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Ask a Therapist: How do I keep a strong, positive attitude, no matter what?

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How do you keep a strong, positive attitude, no matter what?

Emotional strength is not one thing – it’s made up of many different things. So, it can be helpful to be mindful of all the different pieces that make up your emotional strength.

To start with, make sure you are taking care of your physical body. Taking care of the physical is an important part of all mental health, for good reason. Good sleep, exercise and eating well contribute greatly to your ability to handle stress. Researchers have found that a lack of sleep contributes to an increase in worrying, so try to prioritize staying physically well.

Another component of emotional strength is how you view negative events. While you may initially be focused on the perceived failure or disappointment, you have the potential to put effort into seeing the bigger picture and looking for ways around the obstacles in your path. Putting effort towards seeing the positives and the potential solutions increases your cognitive flexibility, or ability to adapt when faced with obstacles.

Another aspect that increases emotional strength is being able to recognize and communicate your own needs. This does not guarantee that those needs will be met, but it definitely increases the likelihood of those needs being met when you can name them.

Finally, feeling emotionally strong can mean a more positive attitude – but allow for other emotions, too. Sometimes the strongest thing you can do is allow for a natural emotional reaction, especially when it comes to negative emotions.

It can be so much easier to show when we’re feeling happy or proud or accomplished, but sadness, grief and disappointment are a natural part of our experience. To deny them proper expression often leads to more distress. So, here’s to being positive and sad and anything else you may feel!

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Stronger Minds content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to establish a standard of care with a reader, you should always seek the advice of your mental health professional, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. If you think you may have a medical or mental health emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call emergency services immediately. You should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained herein. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information herein should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.