Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How to Change Your Mood in 5 Minutes

By Monica Dyben

Bad moods, we all have them. Some of us have them daily. The boss ticks us off, the kids won't stop fighting, the spouse is complaining, traffic is bad, the bills just keep coming, or the washer brakes down -- again. Any of these things and more can put us in a bad mood - if we allow it. The good news is, we don't have to stay in that bad mood. We can change it, in spite of our circumstances, if we take a few minutes to gain some perspective. You can literally change your mood (without drugs or alcohol) in as little as 5 minutes

1. Breathe -- nice and deep, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Take 10 long, deep breaths to get the oxygen flowing though your body and begin to relax your muscles. Sit cross-legged on the floor or lye down if possible. Continue breathing deeply.

2. Find a happy thought. Just like Robin Williams (as the adult Peter Pan in the movie "Hook") needed to find his happy thought in order to fly, so do you. You can begin to rise above this bad mood if you will shift your focus from what's bothering you, to things and people that make you happy. Find a happy place, real or imagined, and picture it vividly in your mind -- the colors, the scents, everything about it. Focus on that for a minute or two while you continue to breathe deep.

3. Have an attitude of gratitude. Begin with something simple and obvious, like "Thankfully, I don't have to live with my boss, I can leave him at the office and feel sorry for his wife!" or "Thank God I am in this room with the door locked for at least 5 minutes of peace!" Whatever works for you. The funnier you can make it, the faster it will lift your mood. Even things like, "It could be worse, I could be in jail in a foreign country," or "I could be living on the street, or sick and in the hospital with some terminal illness. This is really not that bad."

Remember, things could ALWAYS be worse. You could be uglier, shorter, or heavier than you are now, I am certain.

Start listing all of the good things you have to be thankful for, like being able to see and appreciate beauty, hear music and laughter, smell roses, taste good food, walk, run, dance, drive a car, talk to friends, look up good articles on the internet, etc., etc. Keep breathing deep and choosing to think of the positive instead of the negative.

In just moments, even though your circumstances may not change, your mood will. You will have succeeded in changing your thoughts, relaxing, and taking control of your mood. You will no longer allow that particular person or situation to ruin your day. You will have taken your power back, and with it, your good mood!