The concept of a positive mental attitude (PMA) has existed for almost 100 years, and is centred chiefly around the notion that thinking positive thoughts can have a subsequently positive effect on your wellbeing.

It was first introduced in 1937 by Napoleon Hill in his book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ and – although the exact phrase is never actually used in the book – it has come to mean a state of mind that can filter through a person’s life and affect not only their own actions, but those of the people around them.

The theory is that everyone’s brain has two sides which each control the way we think, with one being the positive side and the other being negative, and both being in conflict when it comes to how they affect our overall mood and thinking.

According to Hill, it is possible to control these invisible talismans and use them to our advantage, effectively harnessing our mind to help shape our approach to each day and, ultimately, impact our life and wellbeing.

Strategies for a PMA

Be realistic – those who think that adopting a positive mental attitude will immediately result in a new job, house, car and riches beyond their wildest dreams are likely to be disappointed! Instead, a PMA must be used as a catalyst to take action and embark upon the route to happiness, whether that be in the form of material items or intangibles, such as love.

Focus on the now – there is an old saying that you should not try to run before you can walk, and this same principle applies to adopting a PMA. Only by ensuring that what you are doing now is correct can you put the necessary plans in motion to help achieve a positive state of mind in the future and help reach where you are aiming to go.

Language is the key – using positive language whenever you speak out loud or through text, email and social media ensures that positive thoughts are being let out into the real world, whether that be on a page, screen, or someone else hearing it. Unfortunately, some people only raise their voice when it is to complain, but by adopting the same approach to praising actions or activity and fostering positive debate, the opposite effect can be achieved.

Associate with likeminded people – to truly achieve a PMA, it can be extremely helpful to associate with people who have the same mindset. Being around these people enables you to share your own experiences and receive advice on how others were able to handle these situations. At the same time, you can share your own approach, which can in turn help boost their mental attitude. This can start a chain reaction that sees everyone’s social circles gradually infiltrated by positive thinking.

Learn to accept imperfection – things never go perfectly all the time, and the sooner that you accept this inevitability, the more readily you will accept things happening beyond your control. The key to PMA is being able to use negative situations as a source of strength and a learning experience, allowing you to use memories to your advantage in the future.

Contribute meaningfully – actions definitely speak louder than words, but sometimes actions can be pointless if they do not have a purpose. Positively contributing can range from helping those in need, to using your skills to further yourself. Not only can you draw satisfaction from this, but it is also helping people who need it, serving a dual purpose.

Don’t be afraid – fear manifests in many forms, all of which can have a paralysing effect on people and prevent them from doing things that could have a beneficial impact on their lives. Learning to overcome your fears is the first step on the road to freedom that a PMA can help to achieve. Only by focusing on your capabilities and how it can lead to the desired outcome, is it possible to make it a reality.

Continue learning – life is all about learning, and nobody is too old to add more strings to their bow. The same is true when it comes to PMA, with endless ways to boost your happiness that can be utilised every day to create an all-round positive mindset.

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