“Happiness is your dentist telling you it won’t hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.” -Johnny Carson.
How often to you hear people say, “I’m in a crappy mood today.” Maybe you know that person a little too intimately? I believe we can do things that will get us OUT of these bad moods faster, and keep us in the good mood zone longer.
I recently made a list of all the things I can do at any given moment to make myself feel good. No, I’m not talking about drugs, alcohol, or dangerous addictive substances-I’m talking about little things that don’t cost anything and that can instantly lift my mood. This was a very empowering exercise and one that I highly recommend to everyone.
Since there are so many, I wanted to just share 5 with you today, and I hope that you will be able to take these and use them the next time your good mood goes out the window.
1. Gratitude Journaling
Just this morning, I was flying on a short 2 hour connection flight and sitting in the window seat. The man next to me was quite overweight and as a result I felt squished and uncomfortable. I noticed that I was spiraling into a bad mood quick, but I caught myself. Gratitude pulled me out. I thought, ” You know, even though I am a little cramped, flying sure beats walking, and it even beats driving! Plus, I get to look out the window and see this beautiful world. On top of that, I’m healthy”…and so on and so forth. Gratitude can pull us out of the most slippery downward dives.Writing in a gratitude journal is perhaps one of the quickest and most powerful ways to feel incredible. We all tend to throw ourselves a pity party at times, and often for no good reason.
Apple’s original slogan for the ipod was, “A thousand songs in your pocket.” I’m all in! Most of us have easy access to great music of our choice now whether it is thru our iphones, ipods, or by listening to Pandora. Music can be one of the fastest ways to lift us up. I have multiple genre’s on my ipod, and it’s powerful to be able to turn on how you want to feel. Have several “happy songs” that you can quickly go to. I have many, but recently was reminded that Reggae music brings my mood up!
My 5 year old daughter loves to skip. In fact, she always wants me to skip with her in public places! Some months ago, after getting over looking cool in public, I began to skip with her. Have you ever tried to NOT smile while skipping? It’s impossible!
The best part about it is that the endorphins released are another incredible boost to your mood. Now, I’m not suggesting that you have to skip in public, (although you should try it sometime)but I am suggesting that you can do little short exercises throughout your day to give yourself a natural endorphin rush.
I once had a colleague that was trying to get off of his Red Bull addiction. He brought in a mini-trampoline to his cubicle and would stand up and jump on it every time he felt tired. The endorphin release was powerful enough to keep him from reaching for a Red Bull, and he got off of them.
Laughter is not only an instant way to bond with people, but it’s one of the keys to a long life! I recently read a study that had been done on laughter. It measured how many times a 3 year old laughed during the day, and how many times adults laugh. The results were staggering.
The 3 year old: 300+
The Adult: 15
What can you do to laugh more? One suggestion I have is to simply just do it. Yeah, really…when you are alone, or with loved ones, just start laughing. It might be fake at first, but then you will start to laugh at the fact that you are trying to laugh. Eventually others around you will start to laugh. NOTICE HOW GOOD IT FEELS. It doesn’t cost anything, and you can do it anytime.
5. Positive Phrases
Your mind will believe what you tell it. In school, I used to tell myself that I was terrible at math. My mother would then reinforce it by saying, “Math has never been any of your kids strength.” Well, now I have a daughter who just finished 2nd grade and was doing math. My wife is very smart. At the beginning of the year, my daughter really did naturally struggle with math. While reading came easy, math came hard. But my wife began to tell my daughter, ” You’re awesome at math! I can’t believe how good you are!” She did this all year, and you might be able to guess what happened.
My daughter became not only one of the best in her class at math, but actually really began to enjoy it. It was an amazing lesson to me of the power of what we not only hear, but what we tell ourselves.
Pick something that you don’t feel you are very proficient at. Come on, we all have those things that we say, ” I suck at this.” Try shifting that to, ” I freakin’ rock at this!” You might not believe it at first, but keep doing it. Your brain doesn’t know the difference, and eventually you will freakin’ rock at it.
Go out and have some fun with these 5 mood boosters! Laugh, talk better to yourself, and rock out on your ipod.