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Last Updated on September 3, 2019

Signs You Need an Attitude Adjustment (And How to Do It)

Signs You Need an Attitude Adjustment (And How to Do It)

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right?

You get out of bed in the morning feeling grumpy. Perhaps you mutter to yourself because there’s no coffee.

The traffic lights all seem to be stuck on red and you feel like the world is against you. As you screech into work ten minutes late, you complain about all the things that went wrong.

We all have the occasional day like this, because that’s life. But if you experience regular days like this, then it could be a sign you need an attitude adjustment.

I’ll expand on this more.

You see, our attitude affects the way we view life and this influences our behavior and communication. And, the way we behave and communicate influences any situation we experience. Because of this, if you have a negative attitude, you are more likely to create a negative outcome.

You’ve probably also heard the saying that “bad luck or misfortune comes in threes.” This isn’t because you’ve run over a black cat or because of some magical formula. It’s because we normally focus on things that don’t go well.

We repeat the event in our head and see it as a bad thing. We then create and notice more misfortune, because that is what we are looking for.

If this is the case, and if you want to experience more good fortune and enjoyment, then you need to view life through a positive lens. And this may mean you need to adjust your attitude.

As always, awareness is the first step to change. This means we need to know what to look for.

Here are five common signs and the benefits you would reap by making these adjustments.

1. You Think Other People Need an Attitude Adjustment

Do you find yourself having lots of disagreements?

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Maybe you don’t outwardly argue with the person or maybe you do. But you keep replaying the conversation in your head, inwardly arguing your point and feeling annoyed.

We all have different opinions and this is what makes the world a beautiful place to live. If we regularly get annoyed because someone has a different viewpoint, we need to change the way we are looking at it.

You have probably heard the saying “put yourself in their shoes” and it’s a saying because it works.

In NLP, we use a technique called Perceptual Positions. It’s a powerful way to see things outside of your usual perspective and solve conflict.[1]

You can do this easily by imagining yourself in their position and what may cause them to see things that way. Consider their life and what past experiences may have led them to have that point of view. Know that there is no right or wrong opinion only difference.

2. Similar Issues Arise with More Than One Person

Most people will experience similar issues with more than one person. Yet without the awareness to look for this, it can often slip by unnoticed.

If you are triggered by similar circumstance, it is an indication you need to self adjust or change. These issues aren’t necessarily disagreements; it could just be something you walk away taking personally.

We create meanings around everything we experience and it’s the meaning we choose that affects our feelings. If we make it mean “they don’t like me” or “I’m not important” then, we will feel negative.

Life is a mirror of our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes. This is wonderful, because it means we are able to find clues to what might be causing the issue.

I always know I need an attitude adjustment when I feel upset over clashes with those closest to me. When I identify the same feelings I have felt recently with other people, it’s a clue I must change.

If you don’t look deeper into this, you will keep re-creating similar experiences until you eventually see the light.

Start by reframing the meaning and ask yourself;

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“What have I made this situation mean about me?”

And “What could this mean instead?”

When you change the meaning, the way you feel about the situation will change. As you repeatedly do this, your experiences will change.

3. You Complain About Your Own Life a Lot

We all do this from time to time. But when you are consistently self-absorbed, your attitude seriously needs some adjustment.

This kind of behavior often begins with only thinking about you and talking about yourself a lot. Opening conversations with your own stories and not taking much interest in the other person.

It’s easy to do especially if you live alone. But, because of the connection between self-absorbed behavior and mental health issues, it’s essential to change this.

A 2002 bulletin written for the American Psychological Association states there is a relation between self-focused attention and negative affect (depression, anxiety, negative mood).[2] This means if you start to work on changing your focus right now, you will start to feel a more positive mood.

The first step is to begin to show an interest in other people’s lives. Become curious and ask them questions. Be genuinely interested in who they are and ask them about their stories.

Smile at strangers and say hello. Open little conversations in the supermarket queue and make it about anything but you.

If you’re not sure how to do this, find other people who do it well. Notice how they start conversations.

As you take these small steps each day, you will notice your mood improve and your enjoyment of life will increase.

4. You Think Everyone Else Is Better off Than You

Do you feel envious of others’ lives and wonder where you went wrong? If you do this often, then it may be time to look at this in a different way.

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Thinking others are better off than you, often runs in line with a self-focused attitude. Maybe you even think you’re the only one who has problems. You think that if life were better, then you would be happy.

People who are consistently happy aren’t happy because everything is always going to plan. They are happy because they have an optimistic and abundant attitude.

We all have problems and issues crop up, because that’s life. We are here to grow and this is often the result of learning to manage our problems well. People with an optimistic attitude understand this and work with it instead of being envious and pessimistic.

This means it’s important to be optimistic instead of thinking and feeling like you are missing out.

An attitude like this needs to be cultivated and begins with acknowledging the good in your life. Even if things aren’t exactly as you want them to be, notice where you are blessed.

You can actively cultivate this with regular written practice. Get a journal and write down ten things each day you are grateful for.

As you do this regularly, you will feel more optimistic and abundant. This will result in a happier and more content life.

5. You Have a Catastrophe Attitude

Does the toaster triggering the fire alarm set you fuming? You can feel your skin prickling as the anxiety starts to mount.

I get it. You’ve got five minutes to get out of the door before rush hour starts. And the thought of sitting in traffic for almost two hours seems like torture.

Here’s the thing though, catastrophizing is another behavior that can lead to depression.

Catastrophizing is seeing an unfavourable outcome to an event and then deciding that if this outcome does happen, the results will be a disaster.[3]

There are far worse things happening in the world than your toast burning. Running a couple of minutes late doesn’t mean the world is going to end, yet at the time it seems like the worst thing.

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Repeatedly making mountains out of molehills leads us to feel like we are in crisis. Over the long term, we could start to feel like we have no control over our emotions. This can really affect our quality of life.

Can you imagine how the quality of each day will increase when you shift this attitude?

Change begins with just a small adjustment and it’s all simply with numbers.

Imagine the very worst thing that could happen in the world, like the planet dying for instance. That would be a disaster, right!

Think about how much of a catastrophe that would be on a scale of one to ten. Place a number on it.

Now go back to your current experience and compare it against the disaster you just imagined. Place a number on it.

I don’t know about you, but I would much prefer to be getting up on that chair to reset the fire alarm.

Consistently reframing situations when you experience them, you will begin to normalize everyday events and feel calm.

Final Thoughts

Too many people waste so much time trying to control everything around them and getting upset when things don’t go well. The only thing we ever have complete control and influence over is ourselves; our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs.

Whether you are having one of those days or it’s a problem that has cropped up out of the blue. When you focus on adjusting your attitude towards it and see it differently, you will handle things better. You will see an increase in positive experiences and feel much more at peace.

More About Positive Thinking

Featured photo credit: Conner Baker via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Deb Johnstone

Deb is a sought after mindset speaker and a transformational life and business coach specialising in NLP and dynamic mindset.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

More Health Tips

Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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