1. Get up and move. Studies have shown that people who move more are happier people. You don’t have to run a marathon. Take your coffee break and walk around the building, the mall, or the block. Your body was designed to move and its happier when you do so.
2. Make a list of what you need to do. Sometimes we are stressed because our minds are filled with all the things we need to do. Write them down, order them by priority and now you can focus on the one you need to accomplish. It frees you to focus on good things and see your accomplishments as you progress.
3. Write a note. Take out a piece of paper and write a note of encouragement to someone; your spouse, your parents, or siblings, or a friend. Let them know you’re grateful for them and you are thinking of them. Place the note in somewhere so they will find it unexpectedly.
4. Clean something. A lack of order can add to our daily frustrations. If you have a messy desk, or dresser drawers, or closets that you can’t find anything in, take 15 minutes and straighten it up. Throw stuff away and straighten up the rest. It can reduce your stress and you can see that you did something – always a good feeling.
5. Be nice to a stranger. Open a door, say hello. Or better yet, if you are at Starbucks using a gift card, you know the frustration if you have $3 left on that gift card and your daily coffee costs $4. Take that giift card with $3 left on it and give it to the person in line behind you. You’ll make their day and you’ll turn one of your frustrations into an opportunity to bless someone else.
6. Sing a song out loud. Make sure it’s an upbeat song… no “gloom, despair and agony on me” tunes from Hee Haw. But a worship song, a dance song, something that will make you want to sing loud. You might want to make sure you’re alone, but that’s not a requirement. And if it helps, get up and do a little boogie while you sing.
7. Pray for someone else that has a need and make a phone call to see how they are. Don’t just think about them. But talk to God about them. And then call them to see how they’re handling their day. You might find out what else you can do to help.
8. Read Philippians 4. This is one of my favorite passages. It’s encouraging to let God speak to us in our funk and fill us with hope and happiness.
9. Think of your favorite color. Then walk around for the next 15 minutes and smile every time you notice that color. Also, note how many different things are that color that you didn’t really see before. This is just an exercise to help you focus on something that makes you smile. And to help us realize that there are a lot of good things around us that we don’t routinely notice.
10. Make your own list and share them as a comment on this blog!!!
Anything that intentionally gets our minds off ourselves and onto the world around us is a good first step to changing our attitudes. Sour attitudes usually grow out of an undue focus on self and worrying about how the world is going to affect us instead of how we can affect the world.