There are times in life when you find yourself harried, worn out and cranky. Situations might be so grim that you realize you need to change your attitude—stat. I’ve been there more than a few times, and it’s not fun. Not only does it affect you, but it starts to drag down the people around you. And nobody wants to be a drag!
It’s impossible to live the big life if your attitude stinks. Fortunately we don’t have to stay frustrated and grumpy.
7 Ways to Change Your Attitude
1. Step Back
Stop doing whatever you’re doing and take a breather. Sometimes changing your attitude can be as easy as clearing your thoughts and resting, or taking a vigorous walk and getting a little fresh air and vitamin D. One thing is sure, trying to power through with a negative attitude isn’t going to help.
Figure out why your attitude stinks. Has your attitude been swirling the drain for a while or is it a new issue? Can you identify the source? Sometimes our attitude isn’t bad because of what’s happening in the moment but because of a larger issue that needs to be addressed. If you can reasonably change the situation that’s causing the negative attitude—do it!
Sometimes the things in life that cause our bad attitudes can’t be fixed quickly. In those cases, it’s time to make a long-term plan to deal with the root issue. The issue may be job-related, relationships or health problems. The issue may even be something inside you that needs working out. Whatever it is, consider ways to remedy the problem.
Try different coping techniques to help you through the rough patch. Prayer, deep breathing, relaxation, time off—these are all good ways to help you refocus on the things that truly matter. Research specific techniques to help you cope with your particular situation, such as ways to deal with a health issue or a difficult relationship.
Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing, especially if your negative attitude stems from a job situation or other scheduling craziness. For example, I recently had a terrible attitude because I was so over-scheduled I felt like I was spinning out of control. In that case, I had to remind myself why we were doing these activities and how much it mattered to each person involved. Think of the long-term benefits of the job you’re doing or the benefits of working through a hard time.
Discuss what you’re going through with your spouse or a trusted friend, or even a mentor/advisor. Sometimes they can see your situation from a different perspective, and they can help you sort through the issues. Talking often helps change your attitude just by having someone to share the burden.
All of your planning and coping won’t make a long-term difference if you don’t take steps forward. Armed with a plan and ready to take action, your attitude will improve just by knowing that your current issues won’t be issues forever.
Sometimes life dog-piles you, but you have every tool necessary to handle the situations that come your way. Get your attitude pointed in the right direction, and you can live the big life too!