As I was writing this post, I was at yet another airport trying to make my home, so I was practicing what I preach in the moment.
On my way home from my recent trip to Mexico, a storm in Ontario caused our flight to get cancelled. We waited 24 hours for our next flight to take off only to find out that our connecting flight would be missed and we wouldn’t get out of Ontario for three days after we returned from Mexico. During it all, my husband and I continued to work on staying patient, finding humour and remaining calm. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, it wasn’t only happening to me, and I refused to get angry with the airport staff and take it out on them. They didn’t want any of that to happen any more than we did.
I decided to be pleasant, patient, and try to make it more enjoyable for all of those who were stranded with us. We met some wonderful people on the trip and one of them asked me if I ever get angry. I had to laugh because they have obviously didn’t know about my hot-blooded Italian temper. Of course, I get angry. And I get sad, I get impatient, and sometimes I don’t feel like being positive. I’m only human. I told them that there was no point in getting angry even though there was a part of me that wanted to let er rip. It wasn’t going to change the situation, it wasn’t going to make a plane magically appear and it definitely wouldn’t be the way I wanted to spend the next 24 hours in Mexico, plus 3 days in Ontario. I made a conscious choice to stay as positive as I could and not take it out on innocent bystanders, including my husband. Because of my decision, we met some amazing people at the airport, had some good laughs and didn’t let an unforeseen, uncontrollable situation ruin what had been an amazing vacation.
I know that I’m making it sound so easy. You might be wondering, how you can make that choice when anger can come on in seconds and feels so uncontrollable. In the past, I was perpetually apologizing for what I said in my little anger outburst. I hated that I felt like I didn’t have any control and I hated having egg on my face and having to apologize. I also didn’t like how guilty I felt after. So, I made the choice that I was going to change my attitude and work towards being more patient and not saying things that I couldn’t take back. Hey, I still get angry. Like I said, I’m only human, but I now tap into my Contagiously Positive toolbox to help me prevent total destructive outbursts, and get me back to my happy place.
The next time something is about to set you off and you start to feel your body shift, put on the breaks and try these two personal tools that I use.
Take a moment and think about why you are angry. Is your anger warranted? Even if it is, will it help the situation? Can you react in a different way to get a more positive outcome? Knowing that your attitude is your choice, how do you want to react to the situation? Will my words hurt the other person? Will I feel guilty about what I say later? Remember, your attitude is your choice. In every moment, you can decide how you want to react. The self discovery questions will you help guide you the reaction and attitude that you will feel good about.
The next things that I do is physically and mentally release it. Physically, I take three long deep breaths and in each exhalation I release the anger that is about to bubble up with a breath and an affirmation. Mentally, I say to myself, “I will not let this control me. I choose to have a more positive attitude.”
The breathing helps me take control of the physical sensations in my body and create a sense of calm. Often, you can feel the negative reaction in your body before it even hits your brain. When you become aware of your bodies reactions to negative things around you, it becomes easier to put on the breaks.
The affirmation added to my breathing helps me change the channel in my mind and directs me to more positive thoughts. Negative thoughts, if we allow them, can become so deeply rooted into our subconscious mind that they take over. That is why I replace them with positive words, like affirmations.
These two tools may seem so simple that I couldn’t possibly work, but they are incredibly power and have worked wonders for me.
Lastly, there are going to be days when you get angry and lose your temper or become frustratingly impatient. Instead of being hard on yourself, feeling guilty, and letting it take control of your day, just push the mental reset button and start again. Being Contagiously Positive does not mean being perfect. It is about being authentic, making the best of every situation, doing the best you can, and trying to spread happiness and positivity. What you put out in the universe comes back to you, so what do you want to attract? I bet the answer to that is not more anger and impatience. Your attitude is your choice. What will you choose?
Sending you oodles of positivity, happiness & joy,
Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl