It almost goes without saying, but when I'm grumpy I have a bad attitude. What this tells me is that my attitude - which can be fairly easily ascertained by my facial expression and body language - is simply an external representation of my internal feelings. If I'm feeling down, my body sags. Doesn't yours?
Now it's not any secret that the answer to a bad attitude is a good laugh, a smile, and pleasant thoughts. Why? Because you can't genuinely laugh and smile without a corresponding good feeling. Our feelings have a direct impact on our outward demeanor.
The challenge is controlling our feelings. Change our feelings, change our attitude. The good news is that we can control our feelings. We're not at the mercy of our emotional life. Emotions (the well from which our feelings arise) serve as a barometer of what's going on inside of us. And we can change what's going on inside.
How? By monitoring our thoughts. Our thoughts affect our feelings which in turn shows up in our attitude. And the best way to monitor our thoughts is by listening to our self-talk. In other words, we need to think about our thinking. This might be a true difference between us and animals. We have the ability to consider our thought process and not just react by instinct (which seems more emotional in nature, doesn't it?) And since we can control our thoughts, we have the ability to influence our feelings and thus change our attitude. That is good news indeed.
More on controlling our thinking next time.