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4 Simple Ways to Overcome a Negative Attitude

Overcome a Negative Attitude | Improve Your Attitude | Faith & Inspiration | Overcoming a Negative Mental Attitude |Change a Negative Attitude

This is a guest post by Rachel of RachelWojo.com

The alarm sounded, but the mental fog remained. I blinked a few times and then it hit me. “Oh, no! We’re late!” Life had been thriving at breakneck speed and I was exhausted. Who knew how many times I had hit the snooze? The children and I had overslept after my husband left early for work. By 45 minutes! I quickly threw on the clothes I wore the previous day, splashed water on my face, and shoved a piece of peppermint gum in my mouth. Who had time to brush teeth? With 6 children to care for, 3 of whom were missing the bus, oversleeping was more than a terrible start to the day. We rushed, slammed, and took every shortcut possible. I somehow managed to pull the van in front of the school just 15 minutes past the first bell. 3 slightly disheveled children popped out and “I love yous” were cut off by slamming doors.

Overcome a Negative Attitude | Improve Your Attitude | Faith & Inspiration | Overcoming a Negative Mental Attitude |Change a Negative Attitude

Maybe you’ve never overslept or your kids have never been late to school. But regardless of the circumstances, I know you’ve dealt with what happened next. On the short drive home, I felt it creeping up from my toes and making its way through every nerve. The thoughts began with “I am the worst mother ever. How could I do this?” and continued on with “What grown woman oversleeps? Now we’re going to be running late the rest of the day….” The thinking pattern escalated and what began with emotions over an accidental oversleeping episode ended with the tornado of a negative mindset.

Have you been there? When overwhelming circumstances consumed you and one negative thought led to another that led to another that led to another? How can you stop the negativity and prevent ruin? Today I want to share with you 4 Simple Ways to Overcome a Negative Attitude. No matter the circumstances, these tips will help improve your ability to stop negative internal chatter before it overpowers you in the moment.

1. Refuse to repeat the negative thought.

Catching ourselves at the first sign of negativity presents the opportunity to discard the beginning thought before it breeds another. Training myself to pause at the first sign of skepticism has improved my general thought cycles. I can be stubborn about other things; why not be stubborn about protecting my mind? Standing the ground of “I’m not going there…” requires a deliberate turn from negativity. Identifying a negative thought as soon as we have one can help us refuse to repeat the cycle.

Overcome a Negative Attitude | Improve Your Attitude | Faith & Inspiration | Overcoming a Negative Mental Attitude |Change a Negative Attitude

2. Choose to believe truth over the negative feeling.

Separating how we feel from the truth of a matter can be difficult. But does hitting the snooze one morning and oversleeping make me the worst mother in the world? No. Although I felt like the worst mother in the world the day my family overslept, the truth is “I’m a real mom who’s doing her best for God and her family each day.” At the first hint of a negative thought, identify the thought as fact or feeling. For me, identifying truth is reminding myself of what God’s Word says.

3. Remember to speak as kindly to myself as I would to others

It’s easy to quote the “golden rule” to our children, right? “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” But sometimes we treat ourselves worse than we want others to treat us. The conversations we carry within our own minds are perhaps more detrimental than some we’ve had with other human beings. My mom gave me three guidelines for conversation when I was a child and I’ve never forgotten them. These guidelines can also be applied to self-talk.

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it necessary?

Are the words I’m thinking about myself true? Would someone who knows me well agree with my thoughts? Would a stranger believe these words to be kind if I said them aloud? Am I belittling myself?

Overcome a Negative Attitude | Improve Your Attitude | Faith & Inspiration | Overcoming a Negative Mental Attitude |Change a Negative Attitude

4. Search for an aspect of the circumstance for which I can be thankful.

Finding the good in difficult circumstances is a cultivated effort, right? We all know we need to think positive thoughts, but how do we do that when life presents depression, divorce, or disease?

One of my daughters fights a rare terminal illness, MPS. If I focus on the “average lifespan of 10-15 years,” I experience nothing but negative emotional thoughts. But when I count the blessings instead of the burdens, joy defeats despair. At the very moment a negative thought enters my mind, I purposely look for an opposite truth. These hard core statements require determined effort. For example, if we wind up spending half the day in the doctor’s office for something seemingly small, I’m tempted to think: “What a waste of time!” But I have fought hard to think instead: “We are blessed to be able to have healthcare. I’m so thankful for a doctor who cares and an office who spends time making sure every patient is cared for.” It hasn’t been easy to train myself to change perspective. When I flounder to find a positive, sometimes I use this catch phrase: “This could be worse and because it’s not, I’m thankful.”

If you’re like me, purposely choosing to think positive thoughts is not an easy task. But it is a very worthy one and promotes strength of mind. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if a lightning bolt would come down and zap that negative thought for us? But life doesn’t happen that way. Will it take some work to prevent negative internal chatter? Yes, but the work is well worth the effort.

