Have you ever woke up feeling like it was going to be a bad day?  How did that day turn out?  It was probably a bad day.

Attitude can have a profound impact on our lives.  A negative attitude can cause us to experience life differently simply because our expectations and interpretations are all negative.  Living our lives this way can cause stress, which can lead to health problems.

Researchers tracked 1,500 people for seven years to see if attitude and a positive mental state affected health.  They found that the people who maintained a positive attitude were more likely to live longer and be healthier.

Here are five steps to developing and keeping a positive attitude:

Look to the future.
You cannot move forward if you are continually looking to the past.  Picture your future.  Develop goals to get to that future.  Break the goals into steps and then begin with the first step.

Look for solutions.
Instead of trying to figure out why a problem occurred, find the solution.  If you have to, write down the problem.  Then plot out the steps you need to take to reach the solution.

Try to find the silver lining.
Look for good in every problem, challenge, or set back.  It may be you needed to go through this obstacle to get to a future step.

Learn from your mistakes. Henry Ford said, “Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement.”  Find out what you can learn from the difficulty you are facing.

Expect good things. When you anticipate that good things will happen, today will be a good day, or things will go your way, you may just be right!  Allowing yourself to expect good things will drastically change your overall attitude.

Remember Eeyore, the donkey from Winnie the Pooh?  He seems always to be expecting the worse and little joy seems to emanate from his voice, carriage, or life.  Pooh, on the other hand, is an eternal optimist, always looking for a silver lining or offering grace when someone wrongs him or something disappointing happens.

Yes, these are just cartoon characters, but chances are we all know people who are like Eeyore and Pooh.  Which type is more enjoyable to be with?  And which would you rather be like?

As you wake up each morning, promise yourself that this will be a good day, a great day!  A positive attitude is good for us.  It permeates every cell in our body and gives us the foundation for a joy-filled life.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
-Phillipians 4:8