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Positive Attitude

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KEY POINTS

  • A positive attitude may offer many health benefits. You are more likely to take care of yourself, such as eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and getting regular exercise.
  • To develop a positive attitude, use self-talk, set realistic goals, and don’t focus on mistakes or negative things.
  • If you are unable to let go of negative attitudes, talking with a trusted friend, family member, or a therapist may help.

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What is a positive attitude?

Attitude is state of mind that shows in the way you think and act. When you have a positive attitude, you:

  • Expect that things will turn out well.
  • Think in terms of what you can do instead of what is wrong.
  • Look at things creatively.
  • Choose happiness.
  • Feel motivated to reach goals.
  • Do not give up on things that are important.
  • See failure and problems as something to learn from.
  • Believe in your abilities.
  • Act with confidence.

How does a positive attitude help?

Your mind and body are connected. Thoughts and emotions can cause physical, hormonal, and chemical changes in your body that affect your health. A positive attitude may offer health benefits, such as:

  • Less depression
  • Better ability to manage stress, pain, and tiredness
  • Fewer illnesses
  • Less risk of dying from heart disease

If you have a positive attitude, you are usually optimistic and expect others to like you. You tend to have more friends and people to count on when you need help. You are also more likely to take care of yourself, such as eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and getting regular exercise.

How do I develop a positive attitude?

  • Use self-talk that inspires and motivates you. Think of yourself in positive terms, such as "I am a kind and caring person." Replace criticism with praise. Be your own best fan. Check often at first to make sure that you aren’t using negative self-talk, such as “I’m no good at this.”
  • Make lists of things you enjoy and are good at, and your past successes. Review the lists often. Don’t spend a lot of time thinking about negative things that happened in the past or might happen in the future. Focus on things you can do and have done well, rather than on past mistakes.
  • Set goals that are realistic. Make a plan to work toward your goals every day. Reward yourself with something healthy when you achieve your goals.
  • If something goes wrong, remind yourself that you can make mistakes and still be a good person.
  • Help others. Feeling like you are making a difference is a great self-esteem builder.
  • Don't take yourself too seriously. Enjoy what you are doing and the people you are doing it with.
  • Get support. Talk with family and friends. Just talking problems through will often make you feel better. Surround yourself with people who have a positive attitude.
  • Take care of your physical health. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Eat a healthy diet. Limit caffeine. If you smoke, quit. Avoid alcohol and drugs. Exercise according to your healthcare provider's instructions.
  • Find things to be grateful for rather than blaming or complaining.
  • Read inspiring stories and quotes.

If you are unable to let go of negative attitudes, talking with a trusted friend, family member, or a therapist may help.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2015-02-12
Last reviewed: 2015-02-12
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.
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