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Your attitude determines your altitude.
This chapter speaks volumes about how maintaining a positive attitude within ourselves, regardless of external circumstances, can ease the situation and build up happiness. Keeping a contented heart is the first step, and it has a lot to do with appreciating what we already have instead of focusing on what is absent. I am a strong believer of living my life in contentment, so I am excited to share how I will contemplate the following goals for November.
Laugh Out Loud
Here, Gretchen shared that laughing brings surprising health benefits such as boosting immunity and lowering blood pressure. Laughing not only provides emotional context to conversations, but it also triggers the release of endorphin and reinforces social bonds. For instance, laughing can bring a positive lift to the persons who receive it. Some time ago, I read a research article that suggests smiling actually takes fewer facial muscles to react than frowning. So, why don’t we enjoy laughter more in life?
Another point I am so glad Gretchen brought up is having the capacity to laugh at yourself. I often consider myself a cheerful person who appreciates humor (and funny sarcasm) and can take jokes within reason. As such, I don’t mind joking about myself if it means giving perspective to the incident and bringing good laughs to the people around me. Of course not in a clown-like way but you get the idea. The way I see it is that it radiates positivity and is a good sign of resiliency and self-awareness. Laughter is one of the greatest gifts in life, and life is definitely more fun if you treat absurdity with a positive attitude!
Use Good Manners
I think good manners and etiquette are the most important quality to nurture in the household because it is not innate and needs to be taught when little. Being raised to behave politely and respectfully, I always remind myself to be courteous in both personal and professional contexts. Saying “please” and “thank you” and waiting to eat until everyone is served are the basics of good manners. Having a good code of conduct not only reveals that you have respect for others, but also for yourself.
While I have a habit of saying good morning to people, I did the same to the new security guard at my apartment building but he just never responded for a few days in a row. Frustrating, isn’t it? I didn’t want to be impolite just because he chose to be like that, so I still greeted him. To my surprise, he responded “good morning” for the first time this morning. The point I try to make here is that you can’t go wrong by being polite even if others aren’t. Hence, in all fairness, my goal on this one is to be consistent about good manners and treat others the way I want to be treated.
Find An Area of Refuge
A lot of people would find common ground with Gretchen on this one as we all have our own area of refuge when bad thoughts and feelings creep in. For me, running along the promenade near my home is a good physical refuge. Exercising never fails to put me in a better mood as it helps me restore mental energy and quietly recover. In November, there was a moment or two I didn’t feel good, so I practiced the above to get my mind back into gear. Positivity was boosted and life went on.
Speaking of mental refuge, it’s a blessing to look back on and appreciate happy memories. Whether it’s photos of fun times during college days or sweet moments with Keith, reliving nostalgia makes me feel grateful as it wipes out bad feelings and helps me focus on what I already have. In the past when smart phones and technology was not prevalent, people would print out photos and organize them into albums nicely. Thanks to my parents who took lots of photos of little me, looking through my childhood photos also brings good laughs and puts a smile on my face.
It’s been great to read on Gretchen’s thoughts and share my views on the importance of cultivating a contented heart and kind spirit this month. Everything in life, including how we deal with various situations, is a choice. What is your choice to live your life to the fullest? Does it coincide with my sharing? Let your voice be heard by dropping us a note below! Next week, Keith will speak on how adopting small changes on attitude helps contribute to his happiness. See you then!