A large part of happiness comes from your attitude. There are many things in life that we can’t control. Fortunately, we can control our attitude. Our attitude is the way we feel or act towards our situation in life. It’s how we interact with the world around us.

When you have a positive attitude, you are more optimistic and happier. You become more resilient and able to cope with the ups and downs of life. Having a positive attitude doesn’t mean ignoring negative things in your life. Instead, it means learning to accept and adapt when shit happens.

Here are seven ways to change your attitude towards life.

#1: Challenge Your Beliefs

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I can’t do this?”. I have found that whenever I find myself saying this, there are two reasons. One, it’s hard and requires work. Two, something needs to change.

When something is hard and challenging, the motto I keep repeating to myself is: “I can do this!”. This motto helps to keep me focused on the task at hand. Most of the time, I just needed a little perseverance and determination to finish the task.

For the second scenario, I try to figure out what isn’t working for me. For example, when my son was in virtual school, we were both on the same floor in our house. He was at the kitchen table and I was at my desk in the living room. Being so close to each other was way too distracting for me and I couldn’t concentrate. The solution meant one of us had to move! In the end, my son moved to the basement. He loved it because he now had more desk space and room to move around. More importantly, I loved it because I could now concentrate when I was working.

#2: Let Go of the Word “Should”

I don’t know why, but whenever I tell myself that I “should” be doing something, it suddenly becomes very hard to do. I feel this tremendous weight on my body. If I do manage to do whatever it was that I was telling myself to do, it becomes a relief that the task is over. But not in a good way – it doesn’t give me a sense of accomplishment or a sense of pride. I don’t say to myself, “Yes! I did it!”.

Do you feel the same way? The solution that works for me is to frame my tasks as things that I “want” to do. I look to structure tasks in ways that work with my personality (being an introvert, that means relying more on texts and emails, rather than phone calls). It also keeps me moving and taking action, instead of procrastinating. So, replace “I should” with “I want to”. It will allow you to move forward with your life in a way that really works for you.

#3: Look for Opportunities

Especially when things aren’t going well. It’s easy to revert to the “poor me” or victim mentality. But the truth is life is not a fairy tale – no one is coming to rescue you. You have to rescue yourself and that begins by looking for opportunities.

One way to look for opportunities is to ask yourself lots of questions. Whenever things didn’t turn out the way you expected, ask yourself, “What did I learn?”. If you were turned down for an opportunity, ask yourself, “Now that my time is freed up for something else, what can I do instead of that opportunity?”. Ask yourself questions that focus on moving forward with your life, instead of dwelling on what didn’t happen.

#4: Challenge Your Thoughts

I find that my thoughts are always more negative when I’m tired. I have to remind myself that they simply aren’t true and replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Even having a simple motto, such as “that’s not true”, really helps me to reframe my thoughts.

Finally, I use this knowledge as my motivation for practicing self-care. Exercise and eating right are crucial parts to ensuring that I get enough sleep. But self-care takes work and a lot of time. I don’t always want to put in the work. However, knowing my motivation – knowing that I will feel so much better for it – that’s what keeps me focused.

#5: Remember to Have Fun

Before covid hit, I was in a job where the workload was constantly increasing. The only way to keep up with the workload was to do more overtime – which meant less time with my son.

Then covid hit and with my son now in virtual school, I shifted to part-time hours. I now had more precious time with my son, but I was still stressed and miserable. One day I just told myself, “You need to start enjoying this time more”.

Fun doesn’t always just happen. Sometimes, you need to work at it. Remember to have fun by actively looking for it. It could be as simple as having a tickle fight, playing with Legos (that’s my personal favourite activity) – or doing something else that you really enjoy. Allow yourself to have fun and to laugh – even when life is stressful.

#6: Learn a New Skill

Is there something you always wanted to learn, but never did? Well, what are you waiting for? It’s never too late. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, or 30 minutes once a week, over time you will see a difference.

There are many benefits to learning new skills. One, it keeps your mind engaged. Two, it expands your identity beyond what you do for work or at home. Three, it’s rewarding and satisfying as you start to improve and master your new skill. Four, it helps to reduce boredom or even that feeling that everyday is the same.

#7: Practice Being Grateful

Why should you practice gratitude? There are many benefits to being grateful. Gratitude increases positive emotions, improves health, helps you deal with challenges and build stronger relationships.

It’s important to realize that practicing gratitude is not just making a list of things you are grateful for. To get the most benefit, you need to go into lots of details in a gratitude journal. Why should you start a journal? It’s simple, journaling gives you time to reflect on your life. Writing it down, instead of simply thinking about it, helps you to process and focus on what you are writing.

Ready to start your gratitude practice? Get started today with this 62-page gratitude journal. It’s designed to help you cherish the good times, learn from bad experiences and ensure that your actions are aligned with your priorities. Available now!

Start your gratitude practice with this 62-page journal. Now available on Etsy.
Start your gratitude practice with this 62-page journal. Now available on Etsy.

Until my next blog post, here’s wishing you lots of joy and happiness!

With love,


Hi! I'm Joanne. I’m a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). Money management is a life skill that I passionately believe all people need to learn. As an accountant, I love helping people understand numbers and money. At BuildingJoyAndHappiness, I share my tips to money management and make understanding finances simple.

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