- October. 18 2018
Whatever the reason— spilling coffee all over our new white shirt on the drive to work, a coworker throwing us under the bus on a mistake on a big project, regret over an argument with our spouse, or an unexpected bill—we HAVE the power to change how we feel.
We can stop the train of thoughts that are blatantly causing us to feel worse and worse and flip them into an upward spiral of feeling better and better.
Whether you are aware of it or not, our thoughts have a snowball effect. If we start thinking negative thoughts, it will only lead to more of the same.
Unless we consciously choose to redirect what we are thinking about, we will just continue to cycle in those blah-icky-gloomy feelings.
The trick is first realizing what is happening. Awareness is a powerful tool that many times we forget we have. We make our way through our day reacting to whatever is put in front of us, without realizing we actually have the power to choose our perspective and our thoughts in any situation.
By stopping and becoming aware of our thoughts, we allow ourselves to take a step outside of the picture long enough to observe what’s going on so that we can make a conscious decision about how we want to feel.
Just because something crappy happens doesn’t automatically mean we have to feel crappy about it. We can use to see any circumstance as positive or negative, or at least we can try to look for the silver lining.
When I get down in the dumps, I remind myself that this is the best of times and the worst of times, it just depends on what I choose to focus on.
Here are 5 tricks that I use to train my focus toward better and better feelings so that I can snap myself into a good mood.
1. Close your eyes, take a deep breathe, and think of 3 things that you are grateful for
I know this sounds cliché and silly, but the moment we shift our attention from something that we think is bad, to something we see as good, it automatically begins to change our mood.
When I think of these things that I am grateful for, I make sure to take time to see them in my mind, whether it is a person, place, or thing, I spend a few moments visualizing it until I notice the difference in how I feel.
Try this and pay attention to your feelings, it’s almost like you can feel the shift in your chest as you move from the gloomy thoughts to the happy thoughts.
The best way I can describe it is when I begin to focus on the things I am grateful for, I feel like I light up like a Christmas tree.
2. Ask yourself, “How does this serve me?”
Sometimes I will even take #1 an step further and think of reasons why I actually feel gratitude for whatever it is that is bringing me down. I pull out a sheet of paper and start writing a list of reasons why it’s actually a gift because it is allowing me an opportunity to become clearer about what I do want for my life.
This trick is so under-rated. When we look for the good in any situation, and appreciate that it is helping us in some way to become stronger, smarter, or better equipped, it no longer has the negative feelings attached to it.
Every seemingly bad situation has the power to make our life better if we allow it, and letting it is the key.
3. Turn on a “feel good” song
Music is an amazing thing. A great song can change your vibe in a matter of seconds. So turn on a “feel good” song, sing along, OUT LOUD, dance, move your feet… who cares who is looking, just do what feels good!
It’s impossible to be in a bad mood after jamming out to your favorite feel good song. Don’t’ believe me? Try it. I dare you.
4. Get in a kick butt workout
Yes, sometimes it’s especially tough to get motivated to workout when you are down in the dumps, but once you get moving, you feel pretty good, right?
And then when you are finished, the feel good endorphins are flowing, and you just feel on top of the world. The bad mood has completely vanished! Poof!
My friend, Valerie Waters, says, “You’re one workout away from a good mood.” She’s right. A good, sweaty workout always distracts me from my worries and helps me to feel amazing—alive and vibrant in my body in this moment versus stuck in my head thinking about the past or future.
And for even better results, combine #3 and #4.
5. Give to someone, unconditionally
Whether it is with your time, your love, your attention, or your money, when you give open-heartedly to another human being it sparks something inside that turns on the happy switch.
It really ties into #1 above, because when you give something to someone with no strings attached expecting nothing in return, you can’t help but feel gratitude for life itself and all the small things we so often take for granted.
None of what I am sharing here is rocket science, but these are the simple, seemingly small things that have a powerful impact on how we feel.
I challenge you to take a handful of these tips and make them part of your daily routine. The more you take time for the simple feel-good pleasures in life, the more you will notice that life will automatically bring you more of the same.
Bad moods become few and far between because you train yourself to be happy, no matter what. Happiness becomes… EASY! And just a normal part of who you are.