Character Chats

How Feelings Influence Our Attitudes

How can our thoughts and feelings affect our attitude?

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social emotional learning program called True Character, and I’m Master H, chief instructor and owner here at the studio. I have two master’s degrees in education. I’ve taught special education for 15 years, anything from kindergarten to eighth grade and taken all of that knowledge and put it here to work at the studio, teaching our instructors, teaching our students, adapting our curriculum so that it meets the needs of everyone from as young as three and as old as 83.

And this week, we’re talking about positive attitude and how our thoughts and our feelings can affect that attitude.


Last week, we talked about how you needed to know the difference between a positive and a negative attitude, being a good finder, finding those ways to say, “I’m working on this skill”, rather than, “I’m trying”.

Finding a way to turn the “I can’t” phrase into an “I can”.

Being that good finder when it comes to those positive things that we’re doing and how do our thoughts and our feelings play a role in that attitude.

Recognizing Bad Moods

How many of us have ever gotten up in the morning, crawled out of bed and just been in a grouchy mood?

Even our kids are that way. Even as adults we’re that way.

Just a couple of days ago, I said to my husband, he looked at me, he asked me what was wrong. And I go, “I’m just grouchy. I’m just grouchy.”

It was one of those days. There wasn’t any reason for it. There wasn’t anything bad happening or really good happening, but I was just grouchy.

We need to recognize those feelings.

Recognizing those feelings gives us an opportunity to take a more positive spin on it, by advocating and saying, “I’m just grouchy,” we can turn it from, “She’s in a bad mood” to, “How can I help you be less grouchy?”

We can address those kinds of things. We don’t want to squash our feelings down. We don’t want to deny that they occur.

We want to understand where they’re coming from so that we can better meet what is needed.

How Our Feelings Effect Our Moods

We all have a bad mood. We all have a negative moment. Absolutely.

We’ve all woken up on the wrong side of the bed, where we just have a grouchy day.

So how do our thoughts and our feelings impact that attitude?

Well, we can walk into a new situation and say, “I’m grouchy and I don’t want to be here. And this is just going to be awful.”

And then guess what, it is awful. And you are grouchy and you didn’t want to be there. And you left a really bad impression on everyone around you.

Or you can walk into a new situation and say, “I’m going to learn something. I know new situations make me nervous, but this is going to be great. I’m going to make new friends. I’m going to brighten my world. I’m going to broaden my horizons. I’m going to better understand something.”

Using a Positive Approach

When we walk into something with a positive attitude, we’re more likely to embrace everything that we’re seeing and hearing.

We’re able to pick up on all of the things, our eyes are open and we’re able to focus on the world around us.

So our thoughts and our feelings dictate how we take in the information.

Our body language does the same. I’m closed off and not taking in the information.

I want to hear what you have to say. Same thing.

I’m grouchy. And I don’t want to be here. So your mind is immediately closed off.

New situation, I’m going to love it. We’re going to make friends. I’m going to learn a lot.

Now your mind is open and you’re waiting for those opportunities.

New Situations

We can do the same thing with our kids when they’re faced with maybe a move and they’re going to a new school, or they’re going to a friend’s birthday party and they’re not sure they’re going to like the trampoline park or whatever it is that the birthday party is going to be doing.

We can help them see the positives and the benefits, not ignore their fears, not ignore their nervousness, but help them see you’re going to have fun.

You’re going to make new friends.

We already took a tour of the school and you know where you’re going.

Show them the positives to the situation around them.

And that’s where your thoughts and your feelings help.


Another idea is to have a gratitude journal.

Every night, write down a couple of things that went really well.

When you go to a new situation, write down the positives that happened.

When you are faced with something different, have a gratitude journal.

Even as families, we can have a gratitude vase or jar or something like that, where dinner time becomes that we’re going to write down some positives from the day and we’re going to fill up the jar.

And then as the year goes on, or as the month goes on, you get to see all of the different colored pieces of paper in there.

And you get to see all of the positives that are happening in your life.

And it becomes like a snowball. The more positives we have, the more positives we see, the more positives we feel, the more positives we think.

And that is how we grow our positive attitude.

Thanks. And we’ll see you on the mat!

True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here.