Let me start by saying that I currently have a pretty great life. I get to stay home and be with my children and Gary all day long. I get to work on learning, reading and blogging most anytime that I want. I am truly fortunate. However, no matter how great our life is, it seems that sometimes frustration and resentment pop up unexpectedly. It has been my goal for a while now to reduce the occurrence and duration of these times.
Today I had a chance to practice. I have a list a mile long of things I would like to do. I have several books that I am reading, I have several webinars to watch, I have a coaching call that I missed and want to listen to the recording, my laundry pile is starting to become overwhelming, and nearly every bed in the house got peed on last night and now sheets need washed. It is overwhelming. As I was folding clothes that have sat clean and unfolded for a week, I caught myself grumbling to myself about all this work I have to do.
Catching Ourselves When We Are Frustrated
This is the hardest part when trying to change our habit of slipping into frustration and resentment. It is easy to grumble and complain in your head about things going on around you and not even know it. It is like complaining can be on auto pilot. When you are having a negative conversation in your head it amplifies the stress of whatever situation you are currently going through.
So learning to catch yourself is the first step. We cannot change that which we are unaware exists. Monitor your self talk when you are stressed or doing things you wish you were not doing.
You’ve Caught Your Negative Self Talk. Now What?
Congrats! You’ve actually caught yourself being negative. But now that you have caught yourself being negative or complaining, how do you correct your attitude?
- Reframing-The dictionary defines reframing as: To look at, present, or think of (beliefs, ideas, relationships etc.) in new or different way. It is both very easy and very hard. It’s easy to use reframing to help reduce and eliminate negative self talk but hard to remember to do it. You just find a new way to look at the situation. For example, I was grumbling while doing laundry today and I thought to myself that I could be homeless and not have laundry to do. I could be walking miles to get water from a well for my family to use that day. Things like this will make it easy to stop the negative self talk. This leads easily into my next step.
- Gratitude-After I reframe the situation that I am currently grumbling about, I already feel better about my situation. The next step that I take to completely change my attitude is to find three things at that very moment that I am grateful for. This morning I was grateful for the health of my family, the fact I got 6 hours of sleep last night (with only one interruption), and that it was beautiful outside.
Doing both of the steps at the point that you catch yourself grumbling once again that your boss or family doesn’t appreciate all you do, the car broke down, it’s raining, your sick etc., will help you remain more positive through the day.
And isn’t life to short to stay negative anyway?