In our lives there are always going to be circumstances out of our control, but one thing we do have a full say in is our attitude. Charles Swindoll famously said, “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Regardless of what we are going through in our day, we can choose to face it with a positive outlook and that in itself will help you have more satisfying and fulfilling days. Having a positive attitude is a simple adjustment, but it can only happen with intentional choices each day.
Here are 5 ways you can truly change your attitude.
The act of smiling literally makes you feel better. Smiling releases neuropeptides (tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate) that work to fight off stress. Research also shows that smiling releases the feel-good hormones that relax your body and lower your blood-pressure. Smiling is contagious and relaxes other people when they see you and helps build connection. Try it! Smile at someone today and see if they smile back.
When we view something difficult in our life, we have a choice in how we view it. Oftentimes, we go to the most negative scenario, and ultimately, we set ourselves up to fail. When we reframe the circumstance, we are choosing to view the situation in a positive way. Instead of calling it an obstacle, we can call it an opportunity for growth or learning. Instead of calling someone a difficult person, we can call them a person who has something going on that is difficult in their lives. Reframing doesn't change the circumstance, but it does change how we will react to it.
Bréne Brown in her book Daring Greatly, says, “Gratitude is a spiritual exercise.” She writes, “When you are feeling anxious or fearful, simply call it out and add ‘and I’m grateful for…’.” We can easily go through our day and miss all of the good because we are consumed with fear, frustration or irritations. Keep a gratitude journal and reflect back on the things that happened in the day that made you smile. Start each day looking for the good in your life and soon this becomes your filter. Look at the difficult things in your day and see if you can find ways you can grow from them. Find gratitude prompts on Pinterest like this one that lead you to a grateful spirit each day.
Oftentimes our attitude suffers because the only person we think about is ourselves. When we can look outside of ourselves to others and find ways to bring happiness to them, it helps our own attitude. It always feels good to help someone else out. Make it a goal each day to do one act of kindness for someone. Here is a great list of random acts of kindness to help get you started.
We all know there are people in our lives who can find something to complain about in every situation. It’s just their filter on life. The key is to spend as little time as possible around those people. It’s important for your own well-being to set boundaries with those people. It is also important that you keep tabs on your own attitude when you are around negative people. If you find that a certain person keeps bringing you down, even with boundaries, it may be a relationship that you need to walk away from.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill
Make a few simple choices each day to help maintain a more positive outlook and attitude. You’ll see that people will want to be around you more, you’ll enjoy life more, and you’ll feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.