Friday, 4 January 2013
Don't let a bad morning ruin your entire day. Use these mental tricks to change your momentum.
Had a lousy morning? Things looking grim?
Not to worry. The rest of your day need not be a disaster. It can in fact become one of your best, providing you take these simple steps:
1. Remember that the past does not equal the future.
There is no such thing as a "run of bad luck." The reason people believe such nonsense is that the human brain creates patterns out of random events and remembers the events that fit the pattern.
2. Refuse to make self-fulfilling prophesies.
If you believe the rest of your day will be as challenging as what's already happened, then rest assured: You'll end up doing something (or saying) something that will make sure that your prediction comes true.
3. Get a sense of proportion.
Think about the big picture: Unless something life-changing has happened (like the death of a loved one), chances are that in two weeks, you'll have forgotten completely about whatever it was that has your shorts in a twist today.
4. Change your threshold for "good" and "bad."
Decide that a good day is any day that you're above ground. Similarly, decide that a bad day is when somebody steals your car and drives it into the ocean. Those types of definitions make it easy to be happy–and difficult to be sad.
5. Improve your body chemistry.
Your body and brain are in a feedback loop: A bad mood makes you tired, which makes your mood worse, and so forth. Interrupt the pattern by getting up and moving around. Take a walk or eat something healthy.
6. Focus on what's going well.
The primary reason you're convinced it's a bad day is that you're focusing on whatever went wrong. However, for everything going badly, there are probably dozens of things going well. Make list, and post it where it's visible.
7. Expect something wondrous.
Just as an attitude of doom and gloom makes you see more problems, facing the future with a sense of wonder makes you alive to all sorts of wonderful things that are going on, right now, everywhere around you.