I decided to run a 28 day Positive Mental Attitude challenge for February 2021. We were(/are) in the midst of our third COVID lockdown, the mood of everyone i knew was low and I thought, let’s pick each other up. Each day contained a small challenge such as texting a friend to tell them how much you appreciate them, sharing your favourite pick me up song or remembering a hilarious experience in your life.
Some amazing and very deep stories were shared. People opened up about positive and challenging experiences and I hope everyone got something out of it. It has made me reflect personally on the four pillars of actually having a Positive Mental Attitude and given this is something I believe has to be nurtured and practised, I thought I’d share them with you.
Pillar 1 – The people you surround yourself with
The environment we live in from a PMA point of view is actually more about the people we are with than what physical house or geographical location we live in. You’ve heard the saying “some people in your life are drains and some are radiators”? It’s true but how often do we stop and think about who we are spending our time with. I remember being on a business mentoring programme once where the coach said “You will earn the average salary of the five people you spend the most time with” and that really got me thinking. Not just about financial wealth but more importantly about emotional wealth. We feed of each other positively or negatively.
There are some drains in your life that you can’t cut out like close family or work colleagues but I want you to remember that you can always dilute them. Think of your PMA tank – the more you fill it with positive, energetic people that light you up, the more diluted the negative becomes and therefore the less impact it has on you. So rather than focusing on how annoying/upsetting/draining the person or people are that popped into your head – focus on topping yourself up with more and more fabulous people.
Text someone now and arrange a phone call or a walk. That person that always makes you feel good, that cheers on your success or just someone that inspires you. Trust me, this works WONDERS.
You can also look at your social media for this. If you have accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or trigger you (for whatever reason) unfollow them and follow accounts that make you feel GOOD and inspired!
Pillar 2 – Doing good for others
This pillar has multifaceted benefits. Not only does helping others make them and us feel good but it can also act as either distraction or perspective with our own drama. Small acts of kindness like texting someone just to check in, leaving flowers on someones doorstep or one of my favourites, sending a note or letter in the post. You feel SO good when you know you’ve made someones day and it isn’t all helicopter rides to Paris or buying Ferraris. The smallest, simplest things can totally make someones day. The more of these you do, the better you feel.
As a total side bonus, people then pay that forward as well and the knock on effect can be amazing. If someone buys you flowers and it makes your day, it is highly likely to inspire you to do that for someone else another day.
So, on the days you feel like your world is closing in and there is nothing to be positive for. Try making someone else’s more positive and see how it helps.
Pillar 3 – A genuine attitude of gratitude
I’ve taken a slightly different approach to this in the last year. I’ve done the gratitude diary before, where you write down three gratitudes each night before you sleep but I found it a ‘task’. It didn’t particularly inspire me and some days I’d pull things out the air like “I’m grateful the day is over” That didn’t feel good nor was I really grateful. I realised the missing piece was taking the moment when they happen. So, for example – you spot a rainbow or a beautiful flower, you meet a new dog in the park or your child says thank you to you for something. Right when it happens, in that very moment – take a deep breath and capture that moment and that gratitude right there. You can then store it to write it down later rather than clutching at straws for things you didn’t really appreciate it later in the day.
Since doing this i’ve found writing three down, even during major personal crisis, honestly so easy. We ALWAYS always have something to be grateful for, even on the worst day but only if we stop and notice them. Some days they might be tiny but if you have food, water and a roof over your head, I promise you can find three gratitudes.
If you don’t already use a journal then just grab a notebook and give it a try.
Pillar 4 – How we treat ourselves both physically and with our self talk
You’ve probably heard the quote “if you don’t love yourself first, how can you expect anyone else to love you?” Well it speaks to a lot of things that we tend to cover over the cracks of. We criticise our bodies constantly, we criticise our choices, the way we look, sound and behave. We beat ourselves up over past endeavours and we mull over regrets.
You can read all the self help books we like and read all the inspirational quotes on instagram but your self talk is one of the most important things to keep you positive. It’s time to be your own cheerleader. It’s time to back yourself. It’s time to know that you are an invaluable and totally unique asset and by holding back you are doing this world a disservice!
We also cannot ignore that our bodies are designed to move. You might not like the gym but you might like walking. You might not like cold weather but love indoor swimming. It doesn’t matter how, what, where or when but you MUST move your body and nourish your body to truly feel good. I’m not talking depriving, starving, punishing or restricting. I’m talking embracing, nourishing and moving your body like it was made to do. I simply don’t believe you can feel your most positive self if you don’t.
Try adding some veg to your plate, try some different salads, drink more water, GET OUTSIDE and get moving. You can still eat the pizza and the cake. It’s about adding the good stuff in first and foremost.
Now you’ve made it all the way to the end of this article, as always with my blog, I don’t want you to leave without at least the intention of action. What is ONE THING you’ve read that you could start doing today? (preferably RIGHT NOW!). Start writing three gratitudes down for today that you really stop and notice? Get out for a walk? Spend time in nature? Unfollow some social media accounts? Call that friend who lights you up? Or texting a friend who needs to feel loved?
Do something, anything, right now and let’s take consistent action to having a more positive mental attitude to each other, to the world and TO OURSELVES!
Thank you for reading this and thank you everyone who contributed to the 28 day challenge too.
If you think this blog could help, please share it with a friend who wants more PMA in their life.