Do you find yourself feeling sad, powerless, vengeful, tired, angry, or just plain negative all the time?
Would you like to know how easy it is to change your mood no matter how bad you’re feeling with one simple exercise?
And no, I am not talking about going to the gym.
Whether you feel happy or sad, your mood is a temporary mental state that can be changed by training your mind.
Most people will lead you to believe that all you need to do in order to feel good is to watch an inspirational video, go to the gym, or eat the proper food.
However, all of those things are also temporary, so if you wake up in the middle of the night fretting that you’ll have to wake up in a few hours and go to a job you hate, are you supposed to go to the gym or eat something in order to start feeling better?
You get my drift — the only way to change your mood is through your mind. It is what drives your mood.
Try explaining the following:
- Why do some skinny people feel fat?
- Why are some millionaires afraid that they’ll go broke any second?
- Why do smart people feel dumb?
- How come some people can be having a horrible day, yet the moment they get home and see their dogs tail wagging like crazy that feeling vanishes even if it’s just for a second?
I used to think that contradictions such as those listed above were part of people being fake, in need of attention, or just plain crazy.
However, it all has to do with the mind.
If you tell your mind that you’re fat, no matter how skinny you get, it’s going to make you feel fat.
It’s all about your mind.
So before we start training your mind to control your moods, let’s find out why you are feeling bad in the first place.
Why you’re in a bad mood
There’s a myriad of reasons why you might feel bad or angry.
Most of which we can control, but certain reasons are beyond our control.
I wouldn’t expect you to celebrate someone’s death, illness, or disabilities. There are times that you do need to feel sadness and be angry at the world.
However, those extremes are not the usual reasons why we feel bad.
Common reasons why we feel bad:
- Job stress
- Lousy friends
- Bad relationships
- Pesky neighbors
- Financial struggles
- Family problems
- Injury or sickness
- Bad results
- Unexpected surprises
- Car problems
I would go out on a limb and say that over 80% of the time that you’re feeling bad, stressed out, or angry at someone is because of one of the reasons mentioned above.
However, if you pay attention most of those problems are temporary. Sure, your family is permanent, but you can learn to deal with the problematic ones to lessen the stress.
The problem here is that we focus so much on these issues that they escalate.
It’s like the saying when it rains, it pours.
Have you noticed that when you’re having financial problems all of your bills seems to come at the same time, or how traffic seems to be at its worst when you feel like you’re going to be late to a meeting?
So how can we turn all these negative feelings around?
The secret to changing your mood
This is not a secret. I believe we all have it in us, but we just don’t pay attention because our mind is usually running at the speed of light.
Have you ever noticed that when you think about certain things you feel happy and vice versa?
Exercise: Close your eyes and think of your favorite food. Now imagine that you are sitting in your favorite place eating your favorite food.
Did you notice how your mouth got all watery and you started feeling better all of the sudden?
Why is that? I mean there was no food actually being eaten and you were in the same place as you were right before doing this experiment.
That’s because you suggested it to your mind and it tried to create the exact same pleasure that you get by actually doing what you were imagining.
Your mind will do what you suggest to it and it doesn’t care whether it makes you feel good or not.
Note the following:
- Your mind wants what is familiar and avoid what is unfamiliar
- Whatever you focus your mind on, you will get more of
- Your thoughts form a blueprint that your mind and body work tirelessly to make your reality
- What you give your mind, your mind will give back to you
Nobody wants to feel miserable, but if you don’t tell your mind that you hate feeling miserable it will continue to give you what you ask it to.
You must own your present and tell your mind what you want so that it can start working on figuring out a way to get you what you truly want.
- You hate your job and started looking for another one, but just the thought of having to go to work makes you feel like you’re wasting your life away in a job that you can’t stand.
Solution: Every day when you are getting ready to go to work tell yourself how much you love your job and the people you work with. Thank yourself for having a job that pays the bills and most of all, let yourself know that you love the fact that you can use this job as a stepping stone to finding a better one.
- You’re angry at yourself for having failed a test and you feel like you couldn’t pass it even if you gave it a second chance.
Solution: Own up to having failed the test. however, tell yourself the following — I feel good about everything I learned from taking this test and I know that I will pass it next time because I will be better prepared for it. I will study smart this time and remember everything I studied which will make this test a cakewalk for me.
- You are feeling hateful towards a close friend after having a heated argument.
Solution: Be thankful that you had this argument and for knowing this person’s feelings. If possible, thank them for having shared their feelings with you and apologize if you feel like you said anything hurtful to them that you didn’t really mean. Remind yourself of the love that you have for them and how thankful you are that they are part of your life.
- You are overweight and keep trying different diets that never work so you just get depressed and can’t stand the sight of yourself.
Solution: Thank yourself for being the wonderful person that you are. Make a list of all of the things you like about yourself and repeat them to yourself. Start telling yourself that you hate eating certain foods (ones you know are bad) and that you love eating healthy and working out. Let yourself know how good it feels to eat healthy and go for a jog.
Tell your mind what you really want, not what you are used to. Don’t allow yourself to feel bad about yourself. If you find yourself doing something that you shouldn’t be doing, tell your mind that you hate the way you feel when you do that — Not just once or twice, but every single time.
Tell your mind what you love doing and great you feel when you do those things. And don’t say things like “I would prefer to be doing X&Y”, “I think I want…”, “I am not sure about doing…”
Be direct and say that you love this and hate that. Let the world know that you dislike the way you feel about X, but love the way you feel when you do Y.
If you are not a gym rat, don’t expect to walk into a gym and be able to do lift weights for 30min and not feel like you’re about to die.
It takes practice to get to the point where you can lift weights for 30min and not feel like your body has been stretched to its limit.
The same applies to these mental exercises. You might see immediate results in some areas, but others might be harder to change so you must practice and stick with it.
Give yourself positive reinforcements in every situation you come across and before you know it, you’ll be able to change your mood from sad to happy in seconds.
And don’t forget to always show yourself some love no matter what the situation. You aren’t perfect, so accept your mistakes, learn from them, try not to repeat them, and continue loving yourself until the end.
- How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
- Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
- Tedx Talk by Marisa Peer: See below video
Take the time to watch that video as I think it could change your life forever.