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N. Elizabeth Fried, Ph.D.

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Keeping a Positive Attitude

Red Girl UmbrellaKeeping an upbeat attitude has a number of advantages in the workplace. Focusing on the positive aspects of thinking and feeling enable employee and business growth  because people with positive attitudes tend to be resolution focused rather than problem centered.  People who have hope and gratitude typically focus on their strengths and then capitalize on them.  I help clients reframe their thinking in a positive vein through  through my coaching programs for executives.  Current  neuroscience research has shown us that brain's ability to learn is enhanced in those who maintain a positive outlook.  This includes one's ability to not only listen, but retain, store and retrieve information.

Tips for Developing a More Positive Attitude Day-to-day

  • Listen to internal dialogue: Keep a journal; use the left hand column for negative thoughts, re-write them in a positive way on the right-hand column
  • Learn to communicate: Not saying the things we feel can lead to a sense of frustration, hurt, anger or anxiety.
  • Get back to basics: Reconnect with old friends, take the dog for a walk, visit an art gallery or listen to your favorite music, enjoy a long, relaxing bath, read a great book, tell your child a story, or ask an older relative to tell you one!
  • Help someone out: Pick up groceries for an aging neighbor, volunteer at your local hospital or read a book to someone with failing eyesight.
  • Find your spirituality: Practice your beliefs, no matter what they are; either through organized worship, or simple meditation in a quiet place.
  • Allow yourself to be loved: The ability to love and be loved is the most basic human trait. We, as a society, have become disconnected from this most basic need - fear-based emotions (depression, loneliness, guilt and anger are the symptoms). Finding ways to reconnect with others is extremely helpful in developing a positive attitude.
  • Allow yourself to laugh and find humor in the simplest of things: Laughter is a powerful mood elevator. If you are feeling down, read some jokes, watch a funny movie or just act "silly" once in awhile. At times, it is a good thing to let yourself see the world through a child's eyes
  • Participate in new physical and mental activities to improve confidence levels and coping mechanisms: Building confidence could be as easy as learning the meanings of new words, learning about new topics or if you are right-handed using instead your left hand more frequently (left hand connects with more spiritual, intuitive and creative right side of the brain).
  • Follow the principles of holistic health: Body, mind and spirit harmonization (better nutrition and exercise help improve mood and attitude)
  • Remember that the mainstream media focuses on information that leads to fear, negative thoughts and emotion: Find other more positive things to do with your precious moments.
  • Learn to communicate your needs more effectively: For example, instead of using "no", "don't", "should", "stop", "good", "bad" and "have", you could instead try expressing your needs by stating "I need you to...". This peaceful language expresses needs and does not judge.

Executive coaching is one path for anyone to consider when trying to overcome hurdles and hang-ups. We can look at it as a way to expand awareness of the internal and external roadblocks and speed bumps in the way of reaching your goals by designing and supporting an environment which reinforces and drives the desired changes.  Do you think the jockey who rode I'll Have Another maintained a positive attitude?  You betcha!