You Can Change The Channel

Our attitude has such a profound effect on the way we perceive things. It is really amazing. What I have noticed is possible, but admittedly requires practice, is that we have the power to change our experience whenever we want to just by changing our attitude. Yes! We have the power to think however we want to about something, and if our thoughts are not serving us, we can decide to think about something else.

Changing your attitude can be hard when you are stuck in the feelings of the moment. When we are in a situation in which we are feeling bad, we need to have triggers we can use to shift our thinking and get ourselves out for the negative space we are currently experiencing. We need to develop some tools we can use when we find ourselves in a bad mood, or stuck in complaining mode when everything seems to be going wrong. Sometimes we are stuck in victim thinking. Why torture ourselves by continuing to think about things or pay attention to things that upset us? That just gives what is bothering us more power to ruin the moment we are in. Huh? Press the channel up button on the remote control, and go to another program. When you are in a situation that is causing you to have a bad attitude, change the channel! Think about what IS working in your day, remind yourself of what is GOOD in your life, focus on something that makes you happy in that instant. A smell, a memory, a song, an image; think about anything that takes you out of the current moment. Then, remind yourself that this is only a piece of your day; all the things that are happening around you are merely events existing in the space that you are currently in. These events or situations are not YOU, and they will pass. Focus on that aspect; this (whatever it is) will pass, and you will come out on the other side free of whatever is bothering you!

Another thing I have noticed is how quickly our attitude can change when we are in a stressful situation. What we perceive as “stressful” can be many things: physical pain, being hungry, being sleep deprived, having a headache, illness, etc. These things can act like a magnet and take all of our focus, which does not leave us with as much energy to press the button on that remote control when attitude shifting situations pop up. So what do we do? We need to train ourselves to recognize situations for what they are and remind ourselves that we are not defined by our situations. Recognize what is going on and don’t get swept up in the emotional tide that the situation brings with it. Instead of getting mad at someone or something that is happening, recognize and acknowledge what the truth of the situation is: I am hungry and tired, and now Susie asking me so many questions and is irritating me. Now, Susie’s questions may very well be irritating, and I am not suggesting we lie to ourselves and pretend things are something that they are not. What I am asking is that we try to recognize things for what they are: I am so hungry, but as soon as I get home I am going to eat, and I am definitely going to go to bed early tonight. Susie is irritating me, but I am leaving and will not have to talk to her anymore today – she is not coming home with me and she does not have the power to ruin my day. Calm yourself down by being your own therapist. Work through each situation like you are counseling someone else, and then take our own advice.

We cannot be in denial about things that need to be addressed, but we do have the power to decide what we want to give our attention to. With practice, we can shift our attitude any time we want to! Do you have your remote control ready?