No one can be in a good mood all the time, but since our emotions effect not just ourselves but also those around us (friends, coworkers, family), it's important to know how to make yourself feel better when you're in a funk. Here are some techniques to try out when you need an emotional boost.
1. Label your emotion
This may sound counterintuitive, but just naming your emotion out loud can start to change it. When you’re authentic, people can tell. Researchers have found that just saying “I’m anxious” or “I’m worried” allows the negative emotion to dissipate much more quickly. So when you’re upset with your spouse, friend or colleague, don’t hesitate to say, “I feel upset about…”
2. Take deep breaths
Try it now. While you’re reading this. Take a breath. And another. How do you feel? A little more relaxed in the chest and shoulder area? Try this when your spouse or child says something upsetting. Step aside—go to the kitchen or the bathroom or onto the front porch and take a few deep breaths. No one will miss you, and you will come back refreshed. This is one of the simplest things to do, but it’s one of the hardest to remember!
3. Go for a walk
We can’t emphasize how many studies stress the benefits of being outdoors and the effects it can have on your mood and stress level. So, if you feel that you’re about to crash into a negative mood, take a few minutes and go for a walk outside. The worst thing you can do is sit at your desk and continue to dwell on it.
4. Move it!
Surprisingly, doing a stretch, standing with good posture and smiling all contribute to a good mood. Performing a physical activity—like doing five jumping-jacks or being silly with another physical movement, can change your attitude. Keep in mind that one of these techniques may work better than the others for you, so experiment and see which works best and when.
Margaret H. Greenberg and Senia Maymin, are organizational consultants and executive coaches, and authors of Profit from the Positive: Proven Leadership Strategies to Boost Productivity and Transform Your Business. For more information about Senia and Margaret, go to ProfitFromThePositive.com.