We have the power to change our experience whenever we want to just by changing our attitude. Sometimes, that is easier said than done! We need to train ourselves to recognize situations for what they are and remind ourselves that we are not defined by our situations. When we consciously pay attention, we can recognize what is going on and not get swept up in the emotional tides that certain situations can bring with them.
Here are some tips you can use every day to help you when you feel you need to change your focus:
Don’t get stuck in victim thinking. We need to develop tools we can use when we find ourselves in a bad mood, or stuck in complaining mode when everything seems to be going wrong. Think about what IS working in your day, remind yourself of what is GOOD in your life, focus on something that makes you happy in that instant.
Think of tangible things that make you feel good. A smell, a memory, a song, an image; think about anything that takes you out of the current moment. When something seems to be going wrong, remind yourself that this is only a piece of your day; all the things that are happening around you are merely events existing in the space that you are currently in. These events or situations are not YOU, and they will pass. Focus on that aspect; this will pass, and you will come out on the other side free of whatever is bothering you!
Be aware of physical stressors. Our attitude can quickly change when we are in a stressful situation. What we perceive as stressful can be many things: physical pain, being hungry, being sleep deprived, having a headache, illness, etc. These things can act like a magnet and take all of our focus, which seems to not leave us with as much energy to focus on anything else. We need to train ourselves to recognize situations for what they are and remind ourselves that we are not defined by our situations. Recognize what is going on and don’t get swept up in the emotional tide that the situation brings with it. Instead of getting mad at someone or something that is happening, recognize and acknowledge the truth of the situation.
We cannot be in denial about things that need to be addressed, but we do have the power to decide where we place our attention. With practice, we can shift our attitude anytime we want to!