5 “Quick Fixes” for a Negative Attitude

5 “Quick Fixes” for a Negative Attitude

No toxic positivity here, or the temptation to gloss over difficulties in life. But life has a way of throwing us curve balls. And this is about doing the work to make attitude adjustments when it seems like negativity is dominating our thoughts. It isn’t an easy task, but these quick fixes can make a big difference on a negative attitude.

1. Break a Sweat

It only takes five minutes to notice the positive effects of getting a little exercise, according to the American Psychological Association. Staying active is associated with lower rates of depression, so get the most benefit from this habit by making it a daily practice.

2. Take Inventory

Difficult circumstances can never completely erase the positive things in life. Perspective can work a little like a scale. When more time is devoted to noticing negative aspects of life, it begins to feel like the scale is uneven, and that life is terribly unfair.

Tip the scales by taking inventory of the good in life each and every day. Don’t think of a gratitude practice as woo-woo; research has found a grateful outlook is associated with increased happiness.

3. Do Something Nice

Let’s be honest with each other — sometimes a bad attitude is the result of too much self-focus. Thinking of others is a great way to get a better perspective. Keep a short list of kind acts you can carry out in a few minutes. Things like writing a note, texting a compliment or dropping a small treat by a friend’s on the way home from work are all thoughtful ways to show someone you care.

4. Take Action

Success is determined by daily action; just a few minutes can turn a day around. Here’s an example: Feeling bummed out about your goal of finding a new job? Start measuring success not by the job offer, but by the number of applications you send out each day. Set a daily goal you can reasonably meet, and then congratulate yourself on your success.

5. Try a Handstand

Or any other ridiculously challenging task. After toppling over from a few handstand attempts, the giggles will likely start to take over. Plus, the distraction of a difficult physical feat is a good way to get out of your head and focus on something more concrete. Not a fan of being upside down? Set up a slackline in your backyard or challenge yourself to balance on one foot for a full minute — or do the thing where you press your arms into the door frame until, when you step away a minute later, they seem to rise of their own volition.

Attitudes come and go, but curating a collection of reliable coping skills will last well after this dark cloud moves on. Learning to think more positively has quick benefits, but it will also pay off in the long term!

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