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Michelle was in the living room when she heard her teenage son come home from school. He stormed around, throwing his book bag down, yanked open the pantry door, grabbed some cookies, and went upstairs. All without saying a word.
After witnessing this, Michelle knew her son had a bad attitude. When it comes to attitude, some people confuse it with mindset. Although the two concepts are closely related, they are different.
Your attitude includes more than just your mindset.
1. Attitude Is Body Language
Whether you realize it or not, you are constantly communicating with your body language. If you have a bad attitude (or your teenager does), you might recognize body language like rolling your eyes, sighing, slumping your shoulders, kicking objects out of the way, or crossing your arms.
By contrast, a good attitude invites different body language. When you’re feeling positive, you’ll probably do things like smile, lean forward, clap, maintain eye contact with others, and laugh.
2. Attitude Is Spirit
In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Miss Havisham discovers her fiancé has not only abandoned her at the altar but also taken most of her fortune. She spends years living in her wedding dress, not leaving her house.
In the face of such loss, Miss Havisham could have chosen to rally. She could have said, “I will rebuild my life.” But her negative viewpoint toward her circumstances eventually broke her spirit.
3. Attitude Is Tone
How you speak to someone is just as important as what you say. For example, if someone asks you to take out the trash and adds a sarcastic “thank you” to the end of their request, it’ll probably irritate you.
By contrast, a kind tone can sweeten just about any request. It can soften the blow of bad news or lift a heavy heart. For example, if someone asks you to mop the floors but adds a gentle “thank you” to the end of their request, you’re more likely to do it for them.
4. Attitude Is Emotional
Often, our emotions follow our attitude. That means if you’re thinking about what a crummy day you’re having, you’re likely to start feeling a bit blue.
Pro-Tip: Shift Your Emotions
The good news is that most of the time, you can shift your emotions by simply changing your frame o mind toward something.
Instead of focusing on how much you hate house cleaning, find a way to reframe it—look at it as an opportunity to move your body and burn extra calories. Turn on the music and dance your way through your chores. When you face a task with an attitude that’s fun, your emotions will follow.
Your attitude is under your control. If you’re having a grumpy pants day, you can (and probably should!) change your attitude. Your mindset, emotions, and spirit will follow in time!
Learn about the beautiful benefits of reframing your attitude when you download your free workbook!
Loving Life–The Reboot!