Positive Attitude 5e4c525d29f70

New year, new attitude: The power of positivity!

Feb. 19, 2020
Do you stress the negative? Did you know that your negative feelings can be contagious? Natalie Kaweckyj, BA, LDA, explains that each person is in charge of his or her feelings. Here's how you can guide your mind toward the positive. People will notice!

Every December 31, millions of people make resolutions for the new year. Many succeed in following through with their resolutions for at least two weeks, while some actually make it to the end of January! The numbers continue to decline the further we move from the start of the new year. But why do we resolve to make these resolutions at this particular time of the year? The holidays are stressful enough, and they’re coupled with the end-of-the-year chaos most of us experience in our dental practices. Who needs a resolution to think about?!

As winter winds down and spring is hopefully around the corner, many of us seem to be lagging, dragging, and overall, unhappy. Life happens. As we progress through it, we have some wonderful successes, some dreadful failures, and lots of stuff in between that we describe as OK, not so good, or bleh. Sometimes, when we go through a not so good period with a few failures thrown in, we can develop negative thinking that quickly becomes a habit. Even when things are pretty good or successful, our habit will not let us celebrate the good because we focus on what bad could happen or what did not happen. 

What we have is a bad attitude, kind of an offensive illness, that keeps us fixed in our negative mindset. Negativity attracts negativity and can turn into a vicious cycle. Too many people waste time trying to control everything around them and become upset when things don’t go as expected. The only thing we have complete control over is our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. Perhaps all we need is an attitude adjustment. 

Positive thinking is an attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results. It completely resets your mind. People who think positively anticipate such things as joy, health, and achievement, and believe that they can overcome obstacles and difficulties to achieve their goals and dreams. Positive thinking is not something that everyone follows. Some consider it nonsense and criticize those who follow it. However, there is a growing number who accept positive thinking, believe in its effectiveness, and practice it daily. To use it in your life, you need to adopt the attitude of positive thinking in everything you do. 

Our attitudes are contagious. We are affected by the people we meet, whether they are our fellow team members or our patients. This happens instinctively and on a subconscious level, through words, thoughts and feelings, and body language. Have you ever heard someone smile on the phone? Have you ever met someone new who made you feel great? It’s no surprise that we want to be around positive people and prefer to avoid negative ones. 

When your mind is negative, chemicals are released into the blood that lead to more unhappiness and negativity. This is the path to failure, frustration, and disappointment. Life is hard enough, so why add to it? Instead, add positive, optimistic, and encouraging words into your conversations and practice positive body language. Strive to use words that drive away negative thoughts. You will change your mindset from negative to positive, and you will attract more positivity. 

The science behind negativity 

Humans are predisposed to negativity. We pay far more attention to dark emotions such as anger, sadness, pain, and disappointment than we do to good feelings such as joy, gratitude, and contentment. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and evolve depending on what happens in our lives. As a result, if negative thoughts are repetitive, your brain will connect synapses that weren’t previously stimulated to associate those thoughts with other behaviors and turn them into habits. Negativity is addictive, even though positivity feels so much nicer. 

Tips to turn negativity into something positive 

  • Take time for yourselfOne of the most difficult things dental professionals find is making time for themselves. It doesn’t have to be much time. Twenty minutes here and there can add up through the week. In time, you will notice a difference. You must decide to take care of yourself because no one else can. Meditating might be the best way to clear negativity and bring about emotional recovery. Meditation revitalizes the mind, makes one more resilient, and rids the body of harmful chemicals that cause stress and anxiety. 
  • Practice kindness—Kindness has also been proven to make us happier and less stressed. Kindness is contagious; think about when someone pays it forward. If someone is kind to you, you will be inspired to pay it forward and the person who receives your kindness will feel the same, and so on. Kindness inspires gratitude and makes us more inclined to be grateful. If you are struggling with positive thinking, do a good deed for someone and you will notice immediately how great you feel. 
  • Be thankful—Studies have proven that gratitude makes us happier because it floods our brains with dopamine, the chemical that has the potential to drown out negative thoughts and anxious feelings. Gratitude also invokes the law of attraction, and like attracts like. If you make an effort to be grateful, you’ll be blessed with more to be grateful for. Having an attitude of gratitude is using the power of positive thinking to its highest level. 
  • Stress less—I know, this is easier said than done. Stress is usually the sole cause of everything that goes wrong in our lives and it’s usually self-inflicted. If you work too hard, you won’t be healthy. If you sleep too little, you will be exhausted. And if you neglect your family and friends, you will feel lonely. How do you balance everything? Rid yourself of most negativity by choosing to relax. Eat better, exercise, drink more water, and get more sleep. When you do bite off more than you can chew, ask for help. And remember to make time for yourself! 

Whether you’re having one of those days or it’s a problem that has cropped up out of the blue, you can handle this! When you focus on adjusting your attitude and seeing it differently, you will handle things better and stress less. You will see an increase in positive experiences and feel more at peace. Try it, and your family and team members will notice. Be a magnet and attract the positive!

Natalie Kaweckyj, BA, LDA, CDA, RF, CDPMA, COA, COMSA, CPFDA, CRFDA, MADAA, is a senior moderator of the Dental Peeps Network and a past president of the ADAA.

About the Author

Natalie Kaweckyj, BA, LDA

Natalie Kaweckyj, BA, LDA, CDA, RF, CDPMA, COA, COMSA, CPFDA, CRFDA, MADAA, is a senior moderator of the Dental Peeps Network and a past president of the ADAA.