As a youth participating in High School Track & Field, my coach always stressed one key point above all the rest – Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). When workouts seemed too much, all he needed to say was “PMA!” Immediately my mindset would change to think about the positive aspects of such a grueling workout. The effects of a positive mental attitude extend far beyond the reaches of the high school track, however.
Every day, without exception, we find ourselves faced with situations in which we make the choice of how we want to react. We can choose one of two options: a negative reaction, or a positive reaction. Making the choice to react negatively only exacerbates the situation and causes us to lose focus of opportunities to learn and grow. It also can adversely affect our health.
Studies have shown that attitude, whether positive or negative, has the ability to affect our health and well-being. A positive attitude and outlook (optimism) is a great stress management tool. A positive attitude can also provide benefits to our health and well-being in such ways as:
- Reduced risk of death from a cardiovascular disease
- Increased life expectancy
- Lower rates of depression and anxiety
- Greater psychological and physical health and well-being
- Greater resistance to the common cold
These are amazing health benefits that simply come from PMA, a more positive outlook on life. I don’t always maintain a positive attitude, but ever since my early experiences with my coach’s wisdom of ingraining the principle of PMA – positive mental attitude – in our heads, it has always proved to permeate my thoughts when faced with the decision of how to react.
Growing up with four siblings offered quite a number of opportunities for arguing and bickering. Often, when sat down by our parents, the phrase, “he made me mad!” would come out, to which my dad would always respond, “no one can ‘make’ you mad; you choose to be mad.” I now see the wisdom in that. It fits with the principle of PMA.
So, next time when faced with a situation to get angry or frustrated, choose to be positive. You’ll find that it greatly increases your happiness and well-being over time, and greatly increases your perspective on the wonderful opportunities for growth that life has to offer.
PMA – easy? Not completely. Worth it? Absolutely! Make the simple lifestyle change today to greatly improve your health for life!