Our attitude can stem from any number of things and can affect so many different aspects of our lives. It may or may not be something that we are conscious of which may mean that we aren’t aware how deeply it is affecting us personally or professionally. We may also not realize the impact that our attitude has on those around us. Has anyone ever referred to you as a “Negative Nancy” or a “Debbie Downer”? Having one of those monikers can definitely be an indicator that others around you are being affected by your poor attitude.
You may also just feel that nothing ever works out for you or that you aren’t a morning/afternoon/people person. Chances are that none of those things are true. It is more likely that you are carrying around a hefty sized bad attitude and in turn, you are more frustrated, less motivated, less patient, and less approachable. The great news is that you can absolutely improve your attitude. If you are having a particularly low day or find that you have Chronic Debbie Downer Syndrome (yes, I totally just made that up), then there are ways to turn it around.
Fake it until you make it!
A lot of what makes up your poor attitude is how you see the world around you and how it sees you. I will admit that at first, I was not a believer of this method. So, I did what any skeptic should do – I tried it. Later I begrudgingly admitted that I had been wrong and immediately began spreading my new found knowledge to everyone I could. The key to success with this method is to really give yourself into the idea that you are already in a good mood. The first step is to put on a smile. Don’t just try it on, really get some wear out of it. Stretch it out, exaggerate it if needed, and watch as it proves to be contagious. Yes, it might hurt a little at first.
Get out of your bubble.
We tend to wear our bad mood like a blanket. Talk to co-workers, friends, family, or even strangers. But, under no circumstances should this talk be negative. This isn’t for venting purposes, this is stepping away from the negative and letting yourself enjoy your newly acquired good mood.
Walk the walk and talk the talk.
Sit up straight and show that beautiful smile you are wearing. Walk with energy and smile as you greet others. Do the little things that cheerful people do that set them apart – hum your favorite song, whistle, speak with an upbeat, inviting tone, play some feel-good music, laugh, and be present in the moment.
Be aware of your language and messages. Use positive words like absolutely, awesome, and definitely. Send positive messages about yourself and to others. Don’t say you are going to try to do something; say you are going to do it. Encourage others whenever possible. Compliment them and accept compliments they give you.
Start your day by saying something such as “This is going to be a great day!” out loud and allow yourself to mean it. Don’t allow yourself to complain, gossip, put others or yourself down, or wallow in your failures or disappointments. The focus should be on what you CAN do not what you can’t or didn’t do.
Change your environment and change your attitude.
Sometimes it isn’t so much your personal attitude that’s the problem as it is the environment that you are in that’s getting you down. Surround yourself with positive people that make you feel good. When that habitual complainer you know starts in with a list of grievances take that as your queue to say something positive and then politely exit the conversation. If you ARE that habitual complainer, stop that. Immediately.
Assess your office, home, or current setting. Drury, bland places tend to keep you feeling the same. Surround yourself with things that make you feel good. It could be pictures of loved ones, a nice peaceful painting, or a positivity board that you create out of things that put you in a positive mindset. It can also do wonders to change up your environment for even a few brief moments at a time. Take a walk outside and get some fresh air. Take deep breaths and focus only on the scenery, not the duties or stresses you left behind.
Scents and colors can also affect your attitude. Try using a candle that you love or scents such as lavender, citrus, or vanilla that are said to lift or mellow your mood. Add some green or yellow to your scenery which is said to elevate your mood and make you feel more upbeat.
Consider long-term changes.
If little changes don’t give you the transformation you need to improve your attitude or you simply aren’t able to convince yourself that you are in a good mood, then you may need to look for larger issues that need a change. If there are particular times or places that you feel that your attitude is especially poor or unchanging, then there may be something causing the dip in your attitude that needs to be assessed.
Changing your outlook can take time and determination. Being aware of your bad attitude triggers and believing in yourself is a big part of making a successful change. Keep in mind that the practice of all those little behaviors takes time and effort on your part. But, if you want to see a change then all you have to do is stick with it. Be an encouraging, positive force for both yourself and others around you. That positively will start coming back to you in a big way.
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