I think we all understand the power of attitude. It can be a difference-maker. Attitude determines our outlook on a situation. It affects our language. Attitude affects our facial expressions and posture. It affects our priorities. It affects other’s perceptions of us. This means at work and at home.
Do you think having a bad attitude contributes to your stress level? If so, then your attitude also affects your health. According to Healthy People 2000:
- 70-80% of all visits to the doctor are for stress-related and stress-induced illnesses
- Stress contributes to 50% of all illness in the United States
- The cost of job stress in the U.S. is estimated at $200 billion annually, including costs of absenteeism, lost productivity, and insurance claims
We are fully responsible for our attitude. It comes from within. While others can have an impact on our day, we choose how we respond. But if we know this, why is it so hard to maintain?
Think about how most of us start our days. We get up ten minutes late because we stayed up too late the night before. Everyone else in the house is running late. The relentless beat of the clock breathes down our neck as we frantically rush to get everyone to their appointed places. By 9 am, your attitude may already be wrecked.
Or, you may be working in a job that you just aren’t excited about. The daily grind takes its toll as you daydream about greener pastures or work that you love. You don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with your boss, and you haven’t had a raise in two years. All this can also add up to be an attitude killer.
Think about how you feel when your attitude is bad. How do you think others see you? If your attitude is normally bad, do you think that sends a message to your children? I think they begin to see that as the way they’re supposed to act and feel. Wouldn’t we hate to know our children learned that from us?
So how do we combat this? I’ve got a few thoughts.
- Start with gratitude. It’s hard to have a bad attitude when you stop and reflect on how much you have to be thankful for.
- Make a conscious decision to be happy. Happiness is always within your reach. Your mood at any given moment is by choice. I think it would be very difficult to have a scowl on your face if you’re happy.
- If something keeps affecting your attitude, change what you can about it. That generally means changing yourself.
- Listen to positive, upbeat music or motivational content. The news media and junk that comes through on cable television and the internet can really impact your outlook.
- Surround yourself with others that have positive attitudes. We settle into the habits, discussions, and demeanor of the people we spend time with.
Having a good attitude doesn’t mean that you have to be Pollyanna all the time. It means deciding that you’ve decided to take on a generally positive opinion, view, or feeling. As a natural leader in your home, a parent’s attitude is contagious. It also sets the tone for the overall environment inside your home. So if you want your children’s attitude to improve, begin by looking in the mirror.
Application Question – What action can you take from the list above to change your attitude?
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