Having a positive mental attitude does not just benefit you when you want to achieve your goals and succeed but also when it comes to facing your biggest challenges, such as when you’re faced with a life or death situation.
You could have all the food, water and shelter you could ever ask for but without a positive mental attitude you won’t survive very long.
It will allow you to think more clearly, make better decisions, keep yourself motivated enough to get out of the current situation and be more aware of what is going on around you. It will allow you to control your fears and remain calm giving you a much better chance of figuring out a solution.
Now, developing a positive mental attitude is no walk in the park, it can take years to get to the level where it could actually save your life which is why it is important that you start learning this now. It is easy to say, “oh well I know what I need to do when faced with a certain situation” but until you are actually faced with that situation for real, nobody knows exactly how they will respond or react.
There are many traits and characteristics associated with a positive mental attitude but four of the big ones include:
- Optimism: be willing to make an effort and take a chance instead of assuming that your efforts won’t pay off.
- Acceptance: knowing that things don’t always turn out how you want them to, but learning from your mistakes.
- Resilience: bouncing back from adversity, disappointment, and failure instead of just giving up.
- Consciousness/Mindfulness: dedicating the mind to conscious awareness and enhancing the ability to focus.
Having a positive mental attitude is not about being happy or cheerful all of the time, and it’s certainly not about ignoring the negative things that happen in your life. It’s about incorporating both the positive and the negative into your perspective and choosing to still be generally optimistic. It’s about increasing your control over your own attitude in the face of whatever comes your way. It is impossible to control your mood, and you won’t be able to always control your thoughts, but you can choose how you handle them.
So, how do you develop a positive mental attitude?
1. Focus Only on the Now
If there is one thing that us humans are good at, it is building problems up in our minds until they are bigger than they actually are. We’ve all done it and many still do. We worry day after day about something and then the thing that we were worried about never even happens or if it does, it is nowhere near as bad as we thought it would be.
By focusing on the present moment only, you can minimize your worries and fears. Only think about the past or the future in small doses. We are not ignoring or denying thoughts of the past or future, but we are simply choosing not to dwell on them.
2. Stop Telling Yourself That You Messed Up
If you want positive results then you need to replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. If you get lost in the woods and keep telling yourself how stupid you are for getting yourself in that situation, you leave no room for working out how to get out of that situation.
3. Break the Challenge Up
There is no such thing as a small survival situation. If it is in fact a matter of survival then to put it bluntly, you could potentially die so you need to break the challenge that you face up into smaller, more manageable stages. Don’t worry too much about the end result but more about getting so far by the end of a set period of time. By breaking the challenge up this way, it makes it much easier for our minds to deal with.
One effective method of putting yourself in to a calmer state is to do breathing cycles. This is also a great way of keeping your focus on the present described in tip #1. Start off by inhaling for the count of 4 and then holding the breath in for the count of 4. Exhale for the count of 4 and then hold your breath for the count of 4. Repeat this cycle as much as is needed to calm yourself back down. Usually focusing on your breathing this way, you will only need to do three or four sets.
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