Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

Dr. Orloff’s Tips for A Positive Attitude

Judith Orloff - Thursday, February 04, 2010

From Positive Energy by Judith Orloff MD”

As a physician in practice for over twenty years, I know that your beliefs set the tone for health and healing. Positive attitudes accentuate wellness, negative attitudes impair it. Our beliefs trigger biochemical responses. No organ system is apart from our thoughts. Beliefs set a tone for certain health realities to occur. In “Positive Energy” I discuss 5 tips for keeping a positive attitude.

The first is, try to focus on what’s good in the ‘Now” rather than catastrophizing about what danger lurks in the future. Negative fear based thoughts increase the stress hormones in your body, and stop the blissful flow of endorphins, our brain’s natural pain reducing neurochemicals.’

The second is to take a few minutes to meditate each day on a positive image: a waterfall, sunset, the night sky, a child’s face. This calms your physiological system and allows you to take a mini break from the stressors of the day.

The third, is to practice positive self-talk. This is a form of affirmation that will neutralize the tendency to focus on what is negative. For instance, if you are tired tell yourself, “Honey, it’s okay to take a rest” instead of beating yourself up over not being a super person who goes nonstop. Or “you’ve done a great job” when you know you’ve done your best in a work situation or in the process of healing from an illness. This emphasis on what you’ve done well will help keep your body calm and healthy.

The fourth is to be grateful for what is working in your life rather than obsessing on what has gone wrong—always focus on the love you have and know the enormous value of this.

The fifth tip is to practice anonymous acts of service whenever you are feeling unhappy or in a bad mood. Reaching out to help others in a small way—for instance, helping someone across the street, letting someone in front of you in traffic, being emotionally supportive of a friend—serves to open your heart and generate positive energy so you feel better and so does someone else.

Having a positive attitude is something that you practice over time. The more you get in the habit of doing it, the more successful you will be. A positive attitude is something you develop over time. It doesn’t mean being Pollyannaish or saccharine. It is being able to find the best in things, and in yourself. We may not be able to control all the events of our lives, but we can control our attitude.


Judith Orloff, MD is author of The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing. Connect with Judith on  Facebook and  Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff's books and workshop schedule, visit her website.

Sarah commented on 05-Feb-2010 01:12 PM
Thank you for championing a better way of living for those of us who are introverted or highly sensitive.
Ashton Laurent commented on 16-Feb-2010 08:30 AM
I'd like to add one suggestion to these wonderful principles. Remember to smile. Smile with your whole face. Lifting your face helps your whole mental attitude. You benefit and all the people who see you also benefit.
Betsy Henry, zen-mama.com commented on 18-Feb-2010 09:27 PM
Judith, I so believe this! I just read it out loud to my husband and son. I have repeated some of your thoughts in several of my blogs. Would you ever consider be a guest blogger? It could help your book, too! I'm looking forward to looking to reading through the rest of your blog! By the way...thanks for the twitter follow!
Kim commented on 22-Feb-2010 11:25 AM
I recently discovered your work. It has been such a relief for me to know that it is okay to feel this way and that I can do something about it! I will put these principles up on my wall as a reminder to follow them everyday.
Wildove commented on 01-Mar-2010 03:20 PM
Dr. Orloff, Everything I read from your excerpts/promotions/posts I find too wonderful. I mention this because I have been writing my own 'how to connect between the "two worlds", only mine is done in Dreamtime format. I have been doing this as a prayer/thought extension. I made the decision NOT to read anyone else's books on the subject until my own book is done. IT is ESSENTIAL to comment about your work and to tell all my friends to come to your site, buy your books and "KEEP THE WIDSOM FIRE BURNING. So I will do that! Aho! Thank you for doing what you do!
Anonymous commented on 07-Mar-2010 02:42 PM
Polly Anna has gotten a bad rap for some reason. I've been criticized for being too much like her. I watched the movie recently and am now very proud of being called Polly Anna. Not sure why people think poorly of a little girl who turns everything around to see the positive. A light-hearted person that has a profound positive impact on many people around her. Sounds pretty good to me!

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