Bad Mood BustersWritten by Maryann Troiani, Psy.D.
Are you in a bad mood or just unhappy? Don’t worry. There are easy ways to beat a bad mood or even a bad day. Good moods or a peppy personality is not a disposition you are born with or without. And, you’re not doomed to stay unhappy rest of your life. Your level of happiness is a learned skill. It’s easy to learn. Anyone can learn to bust a bad mood or look at world through more optimistic eyes.
In my research of happy and optimistic people for my book “Spontaneous Optimism: Proven Strategies for Health Prosperity & Happiness” I uncovered patterns and strategies. Practice these easy strategies in order to improve your mood and become more upbeat and optimistic.
1. Avoid Emotional Vampires Do you attract emotional vampires or losers into your life? Are you a loser magnet? Emotional vampires and losers literally drain our batteries, slow us down and make us upset. To become happier, optimistic and energetic -- avoid emotional vampires. Unhappy people allow “emotional vampires” to suck their positive feelings right out of their skulls. Emotional vampires include people who put you down, criticize or mock you, or sabotage your dreams and aspirations.
Take survey of your life by making a list of people and situations you expose yourself to. Then, discard or limit people, habits or situations that keep you from feeling optimistic and happy. In other words, ‘burn your bridges’ if needed. Remember: Happy and optimistic people hang around with personal cheerleaders. Unhappy people surround themselves with emotional vampires.
2. De-tox Your Mind You can de-tox your mind just as people de-tox their bodies. To get rid of negative or intruding bad thoughts, remember this “Rule of Happiness”: You can only keep one thought in your mind at a time. You can focus your thoughts on either pessimistic/unhappy or optimistic/happy thoughts. It’s your choice. Unhappy and pessimistic people focus on gloomy thoughts of how they could fall down and not get up. They expect worst to happen. Happy and optimistic people expect best. So, houseclean your head. When setbacks or problems pop-up, immediately focus on finding a solution. Unhappy and pessimistic people focus on complaining, but happy and optimistic people focus on solutions.
3. Optimism and Happiness by Numbers Are you obsessed with negative thoughts that lead you to a bad mood? A simple way to become happy and optimistic is to count your way to more positive thoughts. It’s easy to become an expert at switching your negative and bad thoughts to more positive and upbeat thoughts and feelings. All you need to do is focus on counting and switching your bad thoughts to upbeat and uplifting thoughts. Each time you have a negative thought, immediately switch to a positive thought or solution to your woes. Write a tally mark on a pad of paper each time you switch like this each day. Your goal is to decrease number of times you need to switch. For example, at first you may need to switch 50 times daily. In time, you will decrease it to 30, 20 or 10 times a day. If you are obsessively negative, you will become obsessively positive using this technique.
4. Change your body posture Happy and energetic individuals take big steps, walk faster and stand taller. They seem to exude an endless supply of energy. In sharp contrast, pessimistic, unhappy and lifeless people shuffle their feet, take tiny steps, walk slowly and slouch. They appear lifeless and have burned–out their batteries. Watch how you carry your body. Use body-posture of happy, optimistic people, such as take big steps, walk faster and stand taller. Using these techniques will help you become happy and energetic. They are easy to carry out, and will create a positive domino effect with people in your life.
Stress managementWritten by Prem Nirmal
The fast pace of life is taking toll on every city dweller, right from students to home makers and workers to managers, every body is hit by bug of stress. Modern technological development and communication aids are adding to stress because of their high speed. Traveling, exams, admissions etc. at times are too stressful for students as well as parents living hectic lifestyle. Stressed individuals are paying heavy toll in terms of health and well being as they are more prone to stress induced diseases such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Most people get trapped into vicious circle of stress induced diseases and find it difficult to tackle it at later stage. Hence it is very important for us to learn to manage stress.
So what is stress? Stress is an individual's perception and assessment of environment. It depends on how one perceives situation. The positive perception is called eustress while negative perception will lead to distress. The amount of stress at which each individual functions most effectively is unique to each individual and it is known as optimum stress level (OSL). Any response, mental or physical, which adversely affects performance, is called negative stress response.
That which creates stress is called stressor. There are different types of lifestyle stressors: Performance Stressors: These are situations where one is stressed to perform, viz. Driving a car, public speaking, performance appraisal, big events in one's life viz. Exams, marriage etc. Threat Stressors: These are situations perceived as dangerous, viz.: Riots, War, High risk sport, accidents etc. Boredom Stressors: These are situations which are perceived and assessed as lacking in physical or mental stimulation, Viz. Household chores, Routine factory work etc. Frustration Stressors: These are situations which are perceived and assessed as being undesirable but beyond one's power to control, Viz. Govt. Taxation. Bereavement Stressors: Loss of relationship, Death of loved one, losing a Job, possession or Reputation, dignity etc. Physical Stressors: Actual physical damage viz. breaking limbs, suffering from disease or infection, working in conditions where extreme temperature and pollution exists which can not be avoided.
Effect of Positive Stress: As we have seen, positive stress adds anticipation and excitement to life, and we all thrive under a certain amount of stress. Deadlines, competitions, confrontations, and even our frustrations and sorrows add depth and enrichment to our lives. Our goal is not to eliminate stress but to learn how to manage it and how to use it to help us. Insufficient stress acts as a depressant and may leave us feeling bored or dejected; on other hand, excessive stress may leave us feeling "tied up in knots." What we need to do is find optimal level of stress which will individually motivate but not overwhelm each of us. If you are experiencing stress symptoms, you have gone beyond your optimal stress level; you need to reduce stress in your life and improve your ability to manage it.
So, how do we manage stress? As there are many sources of stress, there are many possibilities for its management. However, all require work towards change. As stress is an individual's perception and assessment of environment, one needs to look into possibility of changing one’s perception and reaction to it. In fact, ideal change will be to convert our reaction to response. So what is difference between reaction and response? Reaction is habitual, uncontrolled, and impulsive while response is well thought, contemplated act with awareness. A responsible person responds and never reacts. Responsibility is one’s ability to respond.
How do we proceed?
1. Awareness of Stressors: Become aware of your stressors. Watch your physical and emotional reactions to stressors. Do you become nervous or physically upset? Notice situations and events that create high levels of stress. Understand how your body responds to stress.