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Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude

April 5th, 2013 Healthy Living

In the dead of winter, seasonal affective disorder can get to the best of us. Lack of sunlight can lead to a vitamin D deficiency and may start to increase day-to-day negativity. Having some "off days" is normal, but prolonged sadness will eventually affect all aspects of your life. In order to sidestep the side effects of the cold, be proactive and take control of your attitude!

Get up early
As difficult as it may be to drag yourself out of bed at 6 a.m. on a cold day, an effort ought to be made to get up earlier than usual. Giving yourself time to eat breakfast is both healthy and relaxing, and having enough time to get ready, watch the news, read a chapter in a new book or sip a cup of coffee will keep you from feeling rushed in the morning.

Surround yourself with positive people
We all know one: the coworker, family member or friend who is always smiling. Increasing the time you spend with happy people could give you insight into how they stay so positive, and their disposition just might rub off on you. Even opening the lines of communication between you and your happy friends who live far away through texting, email or phone calls can help to improve your mood. Don't forget about animals, either- an enthusiastic dog can brighten anyone's day.

Additionally, distancing yourself from naysayers is important, as hard as it may be. But remember that a negative attitude in a dear friend may be temporary, so be cognizant of the potential of his or her bad mood passing.

Take inventory of what you're grateful for
It may not be Thanksgiving, but you should still stay aware of the aspects in your life for which you're thankful. Make a list of what you're glad to have, whether it be family, friends, employment, a favorite restaurant or a pet. Keep the list in a place that you frequently look at, and remind yourself of these things every time you're feeling down.

Exercise
While getting up an extra hour earlier to work out might seem counterintuitive to your happiness, the benefits are worth it. Even a half hour of moderate exercise can release endorphins and help combat depression. Exercising early in the morning will also give you the energy to get through a long day, and getting it out of the way means you don't have to think about it later on.

Engage in enjoyable activities
Taking the time to do things that make you happy is something that often gets put on the back burner, but it's also one of the best ways to improve your mood. Reconnect with hobbies such as sports, reading, watching movies or travel. It doesn't necessarily matter what you do, but an activity that involves exercise would kill two birds with one stone!

Get rid of negative thoughts
An unending internal dialog is bound to get dicey at times. Reducing the amount of negative thoughts can be a great tool in maintaining a positive attitude. Try to remain aware of what you're telling yourself throughout the day, and challenge adverse thoughts with complimentary statements or questions as to why you're thinking that way. Having a mental list of what you like about yourself or things that you're proud of on hand makes it easier to quell gloomy thinking.

It's not easy to reverse negative thoughts, and it won't happen in a day. But working at it and persevering will pay off in the long run for your productivity, relationships and health!