Again welcome Peter McFadyen as a guest blogger here sharing how to build your own mood changing toolkit.
A year ago I decided as a part of my self-development journey that I wanted to be able to change my mood whenever I felt like it. I was learning more about mindfulness and had been utilising the theory and practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to improve my ability to live mindfully. As a consequence of adopting this manner of thinking, I had learned to live more in each moment rather than catastrophising about possible futures or ruminating on improbable pasts. My increasing ability to recognise and accept grief, anger, happiness and boredom and greet each of them as a casual visitor in my day was a powerful gift. Taking that one step further, I began to think that it would be handy to be able to change my mood whenever, and in whatever, direction I desired.
Does that sound like something useful?
So how would I go about changing my mood? The traditional way to get over a bad day was to go home and have a few glasses of “attitude adjuster” and let the day slowly wash away – as well as most of my enthusiasm and desire to achieve anything that night! And besides, alcohol and mindfulness are not the best of buddies so I was looking for something with greater benefits and fewer headaches. I wrote down a title and began to fill in the lines below:
What makes me happy?
– LOL cats
– Saying hello to strangers
– Trekking by myself
– Writing poetry
– Spending time with my granddaughters
– Experiencing wonder
– Doing an energy clearing
– Being silly
– Doing twenty push-ups
I then developed that list a little further to see which of the above actions I could put to use at different times and in different locations. Suddenly I had a toolkit I could dip into quickly at work, when I first got home or in the morning to set up a great day. I also had a powerful set of tools to utilise if my mood was particularly dark and I needed a solid effort of being in the moment, being happy and being grateful in order to salvage my day or my weekend.
Having completed my toolkit, I then eagerly awaited a bad mood so that I could try them out!
Having come home later that week after a hectic day, I immediately booted up Youtube, danced, sang, looked at LOL cats and then, when I had altered my mood enough to be open to the possibilities of the afternoon, I went upstairs and had a chat and a laugh with my son. Low and behold, 20 minutes after coming home in a bad mood I was happy, energetic and engaged. What a wonderful feeling and what a vastly different night it became!
On waking in the morning now I begin my morning with a dance in my study to my latest favourite video clip (I have hopes of being able to shuffle in public one day). I then go about my normal morning routine fairly relaxed and happy. On my drive in to work I set an intention as to how I want my day to go and what kind of energy I want to bring with me to help make everyone’s day a little better. During the day if something threatens to drag my mood down I close my door, clear my space, read one of the poems I have on my wall, drop and do 20 push-ups or walk outside and find something to be amazed about or someone to say hello to. Quickly enough I then get back into my day, refreshed, open and with more energy.
It was such a simple task really.
Are you ready to action these three steps to build your own mood changing toolkit?
Here they are again for you:
- Listing down what made me happy
- Assessing which of these I could call on or action at different times of the day
- Putting my tools in to action!
So let me ask you – what makes you happy?
What will you put in your toolkit to help you get the most out of your day?
“Let your life be your message” Mahatma Gandhi