What to do when you need an attitude adjustment

3 Steps To Take When You Need An Attitude Adjustment

I’ve had those days. I’m sure you have too. Those days when one annoying thing happens, then something else goes wrong, followed by another… and in a short amount of time, you find yourself grumbling about everything, and maybe even taking your frustration out on others.

I’m not talking about life changing events that have no choice but to turn your day upside down. I mean the little inconveniences that take extra time; the toddler tantrums or snippy attitude from your teen; the task you forgot to get done; and the situation that didn’t go according to plan.

They add up to equal a sour mood that can last all day, and even into the next day.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can take control of our attitude, instead of letting it control us.

Have you had a bad day? Don't let your bad day take control of your attitude. Reclaim control of your day and your mood with these three steps. Share on X

3 Steps to Take When You Need An Attitude Adjustment

1.) Check Yourself Physically

I’ve always told my daughter that everything seems worse when we’re hungry, tired, or sick.

Did you skip lunch? Did you toss and turn instead of sleeping the night before?

When we’re run down physically, it zaps our strength and energy, and we have little to go on throughout the day. The thing driving us nuts might not even irritate us on a better day.

Find a way to recharge. Eat lunch, even if it’s late. Take a quick nap. Step outside or close the door to your office to give you a few minutes by yourself. If you can, take a few minutes to be with God in His Word. If I can sit down with my Bible and journal for even 10-15 minutes, it settles my thoughts and helps me refocus.

Taking care of ourselves isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. Jesus took time to get away to rest. He found quiet time with His disciples, and He cared for the crowds of people who came to Him.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

Matthew 15:32 NIV


Jesus recognized their physical needs and wanted those needs met before the people left Him.

Identifying and meeting our physical needs helps put everything else in perspective and gives us strength for what we’re facing.

3 steps to take when you need an attitude adjustment #ChristianWomen

2.) Change Your Focus

Despite your frustration, try to find one thing in your day to make you smile. It might be a song on the radio, springtime buds on the trees, or a text from a friend. Even something small can change our focus for a few minutes. Every so often on my way to work, I see a giant inflatable duck with sunglasses on. Maybe it’s just because it’s unexpected, but it makes me smile every single time I see it.

Identify at least one blessing in your life and think about it for a few moments. Start a journal where you can record the blessings you think about. It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate. Each entry in my blessings journal is just a few words, just enough for me to know and remember what I was thinking about at the time.

There are days I just want to focus on the negative, but when I see my journal, I feel compelled to think of something positive. It might not fix what’s going on, but it does douse my bad mood with a little bit of cold water.

In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.

Philippians 4:8 GNT


As Paul wrote to the Philippians… think on the things that are good. Think of the positive instead of the negative.

3.) Praise & Give Thanks

Praise might seem like an act to be done after something is done, and while it is, praise is also for before anything thing happens. It was a lesson I learned when Praise was my word for the year.

If we only offer our thanks and praise for what we want from God, we’re missing out on who God is. Yes, we might receive the tangible things we can see and touch, but there is so much more.

Before we see how a situation works out, there is God’s presence with us. There is His Word to guide us. There is the way He changes our hearts and the way we see life in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Our praise and thanksgiving is for who He is, how He works (even if it’s not the way we would choose), how He never leaves us (even when we can’t understand why He wouldn’t), and the fact that He doesn’t change.

The God of yesterday is our God of today, and He will be our God of tomorrow. Unchanging. Ever loving. Compassionate and forgiving.

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2 NLT


Filled with joy because of who God is.

No matter how our day is going, God is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. And when we focus on that, the daily inconveniences and annoyances seem less overwhelming.

What Do You Do When You Need An Attitude Adjustment

We’ll always be able to find negative things to dwell on, but that doesn’t mean we have to give in to them. With a few thoughtful actions, we can turn our mood around…and maybe even change the course of our day.

So what about you? What do you do when you need an attitude adjustment? Join the conversation in the comments below.

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15 Comments

  1. Hi Laura, I am so prone to get cranky like you described. Looking back, I feel like I acted quite childish. But I’m learning that praising God in song is the golden ticket. When I take my eyes off my own inconveniences and focus on praise, my whole body exhales.

  2. Stop spying on me, Laura 🙂 Seriously, yesterday was such a day. This whole week really, and it makes me feel silly because all around me some very serious tragedies and difficulties have been happening to others. I have no reason to be in a bad mood, but with the hottest week on record in Anchorage (and no a/c), working upstairs all week (hottest room in the house) on a home improvement project, and monthly hormonal fluctuations, I found myself snapping at kids, crying about things that didn’t deserve tears, and throwing a couple of grown-up temper tantrums. In front of my kids.

    I loved the three steps. You’re so right about checking yourself physically. When I realized that the heat and time of the month were taking a toll, it helped put things into perspective. Honestly, I’m still struggling a little but your post reminded me that I haven’t listened to much praise music lately, just some podcasts and audio books. It’s time!! God bless you for your timely message!

    1. We all have those days, right?!? I do like audio books! I’ve found that a good mystery, suspense, and/or some kind of “clean” fiction is a great distraction and keeps me from dwelling on things I need to stop thinking about. Also makes something mundane like cleaning go a little faster. Thanks so much for sharing Jaime!

  3. Great advice! Along the lines of changing focus, one thing I’ve had to do is tell myself to stop feeding the fire. I can get stuck on how wrong or frustrating or unfair something was, then my mood gets even worse. The best way to get rid of wring thoughts is to replace them with other thoughts, so intentionally focusing on Scripture, hymns, a book, even watching a funny video for a few minutes helps reset my focus.

    1. I agree Barbara! I can easily get caught up in adding fuel to the fire. It helps me to have a conversation with God and tell Him I’m giving it to Him, but I need His help to let go of it. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Great practical post, Laura! I was blessed to have been raised by a mom who reminded me almost daily that, “You always have a choice!” In the moment, I hated hearing it, but she was right. We can choose how we respond to our circumstances. Your tips help us make the right choice!

  5. Great suggestions here Laura! All 3! The first is so practical but often overlooked. Elijah’s example teaches us to pay attention to the physical causes of emotional/spiritual lows. And gratitude and worship have been two of my favorite tools for finding strength and encouragement when I become discouraged. Lovely post!

  6. Love these tips, Laura! Dr. Charles Stanley calls it the HALT principle, which I think of often: Take a minute when you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Also especially love what you said about praise being something that comes in the before and during, not just after. Gonna remember that one. 😉

  7. Hi Laura, I found your post especially helpful right from the title. Admitting I even need an attitude adjustment is hard for me! Your comments on changing focus hit home for me. It is easy to become super focus on the difficulties before me or something someone said that I didn’t like. Changing my focus helps me begin to adjust my attitude!

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