What a wonderful discovery it is that a person can change everything by changing the lens through which they view the world. There are lots of ways to change your attitude, but here are three that work for me (especially when my attitude is really kind of crappy).
“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” – William James
The world is but our mirror; what we see depends not only on what we look at, but on what we look for. It depends on the spectacles we use to see what we’re looking at, and what we’re looking for. Two people standing side by side, looking at the same view, can see two very different things.
There’s a difference between seeing with the eyes, and seeing through them.
The attitude we carry has the power to either create our own sunshine or cast shadows on our own path. If you want/need to change your attitude, first realize that your attitude belongs to you alone, and it’s your choice to sport a good one or a bad one. It’s up to you to make this day good or bad.
The beautiful reality is that YOU CAN CHANGE your attitude.
Here are three ways to help you make a positive shift.
3 Ways to Change Your Attitude Anytime, Anywhere
1. Still your mind.
Pico Iyer writes in The Art of Stillness, “In an age of movement, nothing is more critical than stillness.”
With an often chaotic external experience, it helps to cultivate stillness inside of us. Physically hold still for a moment, catch your breath, take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to release the external and internal chatter for this one moment. Find a quiet place and focus your attention inward.
A moment of stillness makes room for change, for something new to enter.
Here are a few short practices that can help you take a break from the chaos:
- Two Beats Longer, a mindfulness practice
- This one-minute mindfulness meditation
- These three short meditation techniques
- This 16-second meditation for beginners
- SODA, an in-the-moment relaxation technique
2. Change your focus.
Challenges aren’t meant to destroy your inner peace, but to validate your propensity for attaining inner peace no matter what challenges you face.
When it seems like an uphill struggle, visualize the view from the top. Forget about what can go wrong, and look at what can be. Dismiss the ugliness you see, and zero in on what’s beautiful. Take a moment to stop stewing about what’s stressing you, and count your blessings.
Cultivate self-awareness in your thoughts and emotions, and you’ll become able to consciously redirect your focus to something that inspires you, rather than drags you down. It’s so important to place your energy in the thoughts and emotions you want to see grow.
Place your energy in a negative thought, like “this will never happen” and the universe hears “I want this to never happen.” Place your energy in a positive thought, like “this is happening” and the universe responds in just the same way: “Your wish is my command.”
There are no hopeless situations, only people who have grown hopeless about them. Luckily, we have the capacity to keep hope alive by shifting our attention away from bitterness, and towards sweetness. Know that, through patient awareness of your thoughts, you’ve already begun the process of change.
Only through awareness can you change your attitude and choose again, choosing to respond only to those thoughts that help you build the life you want and prioritizing the outlook that you want to hold as you’re living it.
3. Use your body.
These words from Carol Welch speak the truth: “Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.”
Just like anything that happens in the mental universe leaves tracks in the physical universe, what happens in the physical universe impacts our mental universe. Consciously take control of your physical movement, and you directly influence your state of mind.
Your body is one of the best tools for changing your attitude.
By altering your levels of physical tension, rate of breath, speed of movement, and mental focus, you can change how you feel about whatever is upsetting you. Stand up straight, roll your shoulders back, summon a smile, take some deep breaths, stretch your muscles, play a game, or do some jumping jacks.
Infuse a little movement into this moment, and focus your mind on the physical sensations that arise. A little goes a long way–it’s the birth of momentum.
You may also enjoy this post about being happy when life seems crappy.
- What helps you shift into a more kind, loving, relaxed, and happy state of mind?
- How do you keep stillness inside you?
- How do you love to move?
Please share your own thoughts, practices, advice, or experiences with me in the comments.
Share this post with someone who deserves to be happy.
As Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”