Attitude is Important - Develop One That Embraces Gratitude

Dr. Linda Hancock


Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years. Over the years, her readers and clients have said that they have benefited from her common-sense solutions, wisdom, and sense of humour. Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email


December 1 2008

All Psyched Up. | | Attitude is Important - Develop One That Embraces Gratitude | by Dr. Linda Hancock | Published December 1 2008 | Revised July 3 2022

© 2022, Dr. Linda Hancock INC.

Often parents come to complain to me because their child has "an attitude"!

The dictionary defines attitude as a "state of mind or feeling".

We all have attitude! Some of us have an attitude that is defeatist while others believe anything is possible. There are attitudes involving self-esteem where some people feel unworthy of respect allow others to harm them and still others have a narcissistic attitude stating that they are so wonderful that they deserve everything. Grief can be an attitude as can celebration.

Attitude can change depending on one's circumstances, associates, and experiences over time. Recently, I was guest for a radio talk show where a caller asked why some people do well in life and others don't. My response was that you are the books you read, the people you spend time with and the things you listen to. For example, if you are reading pornography, hanging out with people who are negative or in trouble and listening to music with depressions and death themes you are setting yourself up for problems.

Sarah Ban Breathnach, the author of Simple Abundance, recommends that each day you write five things in your journal for which you are thankful. Once you have written something down, however, you cannot repeat that item again on another day. It is fairly easy to make the list for the first week or so, but the task becomes much more demanding after several weeks. Try this exercise as it helps you think about your life from a different perspective.

Sometimes I believe it is effective to do the opposite. Think about all the things that you don't have that can lead you into an attitude of gratitude - like war, or terminal illness, or malnutrition, or ...

Imagine that you have a piece of paper in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other. If you hold the glass on one spot, for an extended period of time, the paper will burn. If the paper represents happiness and the glass represents your attitude it is therefore easy to see that focusing on trouble will eventually burn up your happiness. On the other hand, moving the glass to admire your surroundings will prevent this from occurring and help you to enjoy the world around you.

Attitude is a choice and each of us is responsible to cultivate and protect a positive one in order to be healthy. What influences you? Are the people you are around the best examples you can find to encourage you to grow? What can you do to improve your attitude?

All Psyched Up. | The First Year | Attitude is Important - Develop One That Embraces Gratitude | by Dr. Linda Hancock | Published December 1 2008 | Revised July 3 2022

© 2022, Dr. Linda Hancock INC.