I have written a giant B+ on the chalkboard in my kitchen. That’s all it says. The family seems to enjoy it, the dog is intrigued, the dishwasher repairman must be wondering what the heck goes on around here, and visitors ask what kind of parent I am for promoting B level achievements — that is, until they understand how to pronounce the sign correctly: be positive.
After reading Attitude is Everything, you may have experienced one of three things: nodding your head in agreement since it sounded logical, feeling an internal sense of enlightenment, or absolutely nothing since this may not resonate with you just yet. But trust me, one day you will realize how such a simple concept — making a conscious effort to have a positive attitude — holds so much.
“But I have a crappy attitude!” you may be thinking, grasping your screen with both hands and shaking it aggressively. “How can I get a more positive attitude?” your thought process continues. Ok, first release your screen (you really need to stop that, you know) and proceed with the following tips that work for me.
1.) Surround yourself with those who bring positive value to your life. You know, the people who make you feel happy after having spent time with them? Well, spend more time with them.
2.) Figure out what makes you laugh and do it often. When you laugh, you’re on your way to having tons of natural dopamine surfing around in your brain and a happier overall feeling. And the best news of all? Laughter is free. Whoever or whatever makes you laugh is what’s prescribed here because the happier you physically feel, the more positive attitude you’ll have.
So what makes you laugh? That’s your homework assignment for the day.
Read a great book penned by your favorite comedian, call that funny friend or cousin whose stories always give you a stomach laugh (when you laugh so hard your stomach hurts, you can’t breathe for a moment, and if you just drank something you’ve spit it all over whatever was in front of you). You could even walk slowly by your cat hiding under the couch so he can triumphantly attack your foot with his paw, or pull an innocent prank on your co-worker by putting tape across the bottom of his computer mouse….the list is endless!
One thing I love is to watch the opening monologue of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon @FallonTonight before going to bed instead of the news. The news is just such a downer. No one should have depressing headlines be the last thing their brains process before falling asleep. Go ahead and peruse the news during the day so you’re an informed citizen, but leave that stuff out of your evening routine.
Another thing to leave out of your evening routine is social media, especially if you suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). This is apparently a real thing! It’s defined by Urban Dictionary as, “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.” So if you really care that Mildred from your book club may be throwing a beach party you weren’t invited to and, heaven forbid, will be posting ocean-front photos you aren’t included in for all the world to notice, then stop scrolling through your feed on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. before bedtime because it will just make you sad. Seriously, how the heck are you supposed to wake up happy when you just cried yourself to sleep?! Mildred probably got a wicked sunburn that day at the beach, anyway.
But I digress about Mildred. I’m no psychologist, but can tell you that switching from night time news to humor before catching some Zs has made a notable difference in my mood the following morning. And if I wake up in a good mood, I’m more inclined to have a positive attitude that day.
The more detailed answer to what gets me laughing is actually Jimmy Fallon @jimmyfallon with a side of Saturday Night Live @nbcsnl. Those things get my dopamine flowing. I love to laugh. And I’ve finally figured out that laughing is my runner’s high. And bonus! I get those benefits without actually having to run. I much prefer swimming, but that nugget shall unfold in a later blog. And how fabulous that Jimmy is on Monday-Friday, with SNL on Saturdays!? Great, except what to get me laughing on Sundays? I have a solution for that too. It’s called DVRing past episodes I may have missed during the week, or one of the many other comedy shows out there.
So get yourself laughing soon! Then tell us, what works for you? We might like to give it a try too.