It is said that there are two types of people in the world: those that view the glass as half full and those who see it as half empty. In other words, there are optimists and pessimists, and never the twain shall meet.

For most of us this isn’t exactly true. People are multifaceted and while we may tend toward optimism or pessimism, the truth is that we may have different attitudes on different days. Sometimes we might wake up feeling great about our lives and our prospects and other days we wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

In addition, there are plenty of things that can influence our attitudes and approaches to life. Even the most optimistic of people can be burdened by stress, sleeplessness, unwanted obligations, and tragedies that drag them down.

That said, sometimes the ability to control your attitude has nothing to do with the situations you find yourself in; sometimes it’s just a matter of approaching things in the right way. What’s in a word, and which words are going to carry you through life’s ups and downs in a positive way? How can you plan for success when it comes to imbuing your life with positivity?

Choosing Your Words Wisely

Life is full of obligations, but there are always opportunities to adopt a positive attitude. Often, the way you phrase things can make a difference in how you feel about them.

For example, many people bemoan the fact that they have to go to work each day, that they have to shuttle their kids around, or that they have to attend family events. It’s the “have to” that’s causing the trouble here.

Instead, try saying to yourself that you “get to” do these things. I get to go to work today. I get to take my kids to school. I get to go to my grandmother’s 80th birthday party. Do you see how the whole connotation changes with this simple swap?

You get to go to work because you’re healthy and qualified. There are people who want to work but can’t provide for themselves or their families. You get to spend time with your family because you have a spouse, children, parents, siblings, and so on. You support them and they support you.

Others find themselves alone in the world, wishing for even a small measure of the happiness you take for granted. The next time you find yourself groaning about all the things you “have to” do, change your language and your attitude. You’ll start seeing things in a more positive light.

Gaining Awareness

It’s not easy to realize when you’re being negative and turn it around, but if you’re tired of feeling down in the dumps, awareness is a necessary element of change. You need to know when you’re being a Debbie Downer if you want to start doing things differently, so make a concerted effort to catch yourself in negative speech or thought patterns and ask those around you to help you by pointing it out.

Tempering Expectations

You’ve likely heard the expression that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Nothing in life is set in stone, and it’s easy to develop a negative attitude if things don’t go exactly the way you expect.

If you want the best chance to remain positive and go with the flow, then you have to learn to temper your expectations. Instead of thinking to yourself that things HAVE to go a certain way, admit that there could be bumps in the road and think about how you can react in a positive way to get your plans back on course or perhaps even turn the unexpected into a boon.

Planning for Success

A good attitude is at least partially connected to how well you treat yourself. If you’re constantly doing for others at your own expense and letting people walk all over you, it’s no wonder you’re down in the dumps. You need to plan for success by making yourself as valuable as others in your life.

You can start by learning to say no. It’s not easy, but give it a try. The next time you are approached with a request for your time and attention, politely but firmly decline. You don’t even need a reason to do so – you don’t have to lie and then feel guilty. Just say you need to devote some time to yourself.

The next step is following through with dedicating time to your health and well-being. Setting aside enough time to eat right, exercise, get your zees, and have a little fun with activities and people you love is a great way to start feeling good in body and mind. When you feel fantastic a positive attitude is a lot easier to come by.

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