A positive mental attitude is the belief that one can increase achievement through optimistic thought processes. A positive attitude comes from observational learning in the environment and is partially achieved when a vision of good natured change in the mind is applied toward people, circumstances, events, or behaviors (Wikipedia). Since it is difficult to quantify (measure) the effects of a positive mental attitude, it can be considered a philosophy and a way to approach life.

Positive thinking is a discipline that trains the human mind to change a perceived reality by repeatedly making positive mental statements. A person practices positive thinking when they derive a positive sense of well being, optimism, belonging, meaning and/or purpose from being part of and contributing back to something larger and more permanent than themselves. Positive thinking is a process of choosing positive emotions from stimuli in the environment and applying them to perceptions and beliefs. The objective is to create an outlook that translates into a new or better chosen reality.

Experiencing Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude

The practice of positive thinking, repeated positive statements, and witnessing success through a positive mental attitude, is an idea many mystics and spiritual teachers have presented throughout history. Retiring certain emotions and breaking the addiction of old emotional states is a choice and requires persistent effort. A successful mental attitude that includes thoughts of gratitude, unconditional love, and freedom can translate into new perceptions of a person’s perceived reality.

Adopting positive thinking with the intention of experiencing change can be accomplished in a number of ways:

• Recognize that change is needed.

• Believe change is possible. The brain can be re-programmed to provide support in your life.

• Give yourself permission to be in control of your own life.

• Practice awareness of your emotional state. Your internal state is what creates your external world.

• Release past negative experiences and move forward.

• Let go of self-criticism and move forward when a challenge arises.

• Stay in present moment thinking and affirm powerful and positive thoughts regularly.

• Practice verbal harmlessness. Identify and eliminate negative speech habits e.g., I can’t, I’ll try, or I’ve never been able to.

• Be thankful for what you have.

• Have a positive vision for your life and for others around you.

• Live proactively.

• Know that you are composed of unlimited Divine Spirit and are an example of uniqueness and wonder.

Positive thinking is associated with empowerment because an empowered thinker is one who masters their emotions and outlook on life. By being aware of our internal state, and how that translates into our reactions and behaviors, it is possible to develop the mind to support who we want to be, rather than being an effect of our world.

For a more complete definition on positive thinking, see The Evolution of Positive Thinking: Views from Science, Spirituality, Psychology and Hollywood by Charlene M. Proctor, Ph.D.


Keywords: Positive thought, positive attitude, positive psychology, positive mental attitude, success through a positive mental attitude

Author's Bio: 

This definition was written by Charlene M. Proctor, Ph.D., the Official SelfGrowth.com Guide to Positive Thinking. Dr. Charlene M. Proctor is the founder of The Goddess Network, Inc. an on-line educational resource for topics on spirituality, relationships, and women's studies. Author of Let Your Goddess Grow! she is a researcher and educator in the field of women's empowerment and develops self-empowerment strategies for women in all walks of life. She is a subject matter expert for Beliefnet.com, the world's largest self-help and personal growth website. Her affirmations from The Women's Book of Empowerment reach 2.7 million web visitors daily. She currently facilitates the PATH to Empowerment program for Lighthouse Path in Michigan, a residential women's shelter for homeless mothers, teaching them how to cope with life and increase self-esteem and confidence. To learn more, visit http://www.thegoddessnetwork.net

Additional Resources covering Positive Thinking can be found at:

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Charlene M. Proctor, Ph.D., Official Guide on Positive Thinking