I never have to continue with a bad attitude because I have found a way to turn it around.
Sometimes I have a bad attitude because something in particular has summoned my ire. Maybe my husband has been short with me, or maybe I gained a couple of pounds or my car battery is dead, or maybe I found out that I'd been taken advantage of by someone. It could be the result of a cluster of annoyances or that one last irritation - the straw that broke the camel's back. Or, maybe I just got up on the wrong side of the bed.
First, I try to narrow down the cause or causes of my bad attitude. As an example, let's say that my husband is the culprit. I get out a piece of paper and write down why I am in a bad mood: "He snapped at me."
Next, I write down my negative feelings: "I feel angry, hurt, and irritated."
Then I write my automatic thoughts: "He is always so impatient with me! I hate it when he acts that way!"
After that, come my distortions: "My husband is not always impatient with me. Ninety-nine percent of the time he is not. I have engaged in magnification." I try to name the distortion, and in this instance I named it "magnification."
Last, I write down rational responses: "Sometimes my husband is impatient with me, but it usually has nothing to do with me. I'm just there. I do the same thing to him sometimes. In reality, my husband and I have a very happy, workable marriage, but every once in awhile we have a little hick-up because we are two different people who don't think the same." But I don't allow it to ruin my whole day.
Before I learned how to fix my attitude, I would sulk and isolate and blow a small incident way out of proportion. It would be as though that one incident ruled over every other aspect of my marriage and my thinking.
But now I do a "quick fix" as above and do not allow the negative thoughts to rule my feelings and actions.
Later on, I may bring up the incident with my husband when we are both in a better mood. When I do, it is not emotionally charged, sarcastic, or blaming. We talk about our little hiccup and it's over.
We just engaged in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Your thoughts cause your emotions, and your emotions cause your actions. That's all there is to it. If you can correct the thought, the emotions and actions don't even come into play. The more you do it, the easier it becomes - even to the point where it's automatic and you no longer have to put it on paper.
It is so much easier to live this way. It keeps life peaceful and happy. You no longer are a victim of your thoughts and emotions. You can fix your thinking and create a more positive attitude.