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Transforming a Bad Attitude

- One thing that I love about blogging is that you can’t see me. I can post pretty pictures of food, my kids, or myself on another day where I am thinner, wearing makeup and smiling pretty, so you don’t have to see me unshowered, scrubbing blueberry stains off the chair cushions, and making less than pleasant faces and remarks. You also didn’t see me yesterday when I fed my family chips, salsa, and guacamole for dinner (both dips too spicy for the kids, as it turns out) – finished off with some ice cream – At least it was homemade, I grumbled to myself.

The truth is, I’ve been in a bit of a funk.  A moody.  Oscar the Grouch. I have plenty of reasons that I will spare you the boredom of reading here. But suffice to say, my list of complaints is long and tedious to the point that I annoy myself as I ruminate over them.

When I’m feeling moody, I like to escape. These days, escape looks like watching hours of trashy tv on my laptop and thumbing through Pinterest on my IPhone – sometimes simultaneously. Lately, some quotes have been catching my eye. I’m not a big quote person. I tend to think that an individual should come up with wise words of her own. But as my mama always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

So my journey of quotes went a bit like this…

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This was a good reminder I do have bountiful, wonderful blessings. But I have to admit this quote left me feeling a bit guilty for my shallow appreciation for my life. Then I found this simple yet direct message in a flow chart…

 

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Yes, gosh darn it!  I want to be happy. Wait… So why do I do the same things over and over again expecting different results – getting irritated at my five year old for waking at 6:19am regardless of when I put him to bed. Getting annoyed at myself for running late. Wishing my husband wouldn’t work so hard.

The little voice in my head was saying,

YOU SUCK.

THIS IS UNBEARABLE.

EVERYONE IS STUPID.

Looks like I need an attitude adjustment, right? Then I saw this pin below, and realized I was working in reverse.

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I’ve been walking around with the wrong mantras, and I needed new ones. I spend plenty of time working hard and obsessing over my family’s diet, but I always put happiness and positive attitude on the back burner thinking more joy will come when ‘things’ change – all the while repeating my mantras of negativity in my mind.

Ok, I thought, I can do this, just think positive and be grateful.

I went to spinning class feeling lighter and freer. Then I came out to a SEVENTY-SIX DOLLAR parking ticket. Taking a deep breath, I tried it out, “It’s no big deal – It’s a beautiful day, you feel great, and money is not worth fretting over.”

Hmm.  Not so bad.

Then the voice of pessimism spoke, “Are you kidding? You have never been Miss Sunshine. What makes you think that just thinking positive thoughts will create change?”  The internal doubter constantly generates excuses for me.

Well, Voice of Doom, it’s up to me, every day, every moment to choose…

- The bottom line?

I WANT to be happy. And in order to be happy, I need to choose it in every moment. I need to gently dismiss my negative thoughts and look at life with gratitude and lightness.

I don’t want an excuse, I want a way.

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What are you favorite ways to say good-bye to a bad attitude?

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PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. These small earnings make it possible for me to continue writing this blog for you. That said, I will never endorse any product or service that I cannot fully support.

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Comments

  1. Mandisa Jean-Pierre via Facebook says:

    Love your honesty. Sometimes I just have to sit back and be the observer of the bad mood and not get too attached to it. The other week I was throwing a wedding dress tantrum even though I really didn’t want to. I was consumed by it. It took an extreme event to shake me out of my head and bring me back into being of service. Which is honestly everybody’s highest purpose and what really makes me happy. I also find that lately in the instances when I would usually zone out to Hulu or just fall asleep I am pushing myself to dance or yoga class. Shake it all off mama and smile and laugh while doing it! Seriously, it’s nice to see that other mamas go through this and you are honest enough to share it, not like so many “perfect” mommy bloggers. Hope you feel better.

    • Emily says:

      Thanks, Madisa! I am certainly working on the skill of observing a bad mood and not letting it consume me – kudos to YOU for being able pull yourself out of a wedding planning melt down! I promise to try to smile and laugh at myself more -such great and simple advice.

  2. Rhonna Dra via Facebook says:

    how timely…it’s all part of BEing! I just posted this right after I read it this morning :) http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4385/3-Simple-Yoga-Poses-for-Beating-a-Bad-Mood.html

  3. Michelle says:

    this was the perfect thing to read at the end of my workday today. some days the bad mood just takes over and before i know it, i can’t even see that light at the end of the tunnel. i think reading about how other women feel the same/have similar experiences really help me get out of this funk. that and getting outside for a quick mile jog (even though i would really prefer not to!) love your blog immensely! thanks for sharing~

    • Emily says:

      Thanks Michelle – Writing this post started off as a cop-out because I didn’t feel like writing about food or health that day, but the wonderful feedback and sense of community that has bloomed from sharing my honest feelings makes me super happy. Thanks for reading. :)

  4. KatieandDave Chlad via Facebook says:

    I go about it useing to main ways. First by reflecting on the hours and days leading up to my “frown” to see if I can determine where it started, how it started, and when it started. Is it a result of something I did to myself? Did someone do it to me? Is it from something as simple as bad food or lack of sleep.ecct. usually that does it. Then I take inventory and check my outlook and heart.

