Poison Control for Your Attitude

Every time I see one of the recent booking.com ads, I laugh. Maybe it’s my sense of humor, or maybe it’s the idea of making a huge, huge deal about something so simple… But the ad reminds me of a valuable point: Your attitude is everything when it comes to how you feel in your day-to-day life.

OK, so I’m not suggesting that you actually act like these happy vacationers, but what’s wrong with a little mental note to recognize the positives every now and then? Sometimes ridiculous mental images can help you have a sense of humor about yourself. They can also give you a quick break from negative situations, thoughts and people.

I’ve talked with friends, therapists, doctors and others who all agree that sometimes being happy is work. Sometimes it’s practically a full time job. Life can be hard. It doesn’t always turn out the way you hope, think or want it to, but the disappointments and challenges you face don’t have power over your perspective and outlook. You do.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore life’s pitfalls when they happen or hype your positives unrealistically. It’s important to face and process reality, whatever it may be for you. But, using your imagination and a sense of humor to diffuse negative thoughts — just for a few seconds — every so often is a simple way to steer your outlook in a positive direction. And, taking a brief pause to reflect on the positives can be a quick, easy way to celebrate life a little.

Whether you take mental jumps for joy or not, staying positive is a great gift to give yourself.