Photo credit: Graphic made by Evan Brooks using Wix.
The world that surrounds all of us is vast, holding an immeasurable amount of possibilities. We never fully know what is going to take place from one moment to the next, but we can choose how we feel about what happens. Each individual holds a unique combination of experiences they have lived, and those experiences help shape how they view the world and react to it.
How we think or feel about something or someone has the chance to impact our behavior towards whatever it may be. This feeling, or way of thinking, is our attitude, and our attitude is strongly impacted by our own experiences. For example, if we have particularly bad experiences pertaining to someone, we aren’t going to be too inclined to act as civil with them should they do or say something disagreeable. On the other hand, say we have fairly favorable experiences with someone, like a friend; we are more likely to offer some mental leeway before we start to lose our rationality.
Your experiences don’t have to be the sole determining factor when it comes to choosing your attitude towards someone or something. This is more of an encouragement for when you are faced with a negative situation. Just because you don’t like an individual as much as one of your friends doesn’t mean you should display any less patience.
By changing your attitude from a negative disposition to a more positive one, you will be able to enjoy the moment you are living in more. It’s not so much that you are ignoring any annoying or unpleasant things, but rather that you are choosing to accept them for what they are and not allow your mood to be swayed.
It can be hard to deal with negative situations, especially those that become so noticeable and apparent that it seems impossible to not have an unfavorable attitude towards it. You may be in a situation where you are faced with something or someone your past experiences now lead you to deem repulsive. In that situation, it is imperative to gain control of your thinking and actions.
In a Duke University article, published by Duke’s Human Resources department, it is stated that: “if you can’t redirect your thinking, stop what you are doing and take a few minutes to write down what’s occupying you. If it’s important, make a plan on how to deal with it. If it’s not important, let it go.”
Letting negative thoughts or issues go is crucial to ensure a clear and healthy mental space. You don’t have to deal with every little nuisance that finds its way into your life, nor do you have to engage in any argument that sprouts up. Choosing to have a better attitude also means choosing what you interact with, limiting your time with negative things.
So, before we allow our experiences to determine how we feel about something or someone, we should actively evaluate the situation, seeing the value of choosing to go in with a positive or negative attitude. In most cases, to be the positive light will not only increase your enjoyment of the moment but will spread positivity to all those around you.
Yes, it can be hard to maintain an upbeat attitude, feelings differ from one thing to the other, but it’s your choice. Only you can decide how you feel, or how you act, and no one can take that away from you.
Evan Brooks is a third-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civil and Professional Leadership. EB0916132@wcupa.edu.