Episteme

Mike's random thoughts and ramblings

Changing Moods

I recently read an entry on Scott Young's blog about how to change your mood. He talked about three different ways that he likes to change his state. And the tips were interesting, if a little ordinary: do something to change your energy level (e.g. work out), distract yourself from your bad mood, or find something to feel grateful for.

What's interesting is the pattern behind what he's proposing. The research shows that all moods are actually a combination of your physical state and your attention or focus. Each of the methods Scott describes alters either your physical state (working out) or your ability to focus on whatever you're currently focusing on in order to create the mood.

And, obviously, more powerful than changing just one of the factors is to change them both at the same time.

Realizing the underlying pattern gives you innumerable ways to change your bad mood. Some examples:

  • put a big smile on your face and sing the Star Spangled Banner as loud as you can.
  • skip down the hallway while thinking about what it was like to skip through the school yard as a kid.
  • sit up very straight and recite your favorite fairy tale.
  • stand in exactly the position that you stood in on the day that you got married, and remember the ceremony.

What other things can you do that change your physical state and re-focus your attention at any given moment?

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Michael Murray

Michael Murray