I’m going to give you yet another freebie today: an attitude check. No charge.
You’re welcome. 😉
We all need an attitude check once in a while. Some of us can go six months, others of us need one every six days. But circumstances have a way of wearing us down, provoking negative perspectives, which lead to negative attitudes. Which are not only harmful to ourselves, but to the others around us.
Bad attitudes complicate life. We want a simpler life, so we need to get rid of them, right?
How’s the weather?
Here in southeast Oklahoma, all the way down to Houston, Texas, we recently had day after day of heavy rain that has led to considerable flooding. It has also led to considerable bad moods.
Somehow, it’s a lot easier to be happy and energetic when the sun is shining. This is partly due to what the barometer is doing, and partly due to the brightness of the sun promoting an increase of seratonin, a brain chemical that helps you feel energetic and uplifted.
During the past month, I’ve had more than one friend remark to me that they are tired of the dreary weather. I haven’t been bothered so much by that than I have the high humidity. But I can’t deny that I was letting the constant cloudiness get me down, as well.
Note the wording there: I was letting. It wasn’t the clouds fault that I was feeling a little depressed.
Then one day I gave myself an attitude check. I thought back to last summer. While we didn’t have torrents of rain for days on end like we have this spring, it was humid every day except two. And I got depressed. Angry, even. At myself.
Why did we have to move to somewhere that we knew was going to be humid a lot? Why didn’t we move to Arizona or New Mexico?
I didn’t feel like doing anything, and my garden went wild. I didn’t accomplish any number of projects that I had joyfully planned to in the spring when the weather was still mild.
I thought about how miserable I was last summer, and I decided that I would be happy this summer, no matter what the weather brought. I enjoy happiness much more than I do misery.
I instantly got over feeling gloomy about the clouds and rain. I instantly decided that I was going to gradually accustom my body to the heat and humidity by making myself stay out in it.
I instantly decided that I was not going to let the weather affect my attitude.
For many of us, regrets plague us and sour our attitudes toward life. Here are some of mine.
- Having a traditional wedding (too stressful)
- Not knowing about my nutritional deficiencies before I got pregnant (the mother’s nutrition impacts the child’s development)
- Buying a condominium when I was thirty-one
- Not being able to give birth to my son at home
I could go on, I’m sorry to say. Sorry, because every time something happens and you turn the event into a regret, it’s another chain around your neck. It keeps you from being completely free, and can even keep you from fulfilling your potential, because you get an attitude. And that attitude colors your whole life.
I’ve learned that I can’t have regrets. Not that they don’t try to sneak back up on me once in a while and take me captive, but I’m learning to shrug them off. What is in the past, is in the past. And if I keep letting the past drive my future, I’m not going anywhere fast.
I have decided not to let regrets affect my attitude.
How to drop negative attitudes
When you have a negative attitude, neither you nor anyone around you has fun. And life shouldn’t be all drudgery and frustration.
So how do you drop a negative attitude?
Count your blessings.
A cliché? Yes, but a wise one. When you count your blessings, you begin to see how foolish you are to be seeing everything in a negative light.
- I have a great husband, and am living the life of my dreams. Who cares if the weather goes berserk for a couple of months?
- I get to spend eternity with my heavenly Father in a place of joy and freedom and continual new happy experiences. Who cares if a few things went wrong in my past?
- I am finally breathing fresh air and can walk naked out my front door early in the morning and not worry about it. What’s three months of humidity compared to that kind of liberty?
Stop laughing and get your mind out of the gutter. This is a serious post.
Find something to do
Another way to banish a bad attitude is to find something to do.
Negative attitudes are especially skillful at sneaking in when you’re inactive. When you don’t have enough to do, you think too much. And if you’re attitude is wrong, you’ll think your way into an increasingly worse one.
I have a hard time dwelling on regrets when I’m working hard in the garden or pounding out a blog post or chapter in a book. And when I engage myself in interesting activities inside, I couldn’t care less about the weather outside.
I hereby give you an attitude check. What parts of your life have you feeling depressed, angry or resentful? Are they really of any worth compared to all the blessings you have?
If the answer is no, you haven’t finished your list of blessings yet.
Finish it, then smile and be happy.