Here’s a Quick Way to Improve Your Mood

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Are you having a good day?

If you’ve been looking at the bright side today, you’ll probably say yes. That’s because your brain is wired to perceive the good when you are optimistic. If you’ve been complaining, you might just shake your head.

Your brain is busy all day, processing thousands of thoughts. Many of these are the same thoughts as yesterday and the day before, since your brain largely operates out of habit. Which of your habitual responses to life are positive? Which are negative?

Why is this important? Well, your thoughts have a tremendous influence on your feelings, mood, and behavior. The good news is that if you change your thoughts, your feelings, mood, and behavior will change accordingly. Studies have shown that by consciously creating new thought patterns, you can change your brain! Here’s how you can create a new thought response:

1.       Next time you feel bad, identity the feeling (anger, sadness, frustration, etc.)

2.       Notice your thoughts. Identify the phrases, words, or comments running through your mind.

3.       What triggered those thoughts?

4.       Create a alternative positive thought to replace the negative (see below for ideas)

5.       Force yourself to think the positive thought by repeating it over and over again (in your head or verbally)

Here are some common negative thoughts and positive replacements:

Negative Thought                                            Positive Thought

“Why does he do this to me?”                       “I can handle this.”

“This is so difficult, I can’t stand it!”              “I can do this”

“I’m a failure.”                                               “I’m okay.”

“I’m so stupid.”                                              “I’m intelligent.”

You have just begun actively reprogramming your brain! At first, you might feel false. It takes time to convince the brain to drop long-held negative beliefs. Be persistent and try this for a few days. Let me know how it goes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.