A lot of people think happiness is out of their control, that outside elements and experiences are the only determining factors to whether they are happy or not. Some even think that they have to wait for a certain milestone to happen just to “reach” happiness… what a load of nonsense!!
If you know yourself well enough, subconsciously you will already know what really makes you happy … but sometimes you just consciously forget what you need to do to get back there. What has to be happening in your life for you to feel at your best? And more importantly, what things you can do to lift a mood when things aren’t going exactly to plan? I call it Happiness Management, it is something everyone can do.
If I feel myself starting to slip downwards toward a negative / downbeat mood I immediately do a quick check that I’m staying true to my Personal Values, then I jump straight into my Mood Boosters for a quick pick me up. This works for me, obviously all the below are items specific to me and are what I perceive as my own Personal Values and Mood Boosters, yours are likely to be very different.
The personal values are more long term and drive your long term happiness and contentment so if your mood does consistently dip you should check in with your Personal Values to make sure you have the right balance in life and that you are not straying too far from what you value and who you are.
Here are my Personal Values
- Balanced happy life, living honestly and with integrity
- Having fun and carrying on with my kids
- Catching up with close friends
- Spending some quality time with my wife, just the two of us
- Enjoyable to Tolerable working conditions – if things are worse than tolerable you need to make major changes … now!
- Happy, calm household
- Keeping relatively healthy and fit
- Doing things that excite me
- Taking Action to get things done
- Eating healthy food
Sometimes you won’t have all of the above exactly balanced or how you would want them to be but that does not mean you should dwell in a foul mood or worse, slip towards depression and anxiety. Do all you can to get aligned back to your Values but sometimes you just can’t change things as quickly as you would like, for example a career change won’t happen straight away … but you shouldn’t wait for everything to be perfect to allow yourself to feel happy.
One of these things being not quite as you expect may make your mood slip temporarily or even permanently … but there are plenty of things you can do to lift your mood and get you back to finding the good things in your life. You have a responsibility to yourself to do whatever it takes to lift your mood and to do this all you need to do is be aware of your Mood Boosters.
Have a think about all the things that have lifted your mood in the past, the things you enjoy doing, things that bring a smile to your face, things that remind you of enjoyable memories, things that distract you from frustrations and lift you into better feeling mood. Find all the things that work for you to change a low mood into a better one.
Every problem is temporary, remember that, there is always something you can do to work towards a happier life … but in the mean time you should do everything you can to fully be AWARE OF and USE your own Mood Boosters, the things you can turn to when you need a simple pick me up. These alone can bring you back to a more positive mind set and that will help you work through any challenges you do have in a much more productive manner.
Here’s my own pick me up’s, my mood boosters!
Happiness Management – The Mood Boosters
- Listen to a variety of uplifting, cheery music
- Watch comedy (sitcoms, stand-up comedians, movies… basically anything that gets you laughing)
- Take big action to build towards my dream (the big goal)
- Talk to people that you enjoy talking with
- Sing along to some cheesy / cheerful songs
- Look through old photos and reminisce about good times
- Tell the story of a happy / proud experience you had, if you have nobody to listen just write it down instead
- Watch old family videos, the ones that make you smile
- Plan out or talk about future big goals – think of bucket list goals proportion
- Do a bit of virtual shopping for things you’d like to have one day, take photos of them all (don’t get hung on not having them now, just know one day you’d like them and think about how you would feel if you did)
- Plan an exciting day out (as expensive or free as you like)
- Write down all the things you would like in your life (exactly how you would like things to be, in every area)
- Write down a positive journal of your day – focus only on the best bits, not things that made you sad or angry that way tomorrow you’ll be looking for more good things to write about.
- Gratitude List – pick a subject (your family, your house, your job etc) and write all the things that you are grateful about that area. Tomorrow write a list about something else.
- Daily Achievements – each morning or at night before you go to bed, list out the good things from your day
These work for me but they might not work for you. Take some time to figure out your own mood boosters. What things do you do that instantly lift your mood … now why wouldn’t you do them more often!
Happiness is a choice people, if you know yourself well enough you will be able to master Happiness Management and keep yourself in a much more positive upbeat mood for so much more of your time.
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