(Guest post by Mark Kirkpatrick)

Perhaps you’ve heard of a book called The Energy Bus. Essentially, this book aims to help you improve your life by thinking positively and surrounding yourself with others who also think positively. Common desires shared by a group make each member of that group more likely to accomplish their goals individually, according to the author.

At this time of the year with the holidays on the way, it’s a little easier to join in the positive attitude exposed in The Energy Bus and similar books promoting positivity. After all, people are in a better mood, thinking about the excitement of the holidays and certain holiday activities that they will enjoy.

People also tend to think about others during the holiday season, whether it’s through charity donations or volunteering. As shown in the accompanying graphic, practicing an attitude of gratitude is a great idea all of the time. As found during a UC Davis study, positive people who exhibit signs of gratitude tend to have fewer health problems and get more sleep.

Embracing a Positive Attitude

While it would be nice if jumping into a more positive lifestyle was as easy as just telling everyone you’re more positive, it becomes easier to actually stick with a life of gratitude by making some changes to the way you go about your day. Consider these ideas for starters:

  • Find enjoyable activities. Whether your favorite activity is helping others through volunteering, is visiting family, or is working on a home improvement project, it’s easy to lose track of time. There’s nothing wrong with that feeling. Be grateful for the time you’re able to spend in the activity, rather than worrying about losing track of time.
  • Find exercise that you enjoy. A successful exercise program will have you feeling better about yourself in no time. Those who exercise tend to have fewer problems with tension and depression, leaving themselves feeling better about their lives.
  • Laughter is the best medicine. While spending time to hang out with friends and family and doing nothing more than laughing at stories or laughing at TV might seem like a waste of time, it’s definitely not. Any time you can spend with others enjoying yourselves is going to help you feel better and have a more positive outlook on life, especially if laughter is involved.

Making Others Feel Better

One way to be more positive about your life is to help others. As you help others through problems, you’re likely to be more grateful for both your relationships and for your own life situation. You can get more out of life when you’re willing to help others.

While volunteering at a charity organization is a great way to start helping others, your work doesn’t always have to be so structured. Performing a task as simple as helping someone work through a set of problems by just listening can be amazingly fulfilling. Developing listening skills will make your personal relationships more enriching to everyone involved.

Finally, keep in mind that happiness and a grateful attitude is contagious. Studies show that if you surround yourself with happy and grateful people, you’re going to probably have a more positive outlook yourself. Your productivity is even expected to increase. With the holiday season upon us, plenty of people will have a positive attitude, meaning it’s a great time to test some of the principles listed in the infographic aimed at helping you be more grateful!

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Author Bio: Mark Kirkpatrick is a blogger and tech enthusiast in Los Angeles, California.

He has found that productivity starts with healthy habits, and hopes to help others achieve their goals through positive reinforcement. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+.

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