In summary:

  1. Refuse to repeat negativity.
  2. Choose to believe truth.
  3. Remember kindness.
  4. Search for thanks.

Working toward a milestone will always accomplish more than wishing for a miracle.

Ready to take one more step?

Overcome a Negative Attitude | Improve Your Attitude | Faith & Inspiration | Overcoming a Negative Mental Attitude |Change a Negative Attitude

 

Rachel “WOJO” Wojnarowski is the authorOvercome a Negative Attitude | Improve Your Attitude | Faith & Inspiration | Overcoming a Negative Mental Attitude |Change a Negative Attitude of the newly released One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving up, blogger at RachelWojo.com, wife, and busy mother. In addition to two previous books, she has also written a popular six-week daily Bible reading plan for children, now used by more than 4 million people worldwide. Rachel loves reading, running, and teaching God’s Word. She and her family live in Ohio.

How do you overcome the negative in your life?

Overcome a Negative Attitude | Improve Your Attitude | Faith & Inspiration | Overcoming a Negative Mental Attitude |Change a Negative Attitude

9 Comments

  1. November 13 at 11:11AM

    Thank you for this post! I find it exceptionally hard to control my thoughts, but I know that like creating a new habit, it gets easier with time and practice. And because our thoughts really do impact our reality so thoroughly, it’s so important not to let negative thoughts overtake us.

    Section #3 really struck me; especially the words of wisdom your mom taught you as a child. “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” That made me stop and pause… I know there are many things I say that don’t fit those criteria, especially when talking to myself, and they don’t lift me up one bit. I’m going to remember those three checkpoints!

    • March 11 at 09:57PM

      we did THINK at one of the schools I was in.
      Is it True?
      Is it Helpful?
      Is it Important?
      Is it Necessary?
      Is it Kind?

      So when you want to say something stop and THINK!

  2. November 13 at 07:24PM

    I was right there with you this past Wednesday. We woke up 45 minutes late and missed the bus, too, and the morning just got worse from there.

    I love these tips for staying positive. It is hard to think of the positive in bad situations, but you’re right, it does make a huge difference. I can be a very moody person, especially if I haven’t had enough sleep, and it’s interesting how that affects my day, as well as everyone around me. I try to practice #3 when speaking to others, but I never thought to modify my own thoughts! Too often we think negative thoughts with the mindset that no one else hears them so it’s not affecting others. I clearly wear my emotions in my sleeve, though, and my five-year-old has even called me on it by asking why I’m making a funny face. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  3. Cecilia
    November 14 at 01:11AM

    Hi Rachel, I know this was meant to be a mistaken email as accidentally sent to many like me, when meant for the Celebration Circle book launch team, but I honestly feel this was an”God-allowed” mistake as it’s something that is so currently needed…

    I certainly need it to help me keep in check, & it helps to keep on track & focused on “thinking on…whatever is true, noble, right…” as in Philippians 4.8. Thank you once again for your obedience in writing with your heart, as out of that, you have so responded to the Holy Spirit & blessed so many! xoxo

  4. Jennifer
    November 14 at 03:54PM

    Thank you so very much for this post. I have been extremely grateful these past couple of days for coming across you blog. I have been full of negativity, especially recently, and have struggled to get it together with all the chaos going on in my life. It is difficult many times to be positive when it feels that every part of my life is in turmoil. I find all of my thoughts blending together making it hard to concentrate on any one issue or task. What I have started trying to compartmentalize things in order to focus and not overwhelm my self. I am now going to try time blocking as well and simultaneously make an effort to keep a positive outlook on things because an the end of the day, things could be worse. So again thank you, for sharing your technique, and just know that you ARE making a difference in bettering the lives of others!

    Sending many blessings your way!
    Jenni 🙂

  5. Jean H
    November 14 at 10:25PM

    One of the things I do is tell Satan to get out my mind and strap on the helmet of salvation that’s talked about in Ephesians 6, pray and do section 3 especially to see if there is any truth in the chatter

  6. Debbie
    December 14 at 06:40AM

    Thank you so much for this fantastic post. I need to do this for myself and I can’t wait to share this with my teenage daughters.

  7. Maria Liddiard
    December 15 at 02:23PM

    This is very helpful for most things in life, but sometimes keeping a positive attitude about everything can be dangerous. If there has ever been something toxic in your life or a person that takes you for granted, and has been for years, sometimes staying positive means convincing yourself that that particular situation is ok and then you convince yourself that your the problem. Being tuned in to each situation in your life is critical so you can decide what to be positive about and what you should get rid of and it can be exhausting. A life long process it seems which isn’t very encouraging. Ruth I love your articles and your blog and your website! I’m a new follower and have bought all of your books (as they all apply to me and I need help in all of the areas that you cover haha)! My favorite so far is Living Well and Spending Zero (I definitely need to pay attention to your advice in there!).

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