Another powerful area for you to consider when creating a healthy environment for yourself is the Power of Attitude in your life.
Your attitude directly affects every experience you have in your life. You can either have a positive attitude or a negative one. You either take a positive attitude towards your experience or you take a negative attitude towards your experience. What is so powerful about Attitude for you is that it is completely under your control at all times.
A perfect illustration of how you can choose a positive attitude no matter how horrible the circumstances may be, comes from the movie “Life is Beautiful”. Life is Beautiful is the Italian film that won the Oscar in 1998 for Best Foreign Language film. Roberto Benigni, the movie’s writer, director and star also won for Best Actor.
The story is set in World War II Europe and tells the story of man and his son that are sent to a Jewish Concentration camp. It is a tragic story but like the title implies, it is a beautiful one because to protect his son in the camp, Benigni’s character, Guido, decides to make a game out the whole thing for him. None of the captured Italians can speak German, neither can Guido. But he steps up as the translator so that he can “interpret” the yelling of the German guards as the rules to a game where the winner gets their very own tank, which his son beams over. It is absolutely amazing to see what he does to insulate his son from the horrors no 5-year-old boy should ever have to experience. The father has him play “hide and seek” from the guards and pretend to march in line perfectly so the boy can get more points towards the prize.
Despite all of the fear, brutality and inhumanity of the situation they found themselves in, this loving father is able to make the time fun for his child until they can manage to escape. I won’t tell you the ending in case you haven’t seen it and want to, but as you might have guessed, the ending is beautiful and a triumph, but it is also bitter, bitter, sweet. The movie is a heart-wrencher – I still get misty eyed just thinking of how that father’s love and his attitude allowed him create a safe, fun and happy world for his little boy even though the possibility of death was all around them at every moment.
Thankfully most of us don’t live in circumstances like this but if we can see examples like this of people choosing a positive attitude in the face of imprisonment, torture and possible death, then we can certainly choose a positive attitude in less tragic circumstances. Like getting caught in traffic.
Your experience in traffic is completely under your control. Sure, the amount of cars on the road isn’t under your control. How fast they all move on the freeway isn’t under your control. But how you experience your time sitting in traffic is totally under your control.
I have lived in Southern California for most of my life. I grew up in Los Angeles so I have had plenty of experience with traffic. But it doesn’t bother me. I don’t like sitting in traffic any more than anyone else, but when I am sitting in traffic, I don’t let it frustrate me or stress me out.
Firstly, I choose to plan my travel outside of high traffic times so I don’t interact with it as much. I am fortunate to commute to and from the office on off times when there aren’t as many people on the road. I leave a bit earlier or stay a little later to miss the traffic. But when I do hit traffic, I choose to just “be in traffic” and concentrate on the music or whatever audio program I am listening to at the time.
For instance, when I am coming home through Del Mar in the summer when the racetrack is open or the fair is in town, I don’t get mad at all the cars and see them as barriers getting in my way of where I want to go in the time I want to get there. I just see them as a bunch of people that are going to fairgrounds to enjoy themselves. Or especially when I am heading up to visit my folks in LA. I know that the 405 freeway is going to get plugged up. I know that it takes 2.5 or 3 hours to get there now where as back when I was in college at UCSD, it only took 2 hours max. That is just the way it is now, no sense in troubling myself over it.
I am going to ask you to play along here then, to just play with taking 100% responsibility for your Attitude and see how it can change your experience of life. You don’t have to “make lemonade out of lemons” all the time. But you can if you want. If you choose to. You can always choose your attitude in every moment, in every circumstance to make it better than it might seem at first.
In upcoming posts, I will be discussing the Attitudes of Optimism, Happiness, Gratitude and Service in more detail. Look for them (or click on the links provided) to learn how each of them can either contribute to your health or break your health down.
*Exerpted from the Being Well Lifestyles Home Study Course by Dr. Jay Warren.
Drawing on over two decades of experience as a hands-on holistic practitioner, Dr. Jay Warren is a primary healthcare provider and licensed chiropractor in the San Diego area. He has spent tens of thousands of clinical hours helping his patients achieve their optimal health potential through holistic approaches bolstered by years of personal experimentation, education and research. Dr. Jay creates customized plans integrating exercise, nutrition and stress management strategies to overcome a myriad of health challenges. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.DrJayWarren.com.