Five Simple Strategies To Fix A Negative Attitude

Nov 02, 2023
pessimism, negativity, how to change your mindset

NYC Therapist: Five Strategies To Fix A Negative Attitude

Are you the kind of person who focuses more on gloom and doom than on happy and uplifting aspects of life?

If so, you are not alone. Many people tend to concentrate more on things that go wrong than on what is good and positive in their lives. 

It may not all be your fault, though. You can blame it on the primal instinct, the one that forces you to see danger, so you can react to it promptly. You might say that negativity is not a conscious choice but an automatic response to the circumstances around you.

Be it as it may, the negative mindset is — to put it simply — bad for you. It is a known fact that your thoughts and emotions affect your health. Gloomy ones can zap your mental energy and lead to chronic stress, anxiety, and depression.

And they may also impact your social relationships because people don’t want to be around a grumpy person who drains their energies and makes them miserable. 

The good news is that negativity is a habit and, as any habit, it can be broken. 

 Positivity, on the other hand is a choice, but it requires some effort to achieve because it doesn’t come as naturally to many of us as negativity. In other words, it’s much easier to just give in to pessimism than to work toward a happier state of mind.

This is where you can start this journey:

Realize that you can’t change the situation, but you can change your attitude to it:

 Yes, bad things will always happen — illnesses, natural disasters, economic downturns, and the like. But there are also good aspects in our lives that we tend to ignore. Look around you, find what makes you happy, and focus on it.

Start thinking differently:

There is almost always a positive thought you can muster in any given situation. 

Positive thoughts are harder, so you have to develop new ways of thinking, analyzing, and assessing what may seem to be, or actually is, a bad situation. 

For instance, one way to do this is to adopt a balanced approach to any negative event or experience. Ask yourself: is this really all bad, or is there anything positive about what has just happened?  

Change the environment:

If your living conditions, friends, family, etc. bring you down, take whatever steps you can to change the status-quo.

You may not be able to make major changes, or transform your circumstances all at once, but even small and slow steps can make a difference in how you feel and how you respond to stressful situations. 

Don’t worry, be happy:

Yes, it does sound over-simplistic, but the point is that people who are chronic worriers, who go through life seeing only negative things and imagining catastrophic outcomes, can never be at peace with themselves and with others.

Try not to overthink everything. When you learn to put things into perspective, look at the big picture, and examine all the angles and subtleties of a situation before you draw any conclusions, you will likely realize that you are needlessly overreacting. 

Surround yourself with positive people:

You know the saying: happiness is contagious. It sounds almost too easy, but if those around you — friends, colleagues, and family members — are upbeat and optimistic in their outlook, their attitude will rub off on you. On the other hand, if you interact mostly with negative people, you will likely be “infected” by their way of thinking. So yes, the company you keep can make a huge difference.

Changing negatives into positives is not easy, but it is worth the effort. The result will benefit you, and people around you, in so many ways.