The thought that you must carry all of the time, like a big sign hanging over the stage of your living is this: I am going to keep my thinking and my attitude calm and cheerful right now. ~John Schindler, M.D.
Who would you rather be around? Someone who always invites drama and chaos or someone who is always calm and cheerful? One turns every minor situation into “a thing” that sucks all of the energy out of the room. The other knows how to deescalate a serious situation into something manageable. One is easily manipulated by others because drama and chaos are the antitheses of rational thinking. The other engenders confidence in her decision making abilities.
One of the hallmarks of gracious living is the ability to maintain a calm and cheerful attitude.
How to Maintain a Calm and Cheerful Attitude
- Establish routines– A lot of chaos is a result of not having some basic routines in our lives, such as bedtime or homemaking rituals. We stay up too late and don’t get enough sleep. Or we suddenly realize that there are farmers looking over the dust in the house as a viable location to grow crops. When we don’t have enough sleep or realize how big a task has grown, we become overwhelmed and are more susceptible to lashing out at others (or ourselves).
- Watch the company that we keep (in person and online) – I get it, sometimes we can’t avoid the obvious crazymakers because we either work with or are related to them. But, that old adage that we become the company we keep is absolutely true. We need to start paying attention to the people who make up our circle of friends. Are the people we interact with generally calm and cheerful? If not, it may be time to distance ourselves from them.
- Be vigilant about what we allow into our heads – The psychological principle behind suggestibility is that if we hear something often enough, we begin to believe it is true. But, it doesn’t need to be repeated too many times before it takes hold in our brains. That is why politicians use it as a tool against their opponent so effectively. Study after study indicate that messages put into our heads impact our thoughts and performance. The music we listen to, the news we watch, the television shows we binge on, and so forth, all influence us. Are we only feeding on drama and chaos? Or are we also consuming calm and cheerful news and entertainment?
Why Invite That Energy In?
Drama and chaos create a lot of damage in our lives. Why would we willingly invite that kind of energy into our lives?
Your goal for this week is to be aware of how drama and chaos creep into your life. Only when you get rid of those can you maintain the calm and cheerful attitude required for gracious living.
Join the conversation: Where does drama and chaos creep into your life? How can you ensure that you keep a calm and cheerful attitude?
Image: Adapted from Lux advertisement, 1956, courtesy of Lisanne! on Flickr.com