Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Attitude Is Everything

Your attitude is how you view your life.  You get to choose your attitude.  It's not a done deal that is pre-programmed within you from the start.  It is learned, and it is everything.
How you perceive your life has a huge effect on how you live it, how you behave, how you react to different people, how you work, the chances you take, how you handle crises, the people you meet and relate to, the opportunities you take advantage of and those you let pass by.  Everything!  
For those of you who have chronic health issues, a positive attitude can make the difference on how fast you heal.  If you mope around and complain and refuse to do what the doctor tells you to, then you'll most likely be faced with a longer recovery period, and you might just shoot yourself in the foot and not recover at all.  But if you try to find the positive in any given situation, there's a good chance that you'll come through your health crises much faster and healthier. 

I've gone through periods in my life when I didn't have confidence in my abilities.  I would shy away from jobs I could very well have done, just because I was scared to try, or didn't want to drive in that particular area of town.  
I've also dragged my feet, putting off important decisions until it was too late because I didn't have confidence in my abilities.  I've given up too soon on jobs, educational opportunities, community involvement opportunities, and relationships.  I've also hung on to jobs, ideas, and relationships way too long because I had an unhealthy attitude about them.

But it doesn't have to be like this.  Commit to an attitude adjustment and you'll notice a huge difference in how your life plays out.  

Ways To Improve Your Attitude

1.  Discover your "why:"  Why do you want to change your attitude?  Have you been ridiculed, lost friends, or missed out on important opportunities because of it?  Or, do you feel it just doesn't serve a valuable purpose in your life anymore?

2.  Daydream:  Use daydreaming to practice conversations with others.  Role play them to see if you can come up with more positive ways to communicate: use upbeat tones, smile when talking, use positive, non-judgmental words, practice good listening skills, and so on.  You could even role play with a close friend and ask for feedback as an alternative to daydreaming.

3.  Wake Up Grateful:  Practice waking up grateful for all the good in your life.  There are days when this will be difficult, but stick to it and see what a difference it makes in your attitude.  Starting your day on a positive note can spill over to the rest of the day and make it awesome.

4.  Be Enthusiastic:  Find the good in any situation.  Tackle each problem with curiosity and enthusiasm.  Of course, not everything is going to warrant enthusiasm, but make a point to infuse your attitude with enthusiasm as much as possible.

5.  Take Time For Yourself:  Get away from the craziness of life often to just be.  Be quiet, be contemplative, be you.  Connect with your inner self and really listen to it.  What is truly important to you?  What do you need to let go?  What do you want to do with your life?  What makes your heart sing?  Answer those questions and then go out and do those things, find true happiness.

6.  Laugh!:  Humor is a great tool to change your attitude and get you through tough times.  Try to infuse your conversations with humor.  You don't have to joke all the time--that's annoying--but now and then break out the funny in you to lighten the mood and give your attitude a jolt of positive energy.  Learn to find something funny in your situation.  Learn to laugh at yourself and with others over silly things that happen at the clinic or hospital.  I remember one time when I was at the doctor's office for a pre-op physical; I was pretty nervous as I was headed for major surgery.  The doctor came into the exam room where I was waiting for him and said, with a totally straight face, "So, are you scared poopless?"  I had to do a double-take to make sure this was actually my usual conservative, quiet doctor.  Yep, it was him.  I had to smile.  He came through for me when I really needed him.  Through pre-op, the hospital stay and recovery, every time I thought of what he had said that day in his office, I had to smile or giggle.  And that was the perfect medicine to help me get through that difficult ordeal.  Kudos to him!

7.  Move!:  No, you don't have to move away, although that could be what you need.  That's your call.  But definitely, move your body.  It was meant to move, not be stuck in front of the TV or computer for hours on end.  Find activities you enjoy doing and get out and do them most days of the week.  Running, walking, tennis, cycling, team sports, swimming, lifting weights, wheelchair dancing, dancing, paralympics, and so on.  It's all good.  Choose a variety so you don't get bored.  Ask your friends and family to join you as well.  Having a workout partner helps keep it fun and helps keep you accountable.

It is important to find a balance in life, so you take the opportunities that are presented to you, have a healthy attitude about them, give them a good go, let the unhealthy situations and relationships go, and cherish the ones that turn out to be magical, or at least pretty darn cool.

I welcome your comments.  I'd love to hear how you have made attitude adjustments and how your life changed as a result.  

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