by Linda-Ann Stewart
Have you ever had a lousy morning, felt frustrated, upset or discouraged, and had the day go downhill from there? It can be hard to turn things around when your attitude is in the dumps. You don’t have much motivation, focus or creativity. Nothing goes right. And it doesn’t seem that you have any control over your mood. You think you just have to ride it out until it runs its course.
But what about the opposite, when you started out in a foul mood, then felt better after you encountered someone who was upbeat? It could have been a smiling server, a congenial person in line, or someone who opened the door for you. Didn’t their cheery attitude brighten your day a bit?
You Can Change Your Mood
You aren’t doomed to wait until chance improves your mood. Your attitude is influenced by your actions and by the actions of others. For instance, when my mother was young, she used to break her boredom on the bus by yawning, and seeing how many people yawned in response. Her deliberate act of yawning was contagious, just as someone else’s pleasant disposition is infectious.
Just as a stranger can impact your mood in a short time, you have the ability to shift your attitude, too. You don’t have to wait and hope it will change. You can become more positive by taking the following small, deliberate actions.
Take a walk. Many years ago, I was deeply depressed from a relationship breakup. Knowing a walk would make me feel better, I dragged myself out of the house. A half-hour later, as I was returning home, my mood had improved by about 80%. Studies find that walking is as effective as antidepressants to improve mental attitude. Walking is also good for creativity.
Write down gratitudes. At the beginning of each day, write down three things you’re grateful for. That way, you start your day on a high note. When something goes wrong during your day, remember the gratitudes you wrote down that day, or find something new to be thankful for.
Take small actions on a goal. Your mind loves to achieve things. When you accomplish something, no matter how small, you trigger the pleasure center of your brain. This gives you a flush of happiness and increases your motivation to continue.
Smile. Whether you feel like it or not, make yourself smile for at least a minute. Smiling tricks your brain into feeling better. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll spread good cheer to others. When you smile at others, you’re giving yourself and them a gift.
Watch a funny video. Find something that will make you laugh to bring you out of the dumps. Laughter reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and eases pain. Just a minute of it will brighten your outlook. Laughter is uplifting, and is also contagious, making other people respond in the same way.
If you’re in a bad mood, use one of these tips to turn it around. When you’re feeling more positive, you’re more likely to take productive action. Your whole day flows more smoothly, harmoniously and you’re more effective. It takes a willingness to empower yourself and be proactive, but it’s well worth the effort. And as you become happier, notice how you’re able to spread your good mood and inspire others.
I have the power and ability to keep a positive attitude, no matter what’s going on in my world. When I’m in a pleasant mood, my channel to the Universal Good is wide open. I listen to the still, small voice within that tells me that all is well. I am grateful for all that I have. The Divine Pattern for good flows through my mind, body and spirit.
Please watch the accompanying video, How One Small Technique Can Improve Your Attitude.