How many of us yearn for the carefree years of childhood whenever we see our nieces or nephews playing? Or even at the mere sight of young children eagerly going to school? If you are one of the many who do, I don’t blame you. After all, it was a time of innocence and pure enjoyment, without a single notion of the adversities yet to come.

When the wonder-years of childhood passed us by, adulthood didn’t creep up on us but rather, it hit us like a brick in the face. Suddenly, worries of when we would get a full-time job, how we’re going to pay our bills, or whether we would get married before it’s ‘too late’ becomes a hot repetitive topic in our mind. This is why it’s imperative to develop must-have attitudes to living a more positive life. If we choose not to have these attitudes, we would inevitably drown in our sorrows. Read on if you’d like to know what they may be.

Here are the must-have attitudes to living a more positive life:

  1. Be comfortable with your own skin

We are often the most critical about ourselves as we tend to nitpick on the little things such as our weight, that mole at the side of our face, the stretch marks on our body and so on. If you wouldn’t say hurtful things to your friends and family, why would you say them to yourself?

Constant self-bashing can be disastrous and damaging to your self-esteem and confidence. When you create such problems with yourself, you will find it very difficult to have a peace of mind.

If you find it hard to feel better about yourself due to people who discriminate or make harsh judgmental comments about you, distance yourself away from shallow and narrow-minded individuals or groups. Instead, surround yourself with people who care and share the same values as you. It would make a monumental difference in leading a more positive life.

2. Appreciate what you do have and never compare yourself to someone else

You’ve probably heard the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.” However, it usually isn’t. If you keep wishing, hoping or expecting things to be different and don’t feel satisfied with what you already have, then you will always feel like something is missing from your life.

Personally, during my school years, I used to wish I was as intelligent as some of my siblings due to the constant comparison made by my mother. While I understand that my mother’s intention was not meant to cause harm, it did affect how I viewed my own capabilities which also caused me to limit myself. I also understand that a little comparison can instill a benchmark of success which can be highly motivating, but if it turns into jealousy and self-destructive tendencies, then it isn’t.

So please; live simply, appreciate what you do have, acknowledge everyone is different and stop comparing yourself to others in order to see the joy in everyday life.

3. Drop the resentment within

We’ve all been hurt before. It could have been from a snide remark from a co-worker, an insult from a parent, a broken friendship or a relationship whereby you were cheated on. However, let’s not forget that when we hold on to that anger or hatred towards someone, we are actually destroying ourselves within.

I used to curse God for taking my father away when I was only 13 and hold grudges towards those who hurt me. However, over time with the support of my siblings and close friends, I managed to come to a realisation that things honestly do happen for a reason. My father’s passing taught me to have more compassion towards the broken and allowed me to be able to connect more with those who suffer. As for those who hurt me in the past, they taught me how to be thankful for the lessons I’ve learnt through our fall-outs.

It is certainly easier said than done, especially if it is your first time. However, slowly, one day at a time, with plenty of patience, once you forgive the person and let go, you will feel have an unexplainable sense of strength within.

4. Avoid over-analyzing and worrying about the future

Many of us tend to dwell on matters or thoughts over and over again because we somehow believe that it would help. However, over-analyzing things usually doesn’t give us an answer, but instead provides us only with a set of worries. In order to avoid over-analyzing, we need to confront and be more outspoken with people whom we have doubts about, and take things as they come while also listening closely to our intuition.

Worrying is another huge thing we do as human beings. It’s a natural feeling when we have fear in our hearts – about our career, health, finances or people we love. However, worrying does not help as it will only increase grey hairs and creases on our foreheads. The only way to overcome worry is to take action. If you’re worried about your health, start eating healthy and exercising regularly. If you’re worried about your finances, don’t mope around at home and take the initiative to find odd jobs  or create your own source of income. While it isn’t easy, it is possible.

5. Have an open mind

Narrow-mindedness can hurt you a lot more than you think because we as humans do not like being disapproved of. We have this innate sense of wanting to feel accepted which is why it is so difficult to be rejected or cast aside.

If you have firm beliefs and ideas, kudos to you. But, if you try to force those beliefs and ideas onto others without listening to theirs, you will not only agitate yourself but others as well.

If you have an open mind and take the time to listen to others, it opens a doorway in order for an emotional connection to take place. Feelings of empathy and understanding start to flow which will help you feel more accepting other people who come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, religious beliefs, personalities and so on. Thus, you wouldn’t have to fight with yourself in accepting others and you will lead a more positive life.