Wednesday, October 15, 2008

10 Ways to Change Your Attitude

My mother used to say to me that worry is the interest you pay on something that might happen. Actually, I know that she borrowed that quote, but I cannot find the attribution... (bonus points to the reader that provides me the quote in comments below) The bottom line, however, is that we expend a lot of potentially wasted energy stressing about situations that might not even come to pass. Simply by changing your attitude, you can improve your mood, as well as your outlook.

Certainly, many Americans have plenty to worry about right now though. Even my own job is potentially on the line with cutbacks and economic doom hanging overhead. So, how do I get through my days? By following these 10 ways to change your attitude:

1. Love trumps economic security. That's right. I may be poor in pocketbook, but I am rich with friends and family who care about my well-being.

2. I have an education and unique skills. The government may tax me, and the shenanigans of Wall Street may deplete our retirement accounts, but no one is getting my brain!

3. Reading is a cheap entertainment alternative. Thanks to public libraries and even stores like Barnes & Noble, I can always browse through enjoy a great story (usually free of charge).

4. Homemade is better than store-bought. This goes for both food and gifts. Eating at home more often is better for you and actually less expensive. Presents are more meaningful when they are created with your own talents, than purchased at a department store. Perhaps its time to learn to crochet?

5. As Erma Bombeck pointed out, the grass is only greener over the septic tank. Yes, its kind of funny, but what makes that grass so green after all? Stop envying what the neighbors have and think about the crap they might have to go through as a result... Reality check, right?

6. You can always imagine a scenario worse than your current plight. When we had twins unexpectedly (bless their hearts, we do adore them), my husband and I always said... well, at least its not triplets! Same thing with my diabetes diagnosis... its not cancer!

7. No funds for a vacation? Get to know your local community better. Be a tourist in your own town and make it a goal to explore 5 places that are new to you.

8. Help someone less fortunate. It is cliche, but it wouldn't be on this list if it didn't work. Take your unwanted items to Goodwill, help out at a food bank, or even spearhead fundraising efforts for a cause close to your heart (March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, etc.)

9. Steer the negative energy from worry into positive steps to improve your future. Tell yourself that you will make 3 phone calls a week with potential employers or business leads. Get out in your community and be visible. Promote yourself! Worry tends to spiral our thinking around in large part because we're obsessing about things. Act, don't think!

10. What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. I figure that I am getting a kick-butt workout just about everyday in this regard! Stronger and stronger by the day...

A bonus number 11 in the list of ways to change your attitude. Watch the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - a dying man, he lived the last days of his life with grace, peace, and love:


  1. Thanks for this inspiring post! So many of us need to change our attitudes these days. If we sit around listening to the news and all the gloom and doom it will become very difficult to get out of bed in the morning.
    I always use the "it could be worse" technique...and getting your mind off yourself by helping someone in need is a great way to change your attitude.

  2. Thanks Amy! I tend to be a glass half-full person, even when there is a crack in the bottom. LOL! Glad you enjoyed my list. Steph

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