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5 Things to Do to Improve Your Attitude

Updated on August 6, 2020
PAINTDRIPS profile image

As a baby boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

Charcoal drawing of my friend Lupe who is over 70.
Charcoal drawing of my friend Lupe who is over 70. | Source

A Positive Attitude

There are so many things that can bring your attitude and mood down: just the current news headlines can do it. Family, health, weather and so much more can kill a good attitude. However, the doctors say that good health is as much a matter of good attitude as it is in physical wellness. Cancer patients are instructed to keep their mood up as much as possible while fighting the disease. One doctor told us that a good attitude was 50% of the battle. How do you do that?

I have a few methods that have helped at my home and I am willing to share them.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.

— William James

1. Soothing Uplifting Music

There is nothing like music to soothe the savage breast. When was the last time you heard a favorite tune and couldn’t stop yourself from singing along? How often have you heard some old melody that cheered you and brought images of a pleasanter time? The truth is that I have a few favorites that will also bring a tear to my eye because they are associated with a time and a sad memory. The key to uplifting attitude changers is to keep the music soothing and filled with happy memories.

In a study published in the Journal of American Medicine, children showed less distress and less pain during routine medical procedures while listening to music. Another study showed music therapy was useful in treating depression and some studies report it helps reduce high blood pressure as well. I believe that to be true. I know I always feel calmer and more clear thinking when listening to soothing instrumental music.

Before a child talks they sing. Before they write they draw. As soon as they stand they dance. Art is fundamental to human expression.

— Phylicia Rashad
Piano music is very soothing
Piano music is very soothing | Source

2. Yoga

Before this last year, I would have found the addition of yoga to my routine for a positive attitude to be of questionable benefit. However, after following a beginner’s routine for the past few months and having felt the value for myself, I can no longer argue. Unlike aerobic exercise, which I have tried in the past, it is calming and yet strengthening for my muscles. I have to face it. I’m getting older and spending more time in my chair than is good for me. The inclusion of this basic yoga exercise has made a huge difference in my health and mood. I feel better about myself in general and happier when I finish my routine each morning. My mind feels clearer and ready for my day to begin. Also, I am not afraid of getting down on the floor as I am much stronger to get up again; something that was problematic before I began.

Studies have shown yoga to decrease stress, help alleviate anxiety, improve health, fight depression, improve breathing, and reduce chronic pain. In my case, the improved balance is of the utmost importance as well and improved quality sleep. Actually, I think that many kinds of exercise bring all these benefits but yoga fits with my life right now and works for me.

I love when the yoga instructor I follow says to lift my heart to the sky. She means to arch my back lift my chest, but the idea of lifting my heart actually lifts my heart.

Dedicate 30 Day Challenge Yoga With Adriene

It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give you happiness.

— Thomas Jefferson

3. Sunshine

It is well known in my home that long grey winters are depressing. My doctor has prescribed extra vitamin D because of my lack of exposure to sunshine. The truth is that as we grow older, our skin’s ability to process sunlight into the necessary vitamin D is lessened. However, beyond the vitamin requirements, a change of scenery every day is necessary to promote good mood and lift the attitude. Even a short walk for 10 minutes in the sunshine can improve the mood considerably.

One medical report says that the winter blues is a condition that happens because serotonin is not being produced in enough quantities to maintain a cheerful attitude. Medical reports aside, I know I always feel the positive effects of fresh air and sunshine on my face even in these brisk waning winter months.

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.

— Anton Chekhov
Collage of my cousin Jessie sitting in the sun.
Collage of my cousin Jessie sitting in the sun. | Source

4. Play

Who knows about sheer happiness more than children? They seem to make even the simplest things a time of great enjoyment and pleasure. At my home, even mealtime became a game. I tried to discourage my delicate daughters from playing “See food” at the table, but it still made me laugh when they did it. (They often got me with this game. Someone would announce Sea Food? And I would reply, “no we are having chicken..” to which they would all open their mouths and show me the partially chewed “see food”. )

Have you noticed how many YouTubers publish home videos of their cats doing some cute, funny, playful thing? It often goes viral because cats can be so entertaining when they are playing. Why do we love to watch that so much? I think it naturally registers with the playful side of all of us. I know it makes my day when I have had a good belly laugh from one of those silly cat antic videos.

