#271: Can Positive Thinking Be Learned?
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I was recently presented with interesting and intriguing questions:
"...is positive attitude something that some people get more of at birth and others don't? Is it something we learn from our surroundings as we grow up; something our parents convey to us? Is it something that we can feed off of our environment as 'grown-ups'? Or is it all of the above?"
For me, I can see how my positive mental attitude (PMA) has grown over the years. I believe this is because more and more I seek the good in all circumstances and situations rather than wallow in self-defeating despair. But it wasn't always like this.
As with any habit, my PMA has grown and strengthened as it it has been nourished and reinforced with use. But I believe that environment does play a great role in our way of thinking. Someone raised in an atmosphere of positive thinking and positive reinforcement will then become a positive person.
Consequently, a person who constantly receives negative reinforcement will grow up with an impaired self-image and will repeatedly expect bad things to happen. When they do, as they will as part of life, these people will not have the coping skills a positive thinker will have.
The comment continued:
"No matter though, what our "positive-attitude-level" is today, I'm sure that it is something we can influence TODAY and going forward if we put our minds to it."
What a wise observation.
We daily "practice" tennis or golf. We "practice" law and medicine and other sports, even yoga.
Why not practice positive thinking as well?
As with any exercise, creating a positive mindset will take effort and concentration but will eventually become second nature. Remember learning to drive a car? Every aspect was robotic. Then came a day when we could drive, listen to the radio, talk with a passenger and watch traffic all at the same time.
Looking for the good in situations will develop in the same manner. Give it time. Nourish it. Practice it. Soon, you, too, will find that living life with a PMA will make you happier and able to more easily cope with the problems that are sure to come our way.
Won't you give it a try? One positive day at a time?