I wonder how many times I say those words each week. Probably more than I realize. Life has a way of wearing me down…..the demands of work, the house, kids, cooking, laundry, errands, bills…the list goes on and on. And at this time of year, that list gets even longer. And if I’m not careful, I can sound like the Grinch.
So what’s a busy, tired, stressed out gal to do? Well, I can’t change my circumstances, but I can change my attitude and how I react to what’s going on around me. How? I can do the following 3 things:
- Count my blessings. I can make a conscious decision to be thankful for everything in my life. By focusing on the good things, I immediately turn my negative feelings into positive ones. While that doesn’t mean I don’t have to shop for presents, decorate the tree, or do the laundry, it helps me to put the proper perspective on things. It reminds me of what’s really important, and what’s not, and of how blessed I truly am. And when I am grateful, it’s hard to be grouchy!
- Give myself a break. Since I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes, I can have a hard time with this one. But when I do number one well, this one gets easier. Because when I have a proper perspective on things, then I remember that no one really cares if the floors are spotless, the bows on the presents are homemade or the washrags are all folded and stacked in the same direction (see what I mean about being a bit of a perfectionist?) And you know what else? I have come to realize that most people don’t even notice or remember all the things I stress over. So, when I give myself permission to let some things go, not only am I a winner, but so are those around me. Because I’m a lot more pleasant to be around when I’m relaxed and calm than when I’m worried and stressed.
- Help someone else. Nothing helps me change my perspective quicker than helping someone in need. When I quit focusing on myself, my “to do list” and my problems, and instead try to help brighten someone else’s day, it makes me feel good. It reminds me of what’s important in life. It doesn’t have to be something big either. It can be as simple as making a phone call to someone that has recently lost a loved one, who might be having a hard time during the holidays; or writing a note letting someone know that you appreciate them.
Our attitudes are the filters through which we see everything else in our lives. Dale Carnegie said it like this: “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
I think that pretty much sums it up.