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Be Happier November’s Challenge: Reframe Your Attitude

Everyone wants a little happiness in their lives, right? If you have not read Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project, I highly recommend you do. Woman's Day is running a series of articles from Gretchen on how to be happier. She offers practical tips that we
all can do to boost our happiness.

November’s Challenge: Reframe Your Attitude

Get happy by approaching undesirable situations with a positive outlook

By Gretchen Rubin Posted October 29, 2010 from Woman's Day; November 1, 2010


November’s Challenge: Reframe Your AttitudePhoto: © Inti St. Clair/Getty Images

A few weeks ago, when I complained to my sister about having to take my daughters to the pediatrician, she said, “Try reframing your thoughts. Isn’t that supposed to make you happier?” Well, yes. But the
idea of making an unpleasant activity seem pleasant simply by changing
the way you think about it sounded ridiculous. Nevertheless, I decided
to give it a try—and it works!

I’ve always dreaded pediatrician appointments. My girls whine and complain and seem to need shots every time. But when I thought about it differently, telling myself, I love taking the girls to the doctor, my attitude changed. I realized that I want to do this job. I want to be the one to hear what the doctor
says. I want to be the one to ask questions. I want to be the one to
give the post-shot lollipop and kisses. I’m lucky that I get to do these
things.

I tried the same strategy with making the bed—a daily chore I could do without. Now, instead of thinking, What a drag, I tell myself, I love doing this. Why? Because one minute’s effort makes my whole bedroom more orderly and peaceful. What a positive way to start my day.

Obviously, reframing doesn’t work in all situations—having a positive attitude about getting a root canal is beyond my powers. But I’ve been surprised by how often it actually does make a difference.
Give it a try. Maybe you’ll discover a love for carpool duty.

Hapiness Projecter Deb Wolf ’s 5 Mood Boosters

I’m grateful for so many things in my life, but I’ll admit that sometimes I get stuck in negative thinking. Fortunately, I’ve found a few ways to snap myself out of it.

1. Pause
Quieting myself and focusing on some small task, like listening to a song I love— in effect, pushing the Pause button—helps me let go of
negative feelings. By the time I’m done, my mind has moved on to more
pleasant thoughts.

2. Appreciate
I take a moment to run through my list of blessings: my husband, my children, my good friends and my grandkids. It puts everything into perspective.

3. Write
When I’m upset or angry I occasionally write about it to clarify my thinking. I just make sure to shred anything I want to keep personal.

4. Play
It’s impossible for me to stay in a bad mood when I’m playing with my dog, Chloe. She always makes me laugh.

5. Pray
At times, I need to call on a more powerful source. That’s when I rely on my faith and prayer. Trusting that God is greater than any problem
I’m facing is reason enough for me to be positive.

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