Changing a Negative Attitude

It can be tough to change a negative attitude. Even if you believe in the power of positive thinking, negative thoughts can be overwhelming, especially if you've experienced a streak of bad luck. When clouds seem to be following you and the bad experiences are outnumbering the good ones, you may want to pull out some of these tricks for changing a negative attitude.

Laugh Out Loud
Gallows humor can be powerful when times are tough. Tell other people about your bad luck, but laugh about it, acting like it's not a big deal. The more you laugh and convince others you're going to be okay, the more you may believe it yourself.

Quick List It
Make a quick list of ten good things that could possibly happen, even if the negative thing that is bothering you does not disappear.

Get Perspective
If something seems so awful you feel the negativity pressing down upon you, quick list out ways the situation could be worse. Then list ways you can act to make it better. Try to gain an objective perspective on the situation.

Look Around
When something bad happens, it's easy to focus on that one negative thing to the neglect of the rest of your life. Try to isolate the negative situation and take time to reflect on the good parts of your life. For example, if you've tried to diet over and over and keep failing, remind yourself that your looks and diet are not everything. Think about your job, your home, your family, your friendships and your hobby. Then when you decide to tackle your weight problem again, you may feel buoyed by the positive parts of your life and be ready to deal with your issues more positively.

Search for the Truth
If your negative attitude is prompted by comments or responses of other people, put the offending person's reactions into perspective.

Let's say you are a writer, and you let your mother read a few pages of your novel in progress. If your mother responds negatively to your writing, you may feel crushed and think, "I must be a terrible writer. Even my mother thinks I can't write!" However, your mother might not be your target audience, and your editor, who knows what good writing looks like, might be able to give you comfort and perspective. Likewise, you can find the truth by seeking responses from supportive friends and coworkers.

Join Forces
When life gets rough, it helps to have a fellow soldier in the trenches beside you. If you are feeling negative about something in your life, find a partner to tackle the problem with you. Do you feel depressed about your appearance? Ask a friend to diet and exercise with you. Are you having a tough time finding a job? Talk to a friend about it and ask for moral support as you job hunt. Better yet, have coffee weekly with another unemployed friend and share stories of interviews and job applications. Struggling with self-confidence? Confide in a trusted family or friend. It's easier to overcome the problems life throws at you if you know you aren't alone.


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