A bad mood arises from many things: A snide comment, a misunderstanding between friends and getting stuck in traffic are three examples. However, putting in the effort to improve your attitude has its benefits. The University of California, Berkeley, health center cites advantages including reduced stress, a stronger immune system and increased coping skills. Improving your attitude requires more than just smiling and listening to upbeat music. For long-lasting changes, it requires conscientious effort and a willingness to delve into your psyche for the root causes of problems.
Practice gratitude. Martin Hart, author of the book "The Best Meditations on the Planet," advises keeping a journal of things for which you are most grateful: Friends, pets and good health are examples. Reflect on these points listed in your journal in the morning and before bedtime. Maintain consistency in this practice by writing 25 points of gratitude daily.
Remove negativity from your life. Such sources could be people, activities and ways you burn idle time. Find and replace the negative aspects of your life with more uplifting things. If you find that associating with a friend brings more headaches than joy, reduce the time you spend with her and befriend new, upbeat people instead. If you find you hate most every class pertaining to your field of study, change your major. Adjust how you spend your spare time as well. Swap reading pessimistic articles about celebrity divorces and political scandals with educational, neutral subjects related to your passions.
Pinpoint and eliminate the causes of negative thoughts. Michael Roach, author of "The Diamond Cutter," advocates achieving this goal by seeing the "emptiness" in everything, or a source's potential. Recognize that every negative issue has a positive aspect to it as well. When a negative thought arises, transmute the negativity into a positive aspect. For instance, if a coworker rambles incessantly about her pets during work hours, resist the urge to get irritated. Instead, reflect on how nice it is for her to have this source of obvious joy in her life. Quell negative thoughts by making a point to see the opposite perspective.
Maintain a healthy diet and exercise. Adopt the phrase "you are what you eat" and develop better eating habits. Nourish your body with healthy foods known to boost mood, such as walnuts, Brazil nuts and salmon. Go for a 20-minute walk when negative thoughts arise. The release of serotonin will elevate your mood and provide a more upbeat perspective necessary to tackle problems.
Tips & Warnings
- If you are concerned you have signs of serious depression, seek help from a doctor or licensed therapist. Do not perceive seeking help as a sign of weakness or an inability to handle your issues. View these professionals as people who can offer guidance and help you live up to your potential.
- University of California, Berkeley; Positive Thinking: Be Kind to Yourself; 2007
- "The Best Meditations on the Planet"; Martin Hart, et al.; 2010
- "The Diamond Cutter"; Michael Roach, et al.; 2009
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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