By BARTON GOLDSMITH
Scripps Howard News Service
Most people think that you cannot create positivity -- it's either there or it's not -- but they're wrong. You can definitely encourage yourself and your loved ones to be and feel more positive. You just have to learn how to do it, as many others have done.
Think about the professional athlete who has lost a game and has to pump himself and his teammates up for the next one. Having a good coach -- or a good therapist -- may help, but pumping yourself up is something you can do on your own or even as a couple.
A positive outlook begins with believing in yourself and your relationship. Knowing that you are both good people who are deserving of each other's love and kindness certainly helps.
If this is something you have doubts about, you need to get on the same page as your partner and reaffirm your connection. If the two of you believe in one another and both of you want a positive lifestyle, you must make the commitment to do your best to maintain a positive demeanor in all aspects of your relationship.
This may be easier said than done, but the truth is that you can create a positive relationship as long as both of you want one. All it takes is a willingness to make a few changes for the better, adjusting your all-important attitudes toward life and each other.
Don't forget that this is a feeling thing, and it will take more than a moment for you to see and feel the results.
Positivity is an ongoing process.
As part of that process, you will need to become aware of and learn to drop negative feelings that you may have about your mate. This takes a little patience and perseverance, but I have helped countless people recognize that they were unconsciously mad at the one they love.
Changing that dynamic simply takes the realization that your less-than-positive feelings are helping no one. It actually becomes second nature once you are aware that you can relate differently and better.
Another great way to build a positive attitude is to catch yourself when you are not feeling good about your life or your relationship and consciously re-center yourself. Once you learn to recognize that you've unexpectedly slipped into a less-than-positive thought process, you can do something (almost anything) to change it.
Do some chores, walk, read a light book, watch something fun on the tube or go online.
Making the commitment to change is a big deal. Making those changes in a positive way, with a positive outcome, is even bigger.
You can give yourself the gift of a happy relationship by supporting your partner in creating more positivity and by allowing yourself to feel good about the person you've chosen to spend your life with.
Being positive and allowing that feeling to flow through your relationship is a wonderful way to go through life with the one you love.
You can make the choice to be a positive couple and enjoy the happiness that comes with it.
(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author, most recently, of "100 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence -- Believe in Yourself and Others Will Too." Email him at Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com.)