Our attitude towards what is happening, that is, our perspective, could be our greatest asset for overcoming the challenges and pressures we face daily in our lives. Our habitual ways of thinking greatly impacts our ability to overcome problems. We all can get trapped in negative habits of assessing the present situation and future. We can become consumed by worry, comparisons and fear.
So knowing this, how can we develop a mental perspective that frees us to focus our energies on the things that really matter? How can we cultivate a constructive perspective and a mental attitude that allows us to effectively concentrate on what is happening in the moment without be distracted by events around us?
We need to develop character strengths of gratitude and optimism. Together these allow us to nurture a perspective that builds positive emotions and expectations. We cannot always be upbeat, but we can cultivate perspectives that allow us to enjoy the moment and have hope for a positive future. Together it gives us the courage to keep going when faced with adversity.
How do gratitude and optimism work together? Maintaining a positive perspective is essentially driven by our willingness to focus on the good in our lives. This could be a simple as focusing on the fact you can breathe, you can move, you are healthy and you are loved. Being present and grateful to these positives in your life develops a positive perspective in which we free ourselves from unnecessary distractions and allows us to focus. With this positive perspective we can best apply ourselves in the moment to set ourselves up for the future.
Gratitude is simply being mindful and grateful for all the good things we have in our lives. The good can be anything you value in your life that sometimes might be taken for granted. Anything that you experience as added value to your life in any big or small way can be considered part of your good. Moments of appreciation make us realise how much good we actually have.
Optimism is about experiencing a mood associated with positive expectations about some aspect of our future. When we have an expectation things will go well, we give ourselves a better chance of allowing our mind to help with the process. This positive expectation creates confidence. Research work around optimism by Martin Seligman discovered that people with an optimistic outlook explain bad events in a way that empowers them. They views events as temporary. They do not give up.
We too can generate more optimistic ways of viewing our future and appreciating what we have. Ultimately, we need to be aware of how we think and make conscious shifts to be more constructive in the ways we look at things. For some this will not be easy. Thinking patterns are habits that get engrained and established over a long period, however with professional help things can change. We can learn how to set up our situation so we can savour and enjoy our current circumstances, even when those times are filled with intense pressure. A good starting point is to establish a connection with gratitude for things in your daily life. This will lead you away from irritations and distractions and build positive emotions and perspective.
The more we can maintain a positive perspective, the more we will enjoy our day-to-day life. It is essential we practice this each and every day. If you need any help developing your positive perspective in life please feel free to reach out. We are here to help.