How is it that people can have different reactions to the same situation? Being stuck in traffic, for example, can lead to some people feeling frustrated, stressed, even enraged, while others are perfectly content to hum along to the radio and tap the steering wheel to the beat while inching along the freeway.
The difference is attitude.
Life presents you with a variety of experiences and situations. Over time you have developed beliefs about what those experiences mean, and those beliefs have created an attitude, or set way of thinking. When you have a negative attitude about a certain situation, you will experience stress whenever that situation arises.
Stress has many negative effects mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. It can cause headaches, lack of sleep, overeating, depression, alienation, and if left unchecked, over time it can contribute to serious health problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
While you may not be able to control every event in life, you can control how you react to it. It all starts with adjusting your attitude. By becoming aware of your attitude, you can reduce stress and enjoy a more peaceful and positive life.
Here are 3 easy actions you can take to improve your attitude and reduce stress:
Notice your internal dialogue. What do you say to yourself that could cause feelings of stress? If you have a deadline at work, for example, you may hear yourself say, “I’m never going to get it done in time!” Replace talk like this that will cause you stress with something positive like, “It’s going to feel so great to finish this project and meet the deadline. I know I can do this!”
Instead of focusing on obstacles, explore solutions. Rather than looking at how difficult something may appear to be, look at how you will grow as a person because of the experience. Feel gratitude and switch from “have to” to “get to”. Stressed about the fact that you “have to” wait in a long line to go through airport security? Think about how lucky you are that you get to get on your plane safely and that people care for your well-being.
If you feel stressed at the mere thought of Christmas shopping, think instead how it will feel to give gifts. Focus on the feelings of joy and gratitude. This can be done with any situation. Picture the end result that you desire and focus on the how good it feels to achieve, experience, or have what you want.