10 Quick Ways To Improve Your Mood
By Sue Elliott
As much as we want to feel happy and positive, uplifting and joyful, there are times when we simply feel flat. Or mad. Or sad. Or frustrated.
Here are 10 simple techniques that can help you shift from a not-so-good-feeling mood into a lighter, higher vibration. That way, you’ll not only feel better, you’ll become a vibrational match to all the good-feeling circumstances, people, and events you want to attract into your life.
1. FOCUS ON THIS MOMENT
Most of our thoughts that feel “off ” have to do with the past or the future. So one way you can quickly improve your mood is to focus right here, on the present moment. And the easiest way to do that is to stop and consciously breathe deeply.
“Obsessively planning for tomorrow prevents you from appreciating the richness of this day. If you wish to fulfill your deepest aspirations, focus on being attentive to the moment,” says preeminent Buddhist teacher Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche in Living Fully. “This is the best way to fulfill the purpose of your being. As you savor the present moment, you will truly breathe completely. The simple act of breathing in and out will suffuse you with a deep sense of satisfaction and gratitude. When you live fully in this profound way, you will discover that your breath is your single most precious gif and blessing.”
2. LOSE CONTROL
If you’re feeling exhausted or listless — or if you find that your inner critic is getting the most airtime in your mind—try releasing your white-knuckle grip on the reins of self-control. In Love Has Wings, Isha Judd writes, “Self-control and self-criticism have become our way of life, and they drain us of our playfulness and capacity for free self-expression. We must relearn how to flow from our hearts—to let ourselves look silly, to dance freely, to stop and remind ourselves that life is about laughter and light- hearted joy. Try it. You just might like it.”
3. TRANSFORM YOUR COMPLAINTS
As you know, complaining, ranting, and venting will only attract more of what you don’t want into your life. But sometimes the temptation to vent can be overwhelming. When you find yourself needing to express some negative thoughts so they’ll stop running around in circles in your head, try an easy technique I call The Turnaround.
Write down the Top 5 things you want to complain or vent about. Allow yourself to really feel them. Acknowledge their value in helping you become clear about what it is that you don’t want.
Then put those “don’t wants” to good use: Literally turn around each item on the list by writing next to it what it is that you actually do want.
So, for example, if you don’t want to feel frustrated or even enraged by horrendous traffic on your way home from work, your turnaround might be: I do want to enjoy the alone time on my commute by listening to inspiring CDs or by singing along to great music. Or I do want to enjoy ease and flow on my commute and feel inspired to leave work at just the right time. Or perhaps I do want to enjoy work that I can do from home, thereby letting go of your commute entirely.
Shifting your focus off what you don’t want and onto what you do want will help you feel better, plus it will open you up to inspiration and inner wisdom.
4. KICK THE WORRY HABIT
Many of us expend a good part of our mental energy worrying. In fact, a lot of people equate worrying about someone with loving them, or they believe worrying about politics and various issues is the way to be a responsible citizen.
The truth is, worrying keeps you strongly and powerfully focused on what you don’t want.
Fortunately, recovered worrywart Gay Hendricks has discovered that worries—particularly chronic ones—are actually a sign that you’re ready to let go of an old thought pattern that’s been holding you back, so you can move forward into new insights and greatness.
Now, whenever Gay catches himself worrying, he shifts his focus away from that worry thought and wonders, quite consciously, what positive message is trying to break through. “I usually get a body feeling (not a thought or idea) of where that positive new thing is trying to come through,” he writes in The Big Leap. “I open my focus to feel that body feeling deeply…for as long as I possibly can. Later, I often get an idea of the positive thing that was trying to come through.”
5. REPEAT AN AFFIRMATION
When you find yourself feeling scared or confused or pessimistic, it can help to repeat an uplifting thought or mantra. As Tess Whitehurst points out in The Good Energy Book, “With just a little bit of effort, you can turn the tide of your thoughts— and hence the tide of your life—with an affirmation.” A few of her favorites are:
- ”I hear my intuition loud and clear— I trust my hunches, and I know just what to do.”
- ” “I am a divine success in every way.”
- ” “Blessings are everywhere for me now, and I open my arms to happily receive them.”
- ” “I am awake to the magic of life.”
6. APPRECIATE SOMETHING
If you’re feeling grumpy or lonely or down, find something—anything—to appreciate. Perhaps you can look outside and see beautiful clouds or stars or flowers. As Abraham and Esther Hicks point out, “When you are appreciating, you are allowing well-being. When you are yelling at somebody, you’re not. When you’re feeling insecure, you’re not. When you’re frustrated, you’re not.” So shift from wherever you may be to a better-feeling state of appreciation, and you’ll find that the world shifts around you.
7. RETHINK BAD MEMORIES
Do you have memories that sting when you think about them? In Living With Joy (recently released in a wonderful expanded 25th Anniversary Edition), Orin and Sanaya Roman offer a great technique for removing that emotional charge: “Every time you think of a bad memory that makes you feel sorry for yourself, or bad about how you acted, or makes you think of yourself as a victim, stop! Reflect on what good you created from that experience. It may be that you learned so much from it you never again brought that kind of behavior back into your life. It may be that you changed your path because of that situation. It may have led to an important connection or to developing new qualities and personality traits.”
Situations that felt really bad at the time also could have helped you to develop considerable strength. “People who want to develop muscles . . . use weights to push against,” Orin and Sanaya say. “Your parents may have acted as a ‘weight’ for you to push against to develop your inner strength.
“Everything in your past happened for your good. If you can believe that the Universe is friendly, that it is always helping you to create your highest good, you can live a life of more peace and security.”
8. CALL ON LOVE
“When you are sad, call on love. When you are troubled, call on love. When you are tired and weak, call on love. Instead of voicing a complaint, simply say, ‘I call on love,’” Mary Soliel writes in Michael’s Clarion Call. “This will attract the forces of the Universe to bring you to a state of pure love, which is what you really are. When you are love, you cannot possibly be sad, lonely, angry, depressed, upset, or hopeless. Call on who you really are. Allow the Universe to help bring you to yourself. And just be love.”
9. CONTERACT NEGATIVITY
We all encounter negative people, whether they’re random folks we run into in a store or family members we can’t easily avoid. So, how can we deal with negativity?
In 365 Ways to Raise Your Frequency, Melissa Alvarez offers a really cool approach: “Before you put on your regular shoes each morning, imagine them filling with positive energy that is capable of blocking negativity and raising your own energy levels. Ten, if you encounter stressful situations, angry people, or any other type of negativity, call on the positive energy of your ‘frequency shoes.’ Imagine their energy saturating your feet, moving up your legs, filling every part of your body until you feel warm and radiant all over. Let these shoes help you walk away from negative situations and people while surrounding you with positive energy and light.”
10. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
Is there something you’ve been wanting to do or something you’ve been wanting to feel for a long time? Now could be the perfect time to let go of that longing, stop waiting, and give yourself permission to move forward.
“While it’s true that at times we need to seek the permission of others, at times we also need to give ourselves permission for the things we desire,” Michelle DesPres says in The Clairvoyant Path. “My father gave himself this type of permission when he taught himself to play the guitar.
“As a young man, he had a strong desire to play in a bluegrass band, and so every day he would practice picking and strumming. Before long he grew to become an accomplished musician. However, my father’s success didn’t come simply because he practiced every day; his success never would have come if he hadn’t first given himself permission to follow his desire.”