“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
”Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it.”
Some days you fall into a negative funk. You don’t feel like doing anything much and are just going through the motions. Or you don’t seem to get anything done.
Maybe today is such a day for you. If so, remember that the day isn’t over yet. You can still make something good out of it. And you can do so by changing your mental and emotional state.
Here are five of my favourite ways for doing just that in a matter of minutes.
1. Appreciate away.
A very effective way to become a more positive person and to enjoy your life more is simply to develop a habit of appreciating more.
If you want a few suggestions, here are a few of the things that I like to appreciate:
- My food.
- The weather and sunshine we are having today.
- My health.
- Friends and family.
- This blog and the opportunity to write about what I want.
- You, the reader.
The funny thing is that if you just start appreciating something you can very quickly start jumping around with your attention and appreciate just about anything around you. You may start with the food you are eating right now. Then move your attention to the phone and appreciate that you can contact anyone – and be contacted by anyone – you’d like. You might then move your attention outside, through the window and see the wonderful sunshine, then the kids having fun with a football and then a really attractive person walking by. And so on.
Try doing that for two or three minutes. Try to come up with all the things in yourself and your world that you can appreciate. Move your attention around from appreciation-point to appreciation-point like when you are jumping from stone to stone while crossing a stream.
2. Change your physiology.
If you change how you move and use your body your mood will change. If you for instance want to feel happier, force a smile for about 60 seconds. You’ll feel happier. If you want to feel confident stand up and walk around for few minutes in a confident way. You’ll feel more confident.
One key to better use of this technique is to focus on your body and changing your movements but to then turn the focus outward, into the world around you. Doing so has given me more dependable and consistent results than when I focused inward.
If you focus outward you don’t become that self-conscious. If you on the other hand keep your focus inward – on what you are doing – while you are moving around with a changed physiology you become self-conscious. And that self-analyzing and nervous self-consciousness counteracts much of the positive emotional effect that you can create by changing how you move and use your body.
3. Act as you’d like to feel.
If you want to feel more positive then ask yourself: what would a very positive person do in this situation? Do that and then you’ll feel positive.
Make a call or answer the phone in a positive way. Write an email in a positive and enthusiastic manner. Instead of thinking that a situation will probably be boring and not so beneficial think of it as something that will be exciting, fun and useful.
This is about doing things a bit backward. Just like when you change your physiology. Instead of being a positive person/having a positive mood for the day and therefore acting in a positive way when something happens you flip it around. You start by acting as you would in a situation if you were in a positive mood. And then you’ll create a positive mood and positive consequences in the world around you and within yourself.
4. Ask the right questions.
If you are asking yourself disempowering questions like: “Why did this happen to me? “, “How can get out of doing this?” and “What are all the awful things about this?” then of course you are going to feel lousy and get very little done.
If you on the other hand start asking yourself useful questions about the situation you are in or the day you are having then you can quickly change how you feel and get yourself into action mode. You become empowered instead of getting stuck in victim thinking.
A few good questions are:
“What is awesome about this situation?”
“Will this matter 5 years from now?”
“What is the opportunity hidden within this situation?”
5. Recall your positive experiences and memories.
It’s easy to be overcome by negative internal chatter.
Nonsense like: “I can’t do this, what if they think I’m incompetent, I’m gonna fail, I’m gonna fail and this why did I take this shirt, it’s so ugly”. And so on.
When preparing for a meeting, a job interview, a presentation or anything that makes you really nervous recall your positive memories from similar experiences. Think back to when you were funny and charming. Remember the times when you were confident and relaxed during previous meetings and interviews. Let a few of your best memories wash over you. Let them comfort you and help you realize that you have been here before and things went well during those situations in the past.
Doing so helps you remember the positive and wonderful sides of yourself. The qualities and your inner possibilities that are always there.
You can also use this tip to remember how you felt when you felt confident in the past. How you moved, what you said. Then use those memories of actions and emotions to more easily slip into a confident state of mind by using tip #2 above.