  5. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, baby! I’ve learned that thoughts are just thoughts, not facts. If we try to “should” ourselves into a better mood, it sets us up for judging ourselves and our thoughts. The mindful way is to gain inner peace by “viewing” the thoughts and not giving into them. We acknowledge that it is okay to feel how we are feeling. Then we connect with our breath, body, the present. Hugs to you, I feel your pain and appreciate your struggle. I escape via Internet. Working on it.

  6. monica ford says:

    Balance being that wonderful mix of light and dark….maybe you’re already perfect…probably.

  7. jessica says:

    I hang out with my fabulous bff you! very proud of this very brave and sincere post.
    awesome

    xx

  8. Anisa says:

    Singing really helps me. I sing in the car and at home. I am memorized some wonderful songs just so that I can pull them out of my memory when I need them.

  9. Anisa says:

    Singing really helps me. I sing in the car and at home. I have memorized some wonderful and up-lifing songs just so that I can pull them out of my memory when I need them.

    • Emily says:

      Anisa – I’ll have to try that. Usually I end up with tedious kids songs stuck in my head on repeat, so I’ll to find some nice up-lifting grown-up tunes. :)

  10. amber says:

    link you use to watch trashy TV please! I just watch the E! or MTV when I need a fix, but was thinking about getting rid of cable :)

  11. Denny says:

    Getting those feelings out there is so difficult & you’ve done a wonderful, honest & sincere job of articulating a personal slump. I love the pininterest list.
    I’ve recently moved to the US with two young children, so I don’t get much time to myself & I miss my family & friends.
    I do free tarot readings at Lotus Tarot or check out Spiritual Guidance Tarot & check out Christin’s hub pages or I do a u tube guided meditation or another meditation I find on the web.

    • Emily says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Denny. My family is in the US, but a plane flight away. I so wish they were closer too. Luckily having kids is a bit like having a dog at the dog park – you’re bound to make friends with other parents out of sheer repeat contact. ;)

  12. dee m says:

    Love this blog. I think we all get into a bit of funk when we allow ourselves to.
    About 6 years ago I got struck by lightening. Here it is, 6 years later and I still experience many side effects, sometimes monthly there are new things arising yet. I got into some sort of funk not long after, with alot of woe is me days, weeks, months…..I was not pleasing to be around at times.

    It took awhile to get a handle on my life again. My turn around was, when I knew I had to finally accept it is what it is… I had come across a quote one day when I was having a bad day. It said “when your feet hit the floor in the morning, you decide what kind of day it’s going to be”.. reading that, brought on alot of AHA moments!

    I want to say I live everyday to its fullest… but, there are always going to be funk days creep in… many days yet that I let the rain in, but always find a rainbow amongst the raindrops. I look at life through new eyes, I try to notice the littlest things around me, and take it all in.
    My favorite saying is….. “life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… its about dancing in the rain”…

    • Emily says:

      Dee m – You got struck by lightening! Holy moly! How did that happen? Seems like a funny way for the higher powers to get your attention, no?

      I love the dancing in the rain quote – I have fond memories of doing just that on hot summer days in Pennsylvania. California rain tends to be a bit more chilly, so I think I take the figurative meaning instead. :)

  13. Yoga or a nice glass of wine! Either works well :)

  14. JoAnne says:

    I love that you wrote this. This is totally not me, but after reading this I wanted to say, “You go girl!” :)

  15. DancingMommy says:

    I would say yoga for me. The practice might start off a little shakey when my mood is really bad, but I always come out feeling like a new person. Having said that, I have not been able to practice for a long while. Too long, I would say. Been feeling a little drabby recently, and your entry reminded me that I needed a way myself but to do that, I need to create the way myself.

    P.S. I found your blog recently while googling on butter (don’t ask why but hey I love your 40 lb butter entry). I share the same passion on real food for kids, and this is one of the key philosophies we have for our school. :)

  16. Rose Cole says:

    I LOVE this post! I can SO relate. My daughter is almost 7 months old now, and I’ve had my share of the baby-blues and being in a negative mood. I really appreciate hearing from other woman about the trials and tribulations of life. For me, it helps to remove the shame, which I think is a first step in getting out of the rut. Thank you for your candor and honesty.

    I wanted to share a free resource for everyone too on this topic. I wrote this little eBook and creating these free audios on what I call “High Preistess Training” which help woman get into an upward spiral in their life. I’ve had hundreds of woman write me that it has helped transform their mood just by reading it. Sometimes I even read it myself when I’m in a rut! Here’s how you can get it: http://www.rosecole.com/freegift

    Thank you for your post Emily!

  17. aj says:

    i love you em even when your grumpy x
    well done.
    mommy date day/night has been working a treat for me..
    where i take time to leave the house and wander…write…surf…on my own.

    awareness that if my thoughts have been worries/self doubt, basically fear in its many forms, for more that 20 min straight – i choose not to take myself seriously. then i check with my body and ask what it needs – and HONOR that.

    also
    being aware of turning problem-based-thoughts (negative- and they will suck the life out of you) to solution-based-thoughts (actually productive)
    Taking your time to turn yourself around – just like your perfect example of your quote finding and writing with awareness.
    x

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