Attitude Adjustment (Resetting Your Compass)

Each morning we wake up to a new day, a fresh start so to speak.  How we set our mind at the beginning of the day will have an impact on how it unfolds.  We may not be able to change the course of events, or to prevent bad things from happening, but we can choose with what attitude we approach them.

There is a little trick I learned years ago during a school presentation.  The guest speaker told us to begin the day by looking in the bathroom mirror and saying, “I feel great!” over and over until we were smiling, if not laughing.  We could not just whisper it, though.  We were instructed to say these words in a loud and emphatic voice.  At the time I was entrenched in my teenage rebellion, and I doubtless met this suggestion with a king-sized eye roll.  It filed itself away in a corner of my mind, and it would not emerge until some twenty years later when I decided to change my outlook.

I cherish you, my dear readers, far too much to lie to you.  The first time you try it you will feel ridiculous. There will be curiosity in the home.  Your spouse and your cat will poke their heads around the door with raised eyebrows while mentally sizing you up for the straitjacket.  (No, cats do not actually have eyebrows, but it makes for a good visual so let’s go with the cartoon version.)  You may question your own sanity.  Do not let this dissuade you.  Square up your shoulders, look yourself dead in the mirrored eyes, and repeat those words. “I feel great.”  No, no, say it like you mean it!  “I feel great!”  Good, but this time make it louder, and add in a fist pump!  “I feel GREAT!”

Wait, what just happened there?  Was that a little grin you saw?  Did you flash a smile?  Or best of all, did you laugh at yourself?  Perfect!  Congratulations, you have adjusted your attitude to start the day.  You have altered the way you will handle the day’s trials and the manner in which you will interact with others.  You have set your course toward a positive outlook.

Does any of this guarantee you a good day?  No.  Will there be tests?  Yes.  Are you better prepared to react to those tests?  I believe so.  You may find that you are less apt to be irritated by the morning traffic.  You will not allow that abrasive co-worker to affect your mood.  Even if something happens to knock you off track, say a flat tire or a broken heel on your shoe, you are equipped to handle it.  You are allowed to vent your frustrations (and if you are like me there will be cursing involved).  Having programmed your mindset, though, will allow you to recover quicker, to deal with the problem, and to go about the business of having a good day.

I encourage you to try the mirror exercise.  As silly as it may seem, I have found that it is a surefire way to begin the day on a positive note.  Start the day believing that it will be a good one, and you may be surprised by how things fall into place.  What you project out to the world tends to come back to you in kind.  Your attitude is the compass that dictates the direction your day will take.  Make sure yours is set for the course you wish to travel.  Where are you headed today?

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51 thoughts on “Attitude Adjustment (Resetting Your Compass)

  1. Fantastic! I could totally relate to the husband/cartoon cat imagery… except in my house it would be a husband and two rabbits! I think I’ll give this a try the next time I’m feeling blahzé in the morning. 🙂

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    • I love that you are open to trying it out! I hadn’t thought about it, but it could be great for kids. You could change up the saying, too, depending on what is happening that day (school tests, sports, etc). Thanks for reading! 🙂

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  2. I know my attitude can be influenced by the women who come into my house each morning to get out of bed. I have trained them all to leave their problems outside of my bedroom, and to come in pleasant – if not cheerful. They can be having a miserable morning, but I don’t want to deal with negativity before I even get out of bed. This helps both of us. They force themselves to be more positive and I have a better interaction with the person I’m depending on to help me get ready for the day.

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  3. One thing I’ve encouraged friends to do when they’ve needed pick me ups before is a tip I got from a psychiatrist as a teenager – write positive things about yourself (get help from a loved one if necessary) like ‘I have nice eyes’, ‘I’m a loyal friend’, ‘I make great pie’ on post it notes and stick them around the mirror you use most, so that when you see yourself you have to see the good things too. It works surprisingly well. Another tip I do is once I’m dressed on a morning and have my make up on I put on a song I love to dance to and dance around my room like a moron – it’s fun, releases endorphins and (depending on how you dance) can make you feel sexy.

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    • I like that idea! I put motivational quotes on a dry erase board on my fridge (mostly so I’ll exercise instead of eating). I will put some on my mirror, too. If I am home alone I will bust out the dance moves, but I can promise you it’s not sexy!! Haha! 🙂

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    • I’m sorry to hear that. I have been prone to bouts of anxiety, though they seem to be lessening over the past few years. Maybe if “I feel great” doesn’t feel right you could try a calming, peaceful phrase… something like “It will all be okay” or “I will survive” (maybe with a little Gloria Gaynor thrown in for good measure)? Come to think of it, there are days I could use those… 🙂

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  4. I thought, what the heck–I’ll give it a try. And yep, it cracked me up! (Of course, almost anything can crack me up.) But I’m going to try it the next time I’m stuck in a traffic jam, before the seething gets out of control. Though I’ll probably leave out the fist-pump. The other drivers might take that the wrong way 😉

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  5. Pingback: Free-For-All Friday!! #1 | Edwina's Episodes

  6. I love this. So much of how we go about our day starts with attitude. It’s like belting out a favourite tune you hear on the radio. Suddenly you feel lighter & happier! Thanks for sharing!

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