Friday 14 December 2018

Ten simple ways to lift your mood today

There is good and bad in everything and by managing the mind on a daily basis, we can learn to switch from negative to productive, creative and positive. Motivational speaker and success coach Ewa Pietrzak shares her top tips

You can take steps to lift your mood
You can take steps to lift your mood
Exercise and nature can improve your mindset

When we are in a good mood the world is a beautiful place, nice things happen, people smile at us, we get the results we want and feel at peace inside. We don't even think about our frame of mind because we are alive, positive and happy.

Then we have days when the vibration is low, we are in a negative headspace and nothing seems to work out for us. People growl at us, the lunch is tasteless and the traffic terrible. This is the time to grab hold of the reins and take control of our mood instead of letting it control us.

Through the ages, successful people have always known the value of maintaining a positive frame of mind, because being in a negative mood can be costly and impair decision- making.

In the 1960s, insurance broker W Clement Stone was the wealthiest man in America, and he had a favourite saying: 'That's good'. No matter what was going on around him, what people were saying to him or what results he was experiencing, he always looked for the good in every situation.

Here are 10 things you can do that will help to improve your mindset...

1 UNDERSTAND MOODS

Negative moods impact your life and your results. Think back to a day when you allowed a 'bad' mood or situation to dominate you. Trace through the unfolding of what happened and observe whether the day got better or worse. 'Getting out of the wrong side of the bed', days can start with running out of milk for breakfast, missing the train and being late for an important meeting that may even cost you a promotion. Tell yourself that from now on you are going to master and control your mood, which can also be referred to as attitude, vibration, frame of mind or outlook.

2 OBSERVING MOODS

In order to manage our mood, we need to observe and catch ourselves when we become negative. Thoughts are challenging to observe as we have tons of them every minute, so to do this effectively we take note of our feelings. If you are feeling sadness, anger and frustration you know you are off track, as you want to be feeling happy, optimistic and at peace.

Observe where the mood is steering you and say to yourself 'this is not what I want'. If you have any recurring irritants, like an annoying neighbour, sit down and write out the feelings you experience each time you meet him or her.

Gaining understanding will help you to work through this and like Mr Stone, you will eventually say 'that's good' and keep going. It's time for you to take control, and lift your mood using the following techniques to make the shift.

3 RELEASE NEGATIVE EMOTION

Anger, sadness and frustration are negative emotions that we need to let out - not on others, but in a healthy way. Bottling up emotions can lead to a sense of resentment and guilt that eats at us from the inside out and can lead to sickness. If you feel sad, allow yourself to cry. If angry, take a pillow and press it against your face and scream as loud as you can. A punch bag is also a good outlet for negative emotion, as is doing physical exercise like going for a cycle or run. Do whatever it takes to release the emotion and don't judge yourself for doing it.

4 GRATITUDE

Thoughts stick to each other. When you find yourself in a bad mood, notice how one negative thought attracts another negative one, and another. In order to break this chain of negativity it is necessary to have a remedy at hand. Gratitude is the antidote for negativity.

You can do this mentally or sit down and write out things that you are grateful for. Start with the basics like the breakfast you had this morning, the home you live in, the shoes you are wearing, the legs that carry you, etc. These are all positive thoughts, and they too will glue together and start a chain of positivity.

I do a list of 10 every morning, which sets me up for the day, and if I find myself in a state of stress at any time during the day, this is my go-to cure. For more detailed guidance, read Magic by Rhonda Byrne, which will get you in the attitude of gratitude every day.

5 MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS

Developing a relationship with your mind enables you to have more control. Meditation and mindfulness techniques will help you to recalibrate when you catch yourself in a bad mood. If you are unfamiliar with meditation you will find numerous books and guided meditations online on YouTube, as well as local classes. Identify a technique that resonates with you, to have at hand when you find yourself in a negative mood. Otherwise, simply play some meditation music online, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Guided meditations are easier to start with as you can focus on listening to the person talking you into a more relaxed state. I have one that takes me for a walk around a lake, onto a little island where I sit and enjoy the sunshine and lapping water. This always puts me in a good mood.

6 EXERCISE

There is nothing like physical movement for activating the happy hormones. If screaming into the pillow, meditation and gratitude is not working, then try exercise. Running, cycling, rowing, yoga, swimming and all forms of exercise increase serotonin levels, which in turn boosts our mood. Pick something you enjoy doing and you'll have a go-to in times of crisis.

7 MOOD MUSIC

A very enjoyable way to beat a bad mood is to listen to music. Compile a playlist with songs that you love listening to or perhaps spark a nostalgic association with great times. Keep them on your phone, tablet or computer and if need be, lock yourself in a room and go silly. Sing along, dance or jump around freely, allowing yourself to get lost in the music and the moment. Being carefree and having fun will lift your spirits and get you back on the happy track.

8 MEDIA INTAKE

Observe your media intake, in terms of the books and literature you read, TV programmes you watch and internet sites you spend time on. Evaluate each individually and assess whether they lift you up or drag you down. Perhaps you are watching round the clock news channels. It is fine to keep abreast of current affairs, but absorbing the woes of the world is not going to improve your mood. Be mindful of your media consumption. Tailoring your media diet to include more inspirational and entertaining material that puts a smile on your face is a guaranteed way of improving your mood.

9 GOOD COMPANY

Review the people around you on a day-to-day basis and check whether they are bringing your mood up or down. You will notice that among friends, family and colleagues, some energise you and others drain you. When you begin working on your own positivity levels you will naturally start magnetising towards upbeat happy people, and repelling negative ones. The more positive you become, the more you will crave upbeat company, so don't feel bad if you have to minimise time with certain people. Lighthearted, entertaining company will put a smile on your face, give you something interesting to think about and leave you in a happy headspace.

10 PERSONAL GROWTH AND SUCCESS PSYCHOLOGY

A sure-fire way to stop negativity is to start learning how to create the ideal life you want. Successful people have been sharing information and others have been examining it and making it available in the form of literature, videos and talks for hundreds of years.

Libraries and bookshops have self-help sections stuffed full of books on success psychology, positive thinking and mindfulness. It was through this material, and with the help of a mentor, that I embarked on the path of personal development, which led me to the rewarding work that I enjoy so much today.

Begin by dedicating half an hour daily to your personal development and start reading books and watching online material that teaches you to understand your mind.

If you tire of trying to master your mood and results, contact me or another expert in the area to guide you for a while, until a positive mindset becomes automatic for you. Learning how to develop and maintain a positive mindset is a brilliant mood-boosting process that will improve your well-being and quality of life permanently.

* Internationally accredited success coach and motivational speaker Ewa Pietrzak offers one-to-one coaching sessions, webinars and a powerful 24-week training process, 'Thinking into Results'. Certified by Bob Proctor (The Secret), Ewa lives in Dublin. See abundantresults.com, call 085 744 9847, or email her at ewa@abundantresults.com

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