A bad attitude certainly spills over into your spirit. And it certainly affects the people around you also.
Choosing your attitude may seem impossible at first, but it’s a skill you can develop. A good attitude doesn’t mean denying the negative things in your life, family, or world. But it means you actively choose how you will think and act in relation to them.
One of the most powerful positive attitudes is hope. The Bible says we are saved by hope! (Romans 8:24) Science has been able to demonstrate the powerful positive effects of hope. Believing and expecting that something good can happen can block physical pain. Even a little hope causes the brain to release endorphins and enkephalins that can eliminate pain and provide a sense of well-being.[i] Hope can change the function of portions of the brain and nervous system, vascular system, gastrointestinal system, and your response to stress.
Hope, specifically, does not mean ignoring reality. Hope means looking clearly at the challenges you face, moving beyond the fear, and focusing on what you CAN change.
For example, in the face of cancer hope does not mean denying the diagnosis. It does mean understanding all you can about your illness, and grabbing hold of every available treatment (medical help, nutrition, prayer, etc). And hope may not always mean a cure; it may mean getting the most out of every day you have left on this earth.
When challenges come some people naturally feel more hopeful than others. Emotions can change slowly. But you can choose to focus on things you do have control over, on whatever is positive around you, and on the differences you can make in your world. Those things may seem small, but choosing to focus on them will have a positive impact on your physical and your mental health. You’ll feel better, and so will those around you!