Dare to Be in a Good Mood

My friend Victoria is almost always in a good mood. I know some of the challenges she faces in her life and so I know that sometimes she “shouldn’t” be as happy as she seems. And yet, she is. If you were to call Victoria on the phone, the moment you heard her say, “Hello,” you would be convinced that she had been hoping you would call and is delighted that you did.

I’m not saying she doesn’t have moments of grief and despair or even anger. We all do. What I AM saying is that she has learned a secret – that when you “act as if,” your mood always catches up. Victoria is a living example.

If people ask you, “What’s wrong?” when you answer the phone or, “Are you all right?” when they see you, that’s a strong indication that you have forgotten to “act as if” and are letting circumstances dictate your mood instead. You have stopped creating your life and are now at its mercy.


What would it look like to respond to circumstances?

· You might understand that things, good and bad, are temporary and will change quickly, sometimes even while you are reporting on them;

· You could decide to make the best of every situation;

· You would know that you have a choice in how you feel about anything – that you generate your emotions, they don’t just happen.

Start a trend. Instead of asking people, “How are you?” ask, “How would you like to be?” When you ask the first question you’ll usually get a litany of complaints. People will tell you about their aches and pains, problems at work, troubles at home or anything else that’s not going well.

I have friends whose lives are going better than they ever dreamed. They often report their good fortune and then add, with a sheepish look, “But I’m sure it won’t last.” This is meant to make me feel better, especially if my life isn’t going particularly well.

I’d like to know, when did it become socially unacceptable for things to be going well? Why do we feel guilty when life is effortless? Isn’t that what we hoped and planned for all along?

Challenge yourself this week. Ask yourself, “How would I LIKE to feel?” DARE to be in a good mood and take steps to make sure that happens.

Here are some tips and techniques from the masters:

· You can’t keep a smile on your face and feel bad at the same time. SMILE! SMILE! SMILE! SMILE! Okay, GRIN!

· Your body posture will tell your brain what kind of mood you are in. Stand, sit and walk as if you have just won the lottery. Your mood will soon brighten.

· When something negative happens, ask yourself, “Is this important enough to cancel my good mood?” The circumstances that would generate a “Yes” to that question are on a very short list. If the list you’ve been using is long, you’ve been reacting; it’s time to shorten your list.

· Hum, sing, or whistle a happy song. Your brain certainly understands THAT. It means, “I’m in a great mood!” Your brain responds with a flood of “feel good” chemicals.

You have such powerful and easy-to-use mood management tools at your disposal. Why wouldn’t you choose to pick them up and use them?

Take the challenge. Dare to be in a good mood this week and watch what good things happen.

Helen Keller said it best, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”

Imagine what life would be like if you dared.

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