by Nina Sabin - Healthy Tip
What is the definition of attitude? Attitude is the way that one thinks and feels about something or someone and it is shown in the way that one behaves. Did you know your attitude is your choice? That it affects your mind, body, and spirit?
You always hear people say have a ‘healthy attitude’, but what does that really mean. In the book “Lord, Change My Attitude (Before It’s Too Late)” by James McDonald, he not only lists the attitudes to change but what replace the attitude with. This is important to realize that just knowing that you need to change your attitude is not enough. You also need to have the knowledge to know what the healthier attitude is and how to obtain that attitude.
Most often, an unhealthy attitude is when we are not willing to change our thoughts or feelings. This usually leads to an unhappy person. Which in turn makes you and everyone around you miserable. Unhealthy attitudes can cause chronic stress, which upsets the body's hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness, and damages the immune system. Chronic stress can actually decrease our lifespan. It can also contribute to health conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, and infection.
McDonald lists five unhealthy attitudes and the healthy attitudes to replace them.
We will discuss each one and provide examples on how to do this.
1. Replace a complaining attitude with a thankful one. This sounds easy and it is. We are the ones who make this difficult for ourselves. The next time you are stuck in traffic or frustrated with a situation; stop, look at your attitude and say, I am not going to complain, I am going to be thankful for my car, or for my friend, or that I am healthy and able to drive. If you are not complaining than you are being thankful.
Jesus is our example and teaches us through His words to have a thankful attitude and not a complaining one.
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing…
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
2. Replace a covetous attitude with an attitude of contentment. So often we are not satisfied with what we have, or how we are shaped, or the relationships we are involved in. We spend more time an energy desiring what we don’t have instead of enjoying and appreciating what we do have. So the next time you want something else or think something is better: stop, look at your situation and say I am content with my house, my body, my spouse. I like what I have and going to appreciate and enjoy them.
Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
3. Replace a critical attitude with an attitude of love. This I know can be hard because some people seem unlovable. I have someone in my life who I struggle with interacting in love, but have to remind myself how much better it is for her and myself if I change that critical attitude. Are you a person who tends to be judgmental? Finding faults in everyone? This is that critical attitude. Someone once told me to look past the faults (sins) to the person God created. Everyone was created unique and special in God’s image and each of us needs to remember that. So the next time you are interacting with someone see how you can communicate with them in love and look for the good in them. For some you might have to look pretty deeply to find something, but I know you can.
James 4:11-12 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
4. Replace a doubting attitude with an attitude of faith. Knowing God is in charge is huge in your life. Trusting Him and not questioning His authority. Too often we don’t believe. As a child we believed; we had child-like faith. However, life can taint us and we lose that faith. Look back in your life, make a list of the times you did pray, trust God and see how he did come through. I learned writing a journal of my prayers and going back later to see how God showed me He was there has been amazing. However, the times I didn’t trust and have faith, were the times in my life where I struggled because I lost my focus. So try to find your child-like faith and don’t let go of it.
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
5. Replace a rebellious attitude with an attitude of submission. The word submission gets a bad rap. The misconception is if you submit you lose yourself, but that is not what God means by submission. It just means let go of your self-fish ways and submit to what God has in store for your life. What causes rebellion? Self-centeredness. So if you change the other four attitudes, then the rebellious attitude will be easy to change to one of submission. Another way to look at submission is to respect the one in authority and know obeying is in the best interest for you and everyone involved.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Romans 8:7-9 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
Remember to Make a Better You - change your unhealthy attitude to a healthy one. We can all choose to have an attitude of gratitude, a feeling of a contentment, a heart of love, believing in faith, and being submissive to what we know is true. It is your choice!
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