August 8, 2012 - 4:28am
Attitude is everything. Your attitude affects every part of your life, and determines how you to react to your life experiences. You probably know someone with a ‘bad attitude’ who is always complaining about something and seems to be having ‘bad luck’ all the time.
On the other hand, you probably you also know of someone with a ‘good attitude’ who is upbeat and happy, and always has the breaks going their way. You could say that both these people’s lives are a reflection of their attitude.
Considering the importance of attitude in life, wouldn’t it be great to know how to cultivate a winning attitude? Here are few sure fire ways to improve your attitude in just an instant.
Adjust Your Posture
Changing your posture can instantly alter your mental state. Interestingly enough, attitude is a French word originally defined as “disposition, posture” or “a posture of the body supposed to imply some mental state”.
According to the dictionary, attitude is posture? You can often determine someone’s disposition by simply observing the way they stand or walk. Think about someone who is standing up straight and tall as opposed to someone who is hunched over and looking at the ground.
Experiment for yourself, hunch your shoulders and look at the ground, how do you feel? Now stand up as tall as you can and open your chest; what does that do to your attitude?
Everyone knows that your mental state affects your posture, but fewer people are aware of how the reverse is also true. When you stand up tall like a person of dignity and worth, the neurons in your brain reverse fire, causing chemical hormones to be released into the bloodstream which make you feel better.
What do you want to be like? Stand like that person and let your posture improve your mental state.
Your facial expressions are intimately tied to your emotional state. How many times have you seen someone give their feelings away with their facial expression?
You have probably even heard someone say that they felt one way while their face told you something completely different. Like your posture, your facial expressions are affected by your attitude, but your attitude is also affected by your facial expressions.
Smile a broad, genuine smile, and feel the warmth spread over you. You may even feel like laughing. It is so hard to smile when you are sad, because you are comfortable in that state, and the act of smiling changes your state.
Smiling is one of the easiest ways to improve your attitude instantly, and it has the side benefit of affecting other people as well.
Almost every time you are in a ‘negative’ emotional state, you are not breathing deeply and calmly. In fact, it is very difficult to be upset when your breathing is deep and easy.
Most of the time you are unconscious of your breathing, which is being run by the autonomic nervous system. When you are in an emotional state, a signal is sent from the brain and your breathing becomes shallow and rapid. However, you can also take conscious control over your breathing, which in turn affects your emotional state.
When you are conscious of your breathing, you are in touch with the lower cerebellum, or subconscious area of the brain, which runs the autonomic nervous system. This is the deeper, more powerful part of your mind, and when you access it, your emotional state is altered.
This is why meditation, breathing, and elevated states of mind all go hand in hand. Allowing a deep, loving, down through the body breath brings you into the now and causes a pleasant adjustment to your attitude.
Speak What You Want
What you say has both physiologically and emotionally effects. When you speak, electrical impulses are sent though your brain, which causes the muscles of your lips, vocal chords, etc. to move and form sound.
Additionally, electrical impulses signal for chemical hormones to be dumped into the bloodstream, which in turn alter your mood. If you say “I’m so sad, my life sucks”, you are producing chemical emotions that match that statement. Conversely, if you say “I’m so happy, I love my life”, a different set of chemicals are being produced which have a different emotional effect.
Try saying either of these statements a hundred times and see what happens! Speak in alignment with what you want, with conviction, and see how it improves your attitude.
Have you ever been able to tell that someone is unhappy and tired just by the way they move? In contrast, how does someone that is excited and full of energy move?
Just as in the previous examples, your attitude dictates how you move, but how you move can also change your attitude.
Try raising your fists in the air doing a little victory dance; these movements will instantly elevate your mood. Moving your body in a manner that denotes happiness reverse fires the neurons in your brain, which in turn causes good feeling emotions to be produced.
Pump your fist, jump up and down, or do a cartwheel and feel your attitude soar.
These are all simple physical things you can use to improve your attitude.
Try more than one at a time: stand up tall and breathe deeply. Speak something happy out loud and raise your fists in the air! Like anything worth achieving, persistence is key.
Practice these simple tricks for improving your attitude regularly and observe the effects on yourself and the world around you.
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What other tips would you add to this list?