You would be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the mere mention of PMA, Positive Mental Attitude. If that 90s washing powder ad with shades of Linford Christie hadn't put you off, bouncy life coaches and personal development gurus certainly may have. No offence guys -- I am one.
But PMA is genuinely a very important part of success – not because it blinds you to faults and failures, but because it gives you more opportunities
There is a saying that whatever you focus on, you get more of. This is actually true – it's because your mind creates an unconscious search for whatever you're focusing on. So if you're wandering around feeling negative, you will be more likely to attract negative things into your life and will miss out on positive opportunities that might come your way. It's really the difference between being open-minded and closed-minded.
Not only that but the very act of thinking positively rewires your brain – and that's not coaching gobbledegook, it's neuroplasticity. Science has proven that the way we think can alter not only the function but the very structure of the brain.
So continuously thinking and behaving positively 'trains' your brain function, reinforcing the areas that stimulate positive emotions, so you are more likely to feel happy naturally in the course of daily life.
Please remember that having a positive focus doesn't necessarily mean being an optimist. If you're just 'expecting' good things to happen, you can either become lazy or disappointed. Positivity is about looking to see what good there is in your circumstances and your day, looking for the opportunities and seeing where you can create success.
I'll let you into a little secret - I am actually a natural pessimist. I went through many of my younger years feeling like life was unfair and things went against me. But I trained myself to become positive and now I am able to find the good in anything.
You can train yourself too. Every time something annoying or negative happens, look at the positive that comes from it, whatever you can think of. Be creative.
Practice turning your attitude positive every day until it becomes automatic. If you do this, I promise you, you will be happier and your life will improve.
Have a great week – and if you have a bad week, then have a great attitude and you can't go wrong.
by Beth Burgess, Therapist and author of The Recovery Formula, The Happy Addict, and What Is Self-Esteem?