Do some of your days start off badly? It may be because you slept badly and feel tired and irritable. Or that you woke up worried about all your problems and difficulties. On other days you may feel, for no particular reason, out of sorts and even in a bad mood.
When I researched resilience, many people told me they started their day off on the wrong foot. Once that happens they told me, things often go from bad to worse.
So how can you ensure that you start your day right, or break out of a bad mood? Here are some activities which are guaranteed to help:
Seven things to start your day right
- Count your blessings
Think of what you are grateful for. No matter how anxious you may be, there will always be something that you are grateful for.
- Compare yourself to others who are less fortunate
Your mother may have told you not to compare yourself to other people, but I think that everyone compares themselves to others. The trick however, is to compare yourself to others who have less than you, rather than more than you.
So rather than comparing yourself to your friends who have a faster car, a bigger house or a more attentive partner, compare yourself to people who have to walk, live in a shack or are in an abusive relationship.
- Think of the good that has happened to you
Take a moment to think of three good things that happened to you in the last 24 hours.
- Act as you would like to feel
Surprisingly, emotions work backwards. Acting how you would like to feel, brings about that feeling. I find that smiling and joking before going into an important presentation or difficult conversation helps me loosen up and lifts my spirits.
- Get some exercise
Exercise is cheap, easy, natural and almost guaranteed to enhance your mood. To be effective, you should aim at raising your heart rate for a minimum of 20 minutes a day, three times a week.
- Make someone’s day
When you meet a person or talk to someone, say something nice about them. Give them a genuine compliment. That will bring a warm glow in their heart, and you will feel it reflected in your heart.
- Slow down
Become aware of what’s happening around you. Feel the air entering your throat and chest as you breathe in, and being returned as you breathe out. Listen to the sounds in the background. Feel the temperature of the air on your skin. Smell the aromas around you. Appreciate being alive.
Try these seven activities to boost your mood. They will help to ensure that you start the day on the right foot and keep it that way, and even help get you out of a bad mood.