Friday, April 30, 2010

Positive Attitude Tips - Positive Thinking Requires Elimination of Cognitive Distortions

Of all the positive attitude tips offered on the many self help resources available the best is to change the way you think. And if it was really that simple then this article would end here.
However, knowing what to do is different from figuring out how to do it. You cannot change the way you are thinking if you are not aware of how you are thinking, so any list of positive attitude tips must include suggestions for self analysis and emotional reflection.
Starting at the beginning it becomes self evident that positive attitude tips can only be offered if we first understand what the word attitude really means.

In everyday common language the word attitude has many meanings, but it is mostly used to refer to a cognitive construct or in simpler terms a "pattern of thinking". Since we cannot see the way a person is thinking, attitude is usually inferred from behaviour. When a person's cognitive construct or way of thinking is positive their behaviour will be interpreted as a "positive attitude".

A positive attitude allows a person to create the life they want because they are not afraid to see things as they really are and work to create their own reality. A positive attitude really reflects a lack of fear in moving forward and creating change.
There are many benefits of a positive attitude including:
better health
improved relationships with others both at home and at work
more opportunities for success
improved productivity
Let's face it, if there were any benefits to be achieved from maintaining a negative attitude, the literature would be full of negative attitude tips. Instead we find that negative thinking is associated with morbidity and emotional dysfunction. Nobody wants to have a negative attitude yet many people are locked into negative patterns of thinking. They cannot change this pattern because they are not aware of its existence.

So how do you change to a positive attitude?
Developing a positive attitude requires that you become aware of cognitive distortions that are keeping you in a pattern of thinking which forms a barrier to creating the life you really want.
What is a cognitive distortion? It is simply an error in interpretation of our own lived experiences.

It is true that you get your attitude from your parents. But it is only partially true. What happens to you in life is only part of the equation for developing a positive attitude (or cognitive distortions).
Of even greater significance in the development of overall attitude is not what happens but how you interpret what happens. That is the part that you can change and take control of, and that is what must change if you are to get rid of the cognitive distortions that create a negative attitude. Cognitive distortions are nothing more that errors in interpretation and those errors can be changed if identified, examined, and re-interpreted in a positive way.
Think of it this way:
Developing a positive attitude means interpreting life's events in a way that is truthful, honest, and self affirming.

Keeping a positive attitude means continuing with these positive and self affirming interpretations of life's events, even negative events.
The cognitive construct behind a positive attitude would go something like this:
"Even though this bad thing happened, I am still a good person."
"I am going to take this opportunity to learn as much about why this happened as I can because I do not want it to happen to me again."
"I think that perhaps I need some help with this because I do not seem to be able to help myself in a way that is helping to resolve this problem."
The cognitive distortions which would be behind a negative attitude would go something like this:
" I screwed up again."
"I am not smart enough to try that."
"It is not really what I want but it is good enough for me."
"If I ask for help people will think I am stupid and know that I cannot even run my own life"
It is possible to change your attitude! But it does require identification and critical analysis of your own beliefs about yourself and the life you think you deserve.
Here are 5 positive attitude tips to help you change the way you think:

Believe that you are in charge -- your life doesn't just happen to you accidentally. You create it. If you do not accept this fundamental belief no amount of positive attitude tips will help you to manifest the life you want. This does not require bull headed and single minded purpose, but rather a quiet self affirming belief that you do have the power to make a difference in your own life and that everything you do and think and say has created the circumstances you are now experiencing.

Live with intent and purpose -- know what it is you want from life and continue to put yourself in charge of obtaining it. When you live reactively you respond to things that are happening to you. Proactive living is when you live with intent, set your own goals, and create a plan to achieve them.

Live with emotional inquiry and clarity -- keep examining your emotional reactions to life's events. Ask yourself " What am I feeling right now? When was the first time I felt like this and why am I interpreting this circumstance in the same way." This should help you to uncover those cognitive distortions that prevent you from developing a positive attitude.

Practise being grateful -- no matter how unlucky or dreadful you think your life is, practice being grateful for one small thing every day. Thinking about one positive thing every day that you can be grateful for will change the cognitive distortions you have been carrying around.

Help and serve others -- find things to do that help other people. You will be amazed at how much better you feel about yourself and how this can change many of those cognitive distortions that may be contributing to your negative attitude.
These are the 5 positive attitude tips that will contribute to a change in the way you think. Once you change the way you think you have the freedom to think more clearly and the wisdom to make choices that will move you forward to the life you want.
Uzoh romanus invites you to view the information at for further insights into positive attitude tips for organized living, the real costs of clutter, and how a disorderly and chaotic environment carries real risk on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level.
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