Make the Most of Positive Attitude Month

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Happiness is within your grasp!. Andy Ryan/ Getty Images

As you may already know, optimism and laughter, while enjoyable in their own right, bring benefits like health, longevity, and a decrease in stress. You may also know that a positive attitude can be cultivated, meaning even if you're not naturally prone to bright-side looking, you can actively change that. What you may not know (at least you may not have known it before reading the headline to this blog post) is that October is Positive Attitude Month, which brings you just the right excuse to make the effort to cultivate the attitude that can bring you greater health, happier relationships, and more luck in life, compared with what you would find in life with a perpetually grouchy disposition.

(Read more about the benefits of optimism.)

It's true that we are all born with a certain "set point" for some traits, such as openness, agreeableness, extroversion, conscientiousness, an neuroticism (known as "The Big Five" in the world of psychology), and these inborn personality tendencies influence our levels of optimism, positivity, and happiness. However, as positive psychology research has found, we do have quite a bit of 'wiggle room' and can alter our habitual thought patterns by actively changing the way we choose to see things. If we challenge negative thinking patterns, for example, and replace them with more positive patterns, the new, more positive patterns become our habit, and we can actually create a new set-point for happiness. (Learn more about how much we can change this set-point, and how.)

Are you ready to give your attitude an adjustment? (Note: even if you're often positive, you can usually find some areas to work on.

If you're just a perpetually happy, positive person, perhaps you can celebrate Positive Attitude Month by sharing this with your loved ones.) Here are some resources to help you look on the bright side more often and more automatically.

How Your Self Talk Affects Your Stress Levels

What you say to yourself about what you face in life can significantly affect the stress that you feel (or don't feel) when you tackle these challenges.

 Learn about how you can alter your inner dialogue to feel happier in general.

Positive Thinking: Your Secret Weapon!

Thinking positively can actually change what is possible for you--really!  Here's how your thoughts can change your perspective, and your perspective can change everything.

Surround Yourself With Positive Energy

We can soak up stress as if by osmosis--fortunately, relaxation can work this way as well!  Here is how you can work positive energy into your environment and make it easier to keep more easily looking on the bright side.

Cognitive Restructuring for Positive Thoughts

Habitual thought patterns can color your world, for the better or for the worse.  Here is how to look at things differently--more realistically, in fact--and feel less stressed as a result.

Stress and Self-Sabotage: Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

Here are some negative thinking patterns that can really hinder your success in coping with stress, and in life.  Recognize which ones may be familiar to you, and learn to let them go.

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