How you handle negative emotions can directly affect your health.
The good news, according to a recent study, is your brain can be trained to self-regulate negative emotions. If you have been allowing personal setbacks to affect your attitude, it’s the perfect time for an adjustment.
Here are a few of my tips for an attitude change.
Stop Holding Grudges
We have all been hurt; it’s simply a part of life. When you allow yourself to hold onto a grudge, unfortunately, you are the one most affected. The bitterness and anger are not worth your time or your health. Learn to address the situation in a calm, adult-like manner. Look at it from the other person’s point of view, accept the outcome after you have done your best to reconcile the issue and then let it go. There will always be circumstances beyond your control. The key is to learn where to spend your energy.
Silence Negative Self-talk
Your own perspective can be limited. Step outside of your situation and take an objective look at what is going on. Ask yourself what you could have done differently. Most importantly, what did you learn? What part is your inner critic playing in how you speak to yourself? Intentionally re-frame your words when you are talking to yourself. Replace “I’m so stupid” with “I will take another route next time.”
Turn Pessimism Around
When you anticipate a bad outcome, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you catch yourself expecting the worst, remember that 85 percent of what you worry about will never come to pass. Listen to your self-talk and make an effort to speak as kindly to yourself as you do your family or your peers. Quit second guessing your decisions. Hindsight is always much clearer. Turn your bitter disposition into a better outlook in the future by giving yourself a break.
Tame the Green-Eyed Monster
There is a reason why envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Jealousy drains your energy and draws your focus away from your personal goals. S-T-O-P watching what other people are doing. Using your competitor as your guide is limiting you from reaching your highest potential. Obsessing over your friend’s fortune or your neighbor’s perfect lawn is a waste of time. Show support for others and use their success as inspiration for your own efforts, which will be bigger and better because they will be different.
Forgive and Focus Forward
Coworkers, bosses, clients, friends… mistakes and change happen. At some point, your assistant is going to mess up, a client is going to quit your services, your boss is going to yell at you. Until you forgive the slight, inaccuracy or mistake, you’re not going to move ahead. Your ability to be fully present and do your best will be compromised. Do what you can to address the issue, speak your peace and leave the past where it should be – the past.
Avoid the Comparison Game
There is always a winner and a loser when you compare your life to someone else’s. However, the grass isn’t always as green as it may appear. You don’t know the private challenges or regrets others may be experiencing. Be proud of what you have, what you’ve accomplished and where you’re going. If you’re not happy with some aspect of your life, do something about it.
Trust Your Gut
Whether you call it intuition, sixth sense or a gut feeling, be mindful and listen to the message. Your inner voice will help you make the right decisions when you pay close attention. Don’t let doubt or over-analysis cloud your compass. There are times when it’s better to walk away from a situation rather than stay and be miserable. Only you can make the final decision. You are choosing between feeling “bitter” or feeling “better.”
You may also like How to Identify and Conquer These 5 Joy Thieves for a Better Life. For more of Diane’s etiquette tips read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on Huff Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Buy her new book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.