I’d venture to say that most of our personal faults originate with an attitude problem. You may have issues with emotions like anger, resentment, jealousy, inferiority, low self-esteem, negativity, worry, guilt, boredom or fear. As I discovered one of these faults within myself, I’ve worked to correct it. For example, I used to be a very negative person. I always thought about what could be better, what I did wrong, why that person is wrong and I’m right. Feeling emotionally exhausted for a long time, I accepted my problem. After that, I spent about two years working on my attitude to choose to be positive and happy. Through doing so, I learned I had choices over many emotions. Discovering that empowered me because I understood that I don’t have to be an emotional victim of my circumstances.
As I continue to face negative emotions, I’ve discovered a few steps and stages to getting control of them. Here are 6 steps to gain control of your emotions and change your attitude.
1. Be self-aware.
This can be the hardest part of managing negative emotions, but it is the most important. If you aren’t aware that you are experiencing an emotion you’d like to keep from running away with you, then you can’t stop it and change your attitude. Allow yourself to accept personal feedback from another. If you aren’t very self-aware, or even if you think you are, you should journal about the situation. Write the emotion you are feeling and why you are feeling it. Write any experiences you think may be the emotional baggage at the root of your emotion. Write in a free form without stopping to correct errors, and you’ll be amazed at the honesty that emerges.
2. Monitor internal dialogue.
When you’re emotional, it’s easy to let those emotions consume your thoughts. When the negative thoughts take over you lose the ability to monitor your internal dialogue. As I’ve made an effort to be more aware of my internal dialogue, I’ve found myself flabbergasted at the thoughts I’ve caught rushing through my head. I have to stop and choose a new thought that is positive.
3. Stop playing the blame game.
When you’re experiencing a negative emotion, it’s easy to start to blame everyone and everything around you for the way you are feeling. Although someone may make fun of you, you have the choice to feel hurt. Even though your neighbor may be better than you at _____, you have the choice to feel jealous or be happy for that person and remember that there is enough for everyone.
4. Read and listen to motivational material.
When I realize I am having an emotional attitude problem that needs correction, I have to revert back to my favorite motivational materials. I keep Attitude is Everything, The Secret, and The Power of Now on my playlist at all times for emergency reference material. Instead of letting emotions rule me for a few days, I spend a few days reworking my attitude.
5. Adjust your attitude.
In the end you need to adjust your thinking and your attitude to help you deal with situations in life that don’t quite meet your expectations.
6. Repeat until you change your habits.
As always if you’re in an extreme situation dealing with any form of abuse or bullying. Draw the line and extricate yourself from that situation however possible.