By Mary Montgomery
Holiday season is right around the corner, and I think we should focus on the festive and good will side of the season. But, how to do that when so many of my spiritual friends and I are in a state of deep mourning because of the election results? Staying in the doldrums is not the answer; so, I decided to put together a list called “Five Steps to Upgrade Your Attitude.” Here goes:
1. Smile and the Whole World Smiles With You: In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh: “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” A Psychology Today article, “There’s Magic in Your Smile,” by Ronald E. Reggio, Ph.D. (psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile), addresses the scientific evidence that supports these words. Scientific jargon aside, the nutshell is “that each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.”
2. Little by Little, Bit by Bit: One of the valuable pieces of advice from the Abraham-Hicks material is the importance of recognizing your negative emotions instead of denying them. Then slowly, bit by bit, you can reach for feelings that start to raise your vibration. One A-H technique is The Focus Wheel Process. There is even an app that you can download that helps you do it. Using the app, or a piece of paper with a large circle on it, you first identify what you do not want, and then find statements that make you feel a little better, and write them in clockwise fashion around the wheel.
3. Wouldn’t It Be Nice If…: This is another Abraham-Hicks technique, although it is also addressed in the book What If It All Goes Right?: Creating a New World of Peace, Prosperity, and Possibility by Mendhi (Mindy) Audlin. Audlin’s method is called What if UP! (whatifUP.com) In a nutshell: Identify a challenge or idea. Notice how you mentally approach the idea or challenge—and then do a What if UP! That means challenging yourself to mentally expand possibilities beyond what you believe to be possible. Rev up your imagination, and let it run wild and free! And, to make this process even more powerful, do it with a group of equally motivated friends.
4. Happy for No Reason: This is the name of the book by Marci Shimoff: Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out (happyfornoreason.com). I respect Shimoff’s research on this, because she herself was not a happy child or adult—until she tried what she calls “7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out.” I’m a naturally happy person, yet after Tuesday’s election results, I’m definitely down in the dumps. I plan to reread this book and listen to the CDs! Here is a sample technique: Marci calls this The Pillar of the Heart—Let Love Lead. Marci points out that the heart has a powerful energy field. Negative emotions cause erratic patterns called heart rhythm incoherence. Loving emotions create heart rhythm coherence. To attain coherence, Marci’s Happiness Habits include: Focus on Gratitude; Practice Forgiveness; and Spread Lovingkindness. Scientific backup, stories, and exercises are provided for this and all of Shimoff’s Happiness Steps.
5. Laughter and Music: Scientific research shows that both laughter and music can boost your attitude. Right now I am combining both attributes by listening to that Monty Python classic “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Give it a listen on YouTube (youtube.com/watch?v=-ECUtkv2qV8). As a fitting closing to this soul-disturbing time period, I offer the first stanza to help you with your attitude upgrade:
Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best…
And… always look on the bright side of life… Always look on the light side of life…
My Advice: Well, it’s more of a hope than advice. I hope these steps help to cheer you up, and set you on the road to upgrading your attitude. That is my hope too. I’m going to try each and every one of them.
Mary Montgomery’s company, Montgomery Media Enterprises, specializes in public relations, writing projects, and social media development, especially in the non-profit sector. Ms. Montgomery has a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). She has completed the coursework in doctoral studies with a focus on Altruism and Unconditional Love. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use Cyberweave in the subject line.