How to develop a positive outlook?
June 11, 2017
As published in the online wellness magazine Wellness in Dubai.
How to develop a positive outlook
Some people experience higher levels of satisfaction, wellness and happiness than others. They demonstrate an attitude of gratitude for every little thing they have in their lives. Contrary to that, others express a negative outlook for their current and future circumstances, which consequently affects their feelings and thoughts. Could we just assume that the first category is more “lucky” than the latter, that everything they wish for comes true in a magical way, while on the second category luck is rare or missing?
The answer is no. What makes the difference between those two groups of people is the pair of glasses they wear or their life perspective. These glasses demonstrate the way we view life’s circumstances. Two people may face identical situations but perceive them in a completely different way. Hence, these thoughts affect their feelings and actions. Just like the well-known half full, half empty glass example, it is not the actual situation that affects our behaviour but the way we understand it.
“Happiness and positivity are a lifestyle and government’s commitment and a true spirit that unites the Emirati community.” H.H. SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM – UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai
The UAE is currently investing in people’s Happiness, which is directly related to positivity as a core value. They have initiated projects which focus on enhancing the individual’s and community’s happiness and wellbeing. This government proposal stretches the importance of adopting positivity as a way of life and as means to achieve people’s goals and ambitions.
This could be attained by making some changes in the way we approach the world. These changes could vary from simple lifestyle adaptations to altering deep rooted beliefs. Five of them are listed below.
1. BE ACCOUNTABLE
This characteristic means that you learn how to take responsibility of your own actions. It demonstrates that you strongly believe you can manage your thoughts and actions. This is considered a “positive” attribute since power over your thoughts and actions makes you feel capable of changing things. Your life does not rely on others or environmental conditions but is in your own hands.
2. BE GRATEFUL
Positive people see the benefit in everything that surrounds them. They try to gain satisfaction from the things they have, rather that focus on everything that is missing. Indeed, if you focus on the things missing or what other people do, you will always end up in a vicious circle of vanity and greed. On the other hand, when you truly appreciate what you already have in your life you can work on that and develop it even further.
3. FOCUS ON THE PRESENT
The past is already gone and the future is difficult to control! So, instead of constantly trying to predict the future or form scenarios, it is best to try to allocate your energy in improving your present. This does not mean that you cannot dream or make plans. It implies all the times that you try to solve the hypothetical “if” of the future or avoid current difficulties hoping that fate will magically resolve them. Focus on the present, estimate where you are and where you would ideally like to be and work out how to bridge this gap. Do this now, based on your current condition and actions. We should always remember that future begins from present.
4. WRITE YOUR GOALS AND ACTION PLAN
What could be more inspiring that creating your own life plan? Dedicate some time to really focus on yourself and define your life goals. Create your milestones and work on ways to achieve them. Do it by using a journal, an app, a notebook, anything that works for you. Try to think of support networks and possible obstacles and find ways to approach or overcome them. Revise your plan when you consider it necessary and be ready to adapt to new data with flexibility.
5. ADOPT A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE, DIET, BETTER SLEEP AND MOVEMENT
One of the biggest signs that someone is leading a positive lifestyle is having a healthy one. When you look after yourself, you provide your body with all the resources (nutrients, sleep, movement) to keep it healthy and full of energy. This energy helps you being creative and positive as it makes you feel stronger and ready for action. And as the ancient Greeks said “Νους υγιής εν σώματι υγιεί”, which means “A healthy mind in a healthy body”.