A great day has much more to do with what you think than what goes on in it. If you can feel the day unravelling, here are four quick ways to switch up your mood and get back on track. These tips will act as a circuit-breaker to a day that is going off the rails, and spread some sunshine whatever the weather.
1: Surprise and delight someone
Marketers call them "surprise and delight campaigns" - strategically going the extra mile for the client, or rewarding the customer in some fabulous way they weren't expecting. It's a powerful approach as it's the unexpected wow factor that creates amazing loyalty. If your mood is tanking, take the focus off you to spread some joy in others with your own mini surprise and delight campaign. Find someone - anyone - to surprise and delight. Perhaps "I love that skirt, it looks amazing on you," to the fellow traveller at the bus stop. Or "I brought you sushi for lunch just because you are great at what you do, and you looked really busy today," to your compadre in accounts. Random acts of niceness. Surprise and delight. Spread some joy.
You will feel better.
2: Laugh out loud. Yes. LOL.
I insist you find something that makes you laugh. Right now. Your kid. Your cat. Barbara in purchasing. YouTube, I'm not fussy. Find it and LOL. Did you know research shows kids spontaneously laugh 400 times a day and adults only six times. We need to get these stats improved. Laughing more is an obvious but totally overlooked mood-changer. As adults we need to laugh more, and to create and relish opportunities to do so. Think about it - when was the last time you laughed until you cried? If you can't remember, you need to consciously create more LOL opportunities in your life.
3: Focus on what you do have.
Not what you don't.
This is a biggie. When we are busy and our day is feeling kinda sucky it can get very easy to focus on what we don't have: I don't have enough time to get this stuff done. I don't have enough help round the house. I don't get enough time off, or time to exercise. I don't get any support at work. I don't have enough money. And so on. The focus on what's absent just increases the suck factor. I am finding it a very speedy turnaround when I ask whether one of the Syrian refugees would like to change places with me - what with all that stuff I don't think I have in my life. In a heartbeat, right? My life is an abundance of all things good. So shift the perspective up in a matter of seconds. We are lucky lucky people, and the fact we have a busy life and a busy to-do list is a gift. Ask if someone else would take your place, and immediately your perspective will lift.
4: Seeing the To Do list as a gift
So this follows on from the last point - again it's another mental switcheroo. I see clients overwhelmed with endless email or a never-perfect, tidy house. It regularly brings their mood right down.
Let's look at this - what would it mean if you had no email at all? It would mean inbox nirvana, yes. Hurrah! It would also mean you have no job. Ah yes, there is that too. What if your house was tidy and perfect all the time. What would that mean? It would be a glorious oasis of tidiness, sure. How pleasing. It would also mean you didn't have two beautiful healthy boys under the age of 4. Ah, yes, there is that.
If you can reframe your To Do list as a list of gifts, the world instantly becomes a better place.