You know what is really fascinating? How quick and easy it is to submit to the difficulties of life.
Have you ever been in a fantastic mood and thought, “wow, life is awesome and I’m so happy!”, then suddenly something happens and you’re in a foul mood? Like the flip of a switch, you’re convinced life is awful and you’re nowhere near where you want to be.
It’s ok. Go ahead, admit it. We’ve all done it. We let our mood determine and morph our perception of our life. The problem is that we don’t realize in the moment that it’s our mood making us think that. We let our vision get clouded by the negativity that we’re feeling, and we get stuck there.
In his book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff Richard Carlson touches on this. He has a simple but powerful way to deal with this inevitable occurrence: remind yourself that you’re in a bad mood.
It’s incredibly easy to get into a low mood and get stuck there. We get into a loop of negativity which gets harder and harder to get out of the longer we let it go on. Next time you notice this starting, stop yourself and say “this is not true. I am just in a bad mood.”
Submit to the fact that you’re in a bad mood. It’s ok! When you feel those negative thoughts creeping in, say it over again as many times as you need to: “I’m just in a bad mood.”
It sounds too simple to be effective but give it a try and you might be surprised. It isn’t a cure for your bad mood, but it’s a great reality check. Doing this takes the power away from those toxic thoughts because when you say “I’m just in a bad mood,” you by default are also saying that those toxic thoughts aren’t accurate.
Next time you find yourself angry, hopeless, or just feeling negative about everything in general, my challenge to you is this: stop. Take a breath. Say it to yourself out loud, “I’m just in a bad mood.”
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