Watch the Company You Keep If You Want to Improve Your Attitude
With whom do you spend the bulk of your time? Do you associate with those who lift you up, or those who bring you down? Do you listen to music or watch television shows that inspire you to be a better person, or do you listen to depressing music or watch television shows about despair, murder, or other depressing issues?
Even the news is depressing. My friends are amazed when I am unaware of the latest tragedy that occurred somewhere in the world because I make a habit of NOT watching the six o’clock news. I have often wondered what kind of response a “Good News” show would get. Wouldn’t it be great if we turned on the news to hear about a Good Samaritan who helped another person who was in danger, or a mom who took time out of her busy day to attend her child’s school party, or a CEO who spends his spare time coaching a boy’s baseball team? Or what if the news focused on all the good that was being done by myriad social service agencies? Wouldn’t that inspire us to want to do better ourselves?
How do you handle it if someone in your life is negative? Do you choose to ignore it, or do you address it? Do you just avoid them? Sometimes when I hear people being negative, I try to turn their statement into a choice. For example, when my granddaughter would say I can’t talk to my friend about that. I softly suggest, “it isn’t that you ‘can’t’. It is that you choose not to for whatever reason.” It is ok to make a choice not to do something, but we must always be honest with ourselves. Generally the only thing that keeps us from doing a thing, is that we choose not to do it -- mostly out of fear. When one of my friends say something like, “I cannot afford to go to the movies,” I will correct them by saying something like “so a movie is not the way you are choosing to spend your money right now. That’s cool.” Sometimes they are not even aware that I am changing the spin on what they have said – at other times they are and they thank me for it.
At times it is inappropriate to correct others’ negative words. In those cases, I silently remind myself to “cancel” that thought. I do that when I say things that are negative too. In fact, at times I will say out loud, “cancel that thought”, what I meant to say is…
If this sounds silly to you, believe me it is powerful to recognize and correct negative thoughts and negative talk – even if it is coming from someone else. There have been a number of research studies that show that a negative situations and attitudes can have definite biochemical affects on your body. In his book, “Pivot” Dr. Alan Zimmerman says “An attitude of defeat or panic constricts the blood vessels and has a debilitating effect on the entire endocrine system. By contrast, an attitude of confidence and determination activates benevolent therapeutic secretions in the brain.”
So if you want to have a healthier, longer life, make sure you expose yourself to only those positive vibrations. Avoid those which can affect you negatively. Surround yourself with positive people and positive media. Watch carefully the company you keep!