Collage of friends
Collage of friends | Source

5. Hugs

I can’t think of anything that does my heart good more than a good hug. I’ve always been a hugger. My mother used to say I hugged so much and wanted hugs so often that it made her uncomfortable. I had no idea. Some people just aren’t huggers at heart. Still, I think a hug is a warm, wordless affirmation that everyone needs from time to time.

According to a 2015 study by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University examining the benefits of hugging, they found beyond lowering stress and high blood pressure, it actually lowered the susceptibility to the common cold after being exposed to the virus. The researchers attribute the benefits to the release of oxytocin into the bloodstream, which influences mood, behavior, and physiology, lowers blood pressure, reduces depression and anxiety, and increases pain tolerance.

I could say I always knew the benefits without knowing all the reasons. If you haven’t had a hug in a while, you should hug it out with a friend today. You’ll be in a better mood for it, and healthier as well.

A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire.

— Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Collage of Agave
Collage of Agave | Source

Agree?

Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of these points. I'd love to hear if you have any further suggestions for positive attitudes.

Comments

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      8 days ago from Fresno CA

      BODYLEVIVE,

      My sister has the same trouble. I'm not sure if she over waters or puts them too far from sunlight but she kills them all. It's a shame because I love a good houseplant. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 

      11 months ago from Alabama, USA

      Very good article. Me and house pants don't get along at all. I've tried taking care of them but they usually die.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      21 months ago from Fresno CA

      It's really hard to keep a good attitude when you are struggling with everyday stresses and obligations. Even when I know what to do, I have to force myself to look up, breath deep, and keep the faith. I don't pretend to know it all. I'm working on it, like everyone else.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      22 months ago from Fresno CA

      Wow, Lawrence, I didn't know that about UV lighting although, I believe it. Sunlight is so important, especially for regions that don't get much of it during the winter months. Thanks for sharing that.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Denise

      I'd agree with every point on your list, though I personally haven't used Yoga, I have used meditation (and Prayer).

      For Music, I used to listen to Mozart when studying, and whenever I hear him being played I still think back to the enjoyment I used to feel even when studying.

      I also used to live in Scandinavia and there during winter companies have to have UV lighting installed as it's recognised that exposure to UV lighting will affect your mood in a good way, then again you only get about two hours of sunlight in Winter.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      23 months ago from Fresno CA

      Mary,

      Thank you so much. I truly love doing collages. It is one of my most relaxing activities. I'm so happy you like them. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I agree with all these and truly appreciate how much they have improved my life. I love your art especially the collages.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      23 months ago from Fresno CA

      Thank you so much, Glenis. I hope you have a positive, joy-filled day.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • profile image

      Glenis Rix 

      23 months ago

      All good advice and wonderful art work. Enjoyed.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      23 months ago from Fresno CA

      Dora Weithers,

      I enjoyed that too, especially the "Rose" joke. A day without laughter is a waste, isn't it? I think God invented laughter to give us joy and healing, and maybe to learn humility, while laughing at ourselves.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      23 months ago from The Caribbean

      These are all good. Stuck on laughter. Watched the Ted Talks. Powerful!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      23 months ago from Fresno CA

      Lorna Lamon,

      Thank you for your kind words and comment.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      23 months ago from Fresno CA

      Oh Mary, dear, you made me laugh with the cleaning under the bed comment. I do think the downward facing dog position is a little undignified but I can't deny that I have had much less trouble with my wrists which I thought were suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Does that mean that all I needed was to put more pressure on my wrists, not less? I don't know. I wouldn't have thought that yoga could help but so far it has. I only do the yoga about 5 days a week not every day like Adriene suggests in the video, however, she does say that you should go it at your own pace even if it takes you 365 days to finish the 30-day challenge. Thanks so much for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      23 months ago

      This is a great article - really uplifting and so very true.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      23 months ago from Brazil

      Yes I do agree, even about the Snickerdoodles! Why do they smell better than they taste?

      For me online conversations have been a God send. Because I live in a non English speaking country, I have become isolated. I do listen to music, and comedy routines, as a way to uplift myself.

      I love the quotes you have selected.

      I do have to disagree with the Yoga. I found it too stressful. Every time I was in the downward facing dog position, I could see I needed to clean under the bed! LOL

      I will give it a shot with the video you uploaded, as like you, it's often difficult to get up and I too spend too much time in a chair.

      Great read and wonderful ideas.

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