Cultivating a Positive Attitude

No case needs to be made for the profound importance of love. Love is laced into the fabric of being human. The greatest minds of civilisation have wondered at its central role in human affairs – for Oscar Wilde, a life without love was like ‘a sunless garden when the flowers are dead’; Plato anticipated the entire history of embarrassing love notes, passed surreptitiously from the hands of admirers to the admired, when he wrote ‘At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet’. The simple fact is that much of our day-to-day attention is bound up in some variation of this question: ‘Where can I find love?’

The first thing to accept is the absence of a magic bullet. There are things – activities, approaches, technologies – that can certainly help you to meet people but no website can contain that crucial piece of information – because it doesn’t exist. This is not a matter of new information but of a change in attitude.

Attitude plays a tremendous role in determining the course of our lives, including our love lives. Take a moment to reflect on the course of your life. As a human being it’s safe to assume that you have experienced your fair share of ups and downs. Consider how much more open you felt to new experiences, including new love, when you felt positive. Positivity is infectious. This is a biological fact. If someone smiles at you, you will likely find yourself smiling back at them, no matter your mood. And smiling is, of course, a key element in attraction.

This is to stress, by way of introduction, the link between a positive attitude, attraction and, ultimately, love. If you really want to find a healthy, stout love, you will need to achieve or be moving towards a healthy, positive state of affairs in your personal life. This will look very different for different people. But the common denominator will be the character of thought and use of attention. Anger, frustration, despair, feelings of inadequacy – for a negative person these can be all consuming, but for a positive person they are merely ripples, quickly fading.

Try to pay extra attention to the character of your inner dialogue. How do you talk to yourself? Are you constantly worrying about your love-life? Perhaps you have internalised a measure of guilt – ‘if only I was a better person, then I would be worthy of love’. The latter is particularly dangerous because it can form a self-fulfilling prophecy and a reason to sabotage potential relationships. This is not to say that you need to love yourself before you find love but that a more durable union is likely when both parties are happy and confident. There is a school of thought in psychology known as self-verification theory, i.e. that we seek out verification or confirmation of the beliefs we hold of ourselves. It’s easy to see how this might hamper a relationship because it motivates you to adjust the perceptions of your partner – to make them feel the same about you as you feel about yourself.

Negative thinking can be an extremely hard habit to break. Happily, there are proven techniques for improving one’s outlook.

Meditation can be a useful tool. There’s no need to retreat to a cave for months – just incorporate 20 to 30 minutes into your daily routine. There are schools of meditation that focus on contemplating a single idea – forgiveness, love for one’s friends – and others that focus on sensations, notably the sensation of breathing. A simple beginning is to find a comfortable position, on the couch or on the office chair, and, breathing normally, just focus on the sensations that arise in consciousness. These might be sounds in the room a tingle in the fingers. Don’t obsess over one particular sensation just notice what you notice and try to feel each sensation as closely as possible. This activity has proven benefits for concentration and overall mental well-being and positive effects can kick within a week or less.

If this all sounds a bit too spiritual then you can try writing negative thoughts down. There are several benefits to this activity. Firstly, it can alert you to just how much time you spend brooding. Secondly, the action of writing something down tends to have a neutralising effect – it’s easier to see how the belief might be false or exaggerated than when it’s allowed to pass unchallenged through the mind. Take a small notebook around with you and write down and challenge these negative beliefs – one column for the belief as it comes to you and another column to note how you feel about it after some reflection, i.e. a more realistic view. It can also be helpful to assign a number value – give the first negative belief a percentage conveying its strength and then rate again after a few minutes. You will likely notice that the initial strength of your belief has somewhat dissipated.

Cultivating a positive attitude is not just for those searching for love. It can also heal a damaged relationship. Perhaps you have noticed a certain lacklustre feeling creeping into your dealings with your partner. It’s easy to fall into a routine that depresses rather than energises. Combat this by first talking about it and bringing out into the open. Pick something to do, a new activity that you will commit to on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to cost money; it could be as simple as going to an art gallery together. The inner voice disappears or subsides during activity. Human beings find meaning through doing and that includes philosophical contemplation or meditation; introspection on the other hand, the giving over of your attention to whatever passing thought happens to enter your mind, is a sure way of generating misery. Sharing a new activity and environment with your partner, even if only for a short time, creates the opportunity to generate a more positive outlook.

The link between positivity and the chances of finding and sustaining love is well established. The world will always, to some extent, reflect the habits of your mind. If you bring positivity to your life, you may find new and exciting opportunities opening up for you on a daily basis.

Sarah currently works for Lovestruck and firmly believes that everyone deserves to share their life with someone special. Being more positive can do wonders to your life and to those around you. For anyone interested in dating London opportunities, visit Lovestruck.com.

One thought on “Cultivating a Positive Attitude

  1. Eric West | Friendship Society

    One of my favorite ways to cultivate a positive attitude is to practice acceptance. By that I mean practice accepting others for who they are. Accept that there is good in all people and then pay attention to that good.

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