One of the most important things you can have if you wish to enjoy the benefits of good health is a healthy mental attitude towards life. It has been scientifically proven that when a person is generally happy, upbeat and has a positive outlook of everything, they tend to enjoy better general health than a person who is the polar opposite. That is a person who is often unhappy, downbeat, and tends to have a negative outlook on life. So what can a person do to foster a happy, healthy and positive mental attitude?
The first thing you can start to do is to be positive about everything you encounter. If you find yourself criticizing people and situations around you and bemoaning your lot, then lift yourself up onto a higher plane and start looking for the good in all things. Stop criticizing (both verbally and internally in your thoughts) and find something good to say or think about things. Do this even if you can't at first find anything good in something.
It is a test of your mental prowess if you can look for and find something good in what you first perceived as something completely bad. But to enjoy a positive and happy outlook on life, this is a test you MUST pass!
Criticizing things and people is a habit that people fall into and then find they never break out of it, even when other people get irritated by what they see as your constant moaning! Like any habit, it can be broken by a concerted effort of will and the knowledge of how to best break a habit. Here is one very powerful way of defeating any bad or destructive habit:
Breaking Bad Habits
Most people go at trying to break a habit by focusing all their willpower onto the habit and literally willing themselves to stop doing whatever it is they no longer want to do. This may seem like the logical thing to do, but in reality, it is the worst thing you can do. The reason this method is so ineffective as a way of breaking a habit is that when you focus all your attention onto something, you give it all your power. The harder you try to break free the more power you give it and create a standoff that you will be hard pressed to ever truly win.
The way to beat a habit is to literally ignore it!
Yes, you read right. When you avert your attention away from a thing you do not want to experience and place it onto the thing you DO want to experience, you effectively shift your power away from the bad habit and onto a new, good way of being. The habit no longer has any power and recedes into the background while the good thing you replace it with gets all the attention and therefore moves into the foreground.
This is also borne out in what is known as the Law of Non-Resistance, whereby you refuse to resist a situation you do not want and therefore remove all of your mental power from it. Again, this would seem to go against our natural inborn instincts whereby we are programmed to resist any situation that we do not want. But it works.
It has been said that "what we resist, persists" which means that when we put all our power into resisting something, it just grows in power and pushes right back at us with all the power we have given it.
How to Look the Other Way
To re-train your mind to be positive and upbeat, the best way is to do a simple exercise and do it as often as possible. It is this:
Every time you encounter a situation that you catch yourself as you are about to criticize some aspect of it, stop yourself. Take a little time to evaluate what it is you are about to criticize and instead, start looking for something to praise about it! Even if there doesn't seem to be anything good about it, look for it anyway. You might suddenly surprise yourself by finding an aspect of it that you can attach a "good" label to. Then focus on that good aspect and expand it and try and see more good. Chances are you will begin to see more things that are worthy of some praise.
You can do this in a physical way too. If there is a neighbor or someone you pass in the street every day and you always think something derogatory about them and always greet them with a scowl, or at least a deadpan expression, try greeting them with a smile instead! You may dislike the person but smile at them nonetheless. And don't force it, really put some happiness into that smile and mentally wish them well. They might be surprised at your change of expression at first, but the next time they see you, they may just respond with a smile back. And you know, after a while, you may even find yourself beginning to like them in some way or other!
This all happens because you stopped sending out bad vibes with your thoughts and replaced them with good vibes in the form of that smile and happy thoughts directed towards them. You have figuratively "looked the other way" in terms of the way in which you view the other person and taken power away from the reasons you may have disliked them and given power to the reasons why you may like them.
This is the first step to becoming more positive in your thoughts and in your attitude. It is a long road to perfecting this technique and will take a lot of mental effort to keep reminding yourself that you must try and only thing of the good in every situation. While allowing the bad to fall away of its own accord because your attention is taken off it.
The more you can do this, the more healthy your mental attitude will become!