ThedaCare Health Matters

Could your attitude need some adjusting?

Some things we cannot change about ourselves. Our gender or our height are determined by genetics. However, there are things we have control over that affect our health. These include our diet, our activity, exposure to unhealthy substances and our attitude. I would like to focus on attitude and how it affects the way we feel.

Did you ever wonder why some people seem to be happier than others? Could it be because of the way they approach their everyday life? It is safe to say that everyone’s goal is to be happy. People who do not enjoy good physical health can still be happy. Anger is a common reaction to things that happen and tends to cause a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. While anger may be an appropriate response at times, it needs to be controlled. However, I think the majority of the time we would admit we get angry over things that are not really that big of a deal.

People who tend to be happier are those who accept that people are human and tend to make mistakes. They are eager to forgive rather than be angry. Anger tends to be an emotional reaction while forgiveness and acceptance are conscious decisions that require effort. Sometimes our perceptions of what someone else is doing or saying are skewed.

I heard this story years ago and it stuck with me because it hits home and is an example of how we perceive things can cause unnecessary stress and frustration. A woman was trying to finish her Christmas shopping at a busy shopping mall. She was hungry and tired so she bought three just-baked cookies and a coffee at the food court and planned to take a break.

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