pep Talk or Debbie Downer?
When crowds of people cheer you on during a marathon, it can have a tremendous impact on your performance. That’s true in sports and in daily life. So be your own cheerleader!
It’s your choice whether to view the glass as half-full or half-empty. My advice is to make every effort to be positive. Start today! Don’t dip your toe in the water. Jump in with both feet. It’ll have a huge impact on your health and happiness. Don’t wait for someone to do it for you. Make the effort yourself. As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
Is Your Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?
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The Power of a Positive Attitude
Great Things Start with Great Expectations
Mindfulness: 13 Ways to Obtain a Positive Mindset
How Do You See the World Around You?
Be Nice to Yourself