Have you ever met someone with a natural positive and healthy attitude? Do you wonder why some people are always smiling and why others, including yourself, are drawn to them? People with a healthy attitude are pleasant to be around and a great attitude is a wonderful attribute.

Studies show that people with healthy attitudes live longer lives, have less health issues, recover more quickly from accidents and illnesses and are funner to be around. Okay, so maybe the last statement has not actually been sighted in a study, but we all know that it is more pleasant to spend time with a “healthy thinker” rather than having “stinking thinking.”
Some people come by healthy thinking naturally – they are the “glass half full” types. It takes little or no effort for them to look to the positive in their lives. For those of you that are “glass half empty” thinkers, these 7 steps to a healthier attitude are for you.

Give People the benefit of the doubt.

You are driving down the freeway, minding your own business, being a courteous driver and someone in a little red sports car cuts you off. Immediately you think, “You *#%@ Jerk!!” Instead of adopting a negative attitude, pause and give them the benefit of the doubt. What does this mean? It means take a minute to think about why this person may have acted in this manner. Maybe this inconsiderate woman was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Perhaps that crazy guy is on his way to the hospital across town to witness the impending birth of his first child. Give them and yourself a break by letting it go and keep your calm, healthy attitude. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

Get away from social media

Social media is a great way to keep in contact with your friends and family and update them on your life events. But, if you are like most people on social media, you have lots of folks on your page that you may not even know. You may also have people on your pages that do not have a healthy attitude. These people are happy to share the deterioration of their marriages, their health and lives. They share all of the negative aspects of their day and you take it all in. You are feeling heart broken and sad about people that you have never met. You are planting imaginary gardens and blowing up imaginary gems instead of interacting with real people in real situations. Step away from the computer. Instead of spending your time in front of the screen, get out there and spend some time with some like minded folks with healthy attitudes. Surrounding yourself with people that practice a healthy attitude is one way to cultivate your own healthy attitude.

Spend some time with little people

There is no one that practices a healthy attitude more than a child. Healthy attitudes seem inherent in children. They wake up smiling. Little people live in the moment, they smile and laugh easily. They are easily distracted from life’s inconveniences. They delight in the little things that surround them – sounds, smells and tastes. They give people the benefit of the doubt and love easily. We have much to learn about healthy attitudes from our children. They are fascinated by the sweet little lady bug in the garden and can truly appreciate the warmth of the sun on their faces. They will dance in the rain and jump into a pile of leaves on a crisp fall morning.

Connect with nature

You can take a cue from the little people in your life and spend some time in the great outdoors. Regardless of your religious beliefs or beliefs in a higher power, nature is an amazing place. You can’t help to stop and ponder the speed of the humming birds wings. The changing color of the leaves on the trees with the coming of fall, the smell of the rain or the way that soil feels on your hands while gardening – warm on the top and cool beneath – all are calming and empowering feelings. These feelings connect you to the earth, making you feel part of something bigger than yourself. Nature gives a chance to slow down and to think about your own contribution to your world.

Give Back

Feeling like you have something to give or contribute to your community is a sure way to increase your healthy attitude. Undoubtedly, you have heard this before. This is because helping someone less fortunate is a proven way to bring yourself some peace and satisfaction, leading to a healthier attitude. There are multiple reasons that giving back or volunteering your time and talent makes a difference in the way we think. Volunteering helps to increase your self esteem. The better you feel about yourself the better you feel about others, your life and your future. Giving back increases your social circle and allows you to meet new people, some of which may be less fortunate. This can give you prospective about your own situation. Seeing others with less than what you have, gives you the opportunity to realize just how blessed you really are in your own life. It gives you a chance to be thankful, which brings you to your next step.

Be Thankful

This sounds like a simple step but it can really make a big difference on the healthier attitude that you are seeking. Someone backs into your car in the parking lot, then just drives off. No note, no witnesses, no worries. Yes, it is unfortunate that someone dinged your car but it could have been worse. Be thankful. Be thankful that no one was injured or that the damage was not worse. Whether you call this “looking on the bright side” or “cup half full”, it is definitely a healthy attitude.

Being thankful for what you have and saying that it is enough is healthy thinking. Again, this does not come naturally to some people. It might take some practice but like anything, if it is done often enough it becomes habit.

Fake it ’til you make it

Some habits are easy to form and others are quite a bit harder. We can change our behaviors and thoughts with practice. Attitude is everything, that is the reason we are striving to have a healthier attitude.

When you feel an unhealthy attitude or stinking thinking creeping in, you may need to make a conscientious decision to stop and do an attitude adjustment. Sometimes you need to just tell yourself that you will have a healthy attitude and fake it until the healthy attitude and thinking takes over. It sounds strange but you must force yourself to have a healthy attitude.

You only have one life and by practicing these 7 steps to a healthier attitude every day you can lead a happier and more productive life.