We usually take the longest and hardest route when trying to change our mood. What is the easiest and fastest route, and how can you change your mood instantly?
We all get anxious, stressed and feel low at times – perfectly normal.
But do you find yourself getting trapped in a mood?
Maybe you wake up feeling instantly anxious?
Maybe a particular setting (like your office) causes a constant feeling of stress?
Maybe you feel so low you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning?
I hear you.
I’ve been through the lot myself.
Sometimes it feels like no matter what you try and do, you just can’t shake off the mood that keeps you feeling stressed, anxious and depressed.
If this sounds familiar to you, I’ve got a suggestion and a three-step process that might be useful to you.
How can we instantly change our mood?
Let’s use anxiety and stress as the two examples here, seeing as it’s these two things that tend to dominate how we feel.
What do we usually do when we get anxious?
I used to do one of two things.
- Stay rooted to the same spot (a chair that I would sit in) and let all the worrying and anxious thoughts consume me – to the point of overthinking every last possible detail.
- If I weren’t frozen in the same spot, I’d pace up and down from one spot to the next, back and forth.
And what do we usually do when we get stressed?
If I were in the office at work, I’d sit at my desk hiding behind my computer, put my face in my hands and start rubbing my temples – wishing away all the crap that was causing me the stress.
Being frozen to the spot or pacing up and down is a natural reaction to anxiety. Just like putting your face in your hands and rubbing your temples is a natural reaction to stress. But what do you think these natural reactions are doing?
My point here will make total sense in just a second.
But before we move on, I want to highlight one more thing with a quick exercise.
Imagine someone who is depressed.
You can’t see this person. They’re behind a door or wall.
What do they look like?
Their head is down to the ground. Their eyes are looking down. Their shoulders are slumped. Pretty much everything is facing downwards, right?
That’s because the natural reaction to depression (feeling low) is to do all these things with our body.
When we feel like crap, the last thing we want to do is jump for joy.
Our mind (how we feel mentally) tells our body to portray how we’re feeling (the physical reaction). It’s a natural process.
Here’s where it all gets interesting . . .
Your body speaks volumes
By doing all these natural bodily reactions, we’re fuelling the negative mood. We’re reinforcing why we should be feeling that way.
When we stay rooted to the same spot we stay anxious.
When we put our heads in our hands we stay stressed.
When we stay in bed we stay depressed.
If we want to instantly improve our mood, we have to look at our physicality – what we’re doing with our body.
In other words, changing our mental state starts with changing our physical state.
It’s a big misconception – the idea that we have to change our thoughts to change how we feel. It’s not entirely accurate.
There’s no doubt that you get a better outcome when you think more positively compared to thinking negatively, but changing your physical state is a much quicker and easier way to change your mood compared to positive thinking.
Trying to override your negative thoughts with positive affirmations is usually a waste of time.
It’s incredibly difficult. Almost impossible.
Try telling yourself you’re not stressed when you’re in the middle of a shit storm. Ain’t gonna happen!
The best way to manage your state of mind (your mood) is to first concentrate on what you’re doing with your body.
Listen to the Podcast: Instantly Improve Your Mood.
The 3-step process to improve your mood
To simplify the process of improving our mood, let’s look at it as three steps.
1. STATE OF MIND =
2. ACTION =
Your state of mind (your mood) dictates what you’re going to do next (your action), and that produces the outcome (the result).
When you have a negative state of mind (including negative body language) it creates a negative action, and that will always give out a negative result.
(Put shit in, get shit out.)
By becoming more aware of this simple process and making just a small change in our physical state, we can change the entire process so it looks like this.
CHANGE IN PHYSICAL STATE = DIFFERENT ACTION = BETTER RESULT
The better result in this instance is an instant improvement in mood.
(Put good stuff in, get good stuff out.)
Try it for yourself.
The next time you find yourself getting trapped in an anxious, stressed or depressed mood, remember that it’s your physical state that will make the difference.
Rather than allow your thoughts (your mind) to control what your body does, do something completely different.
For example, when you get stressed or anxious, don’t stay rooted to the same spot. Get up and go do something. Completely change your focus. That ‘something’ could be a hobby. It doesn’t matter. It can be anything – as long as you don’t stay trapped in the body that an anxious/stressed mind wants to keep you in.
When you can break free from this natural pattern dictated by our minds, you can break the pattern of your mood.
Put your chin up, keep your eyes up, put your shoulders back, lift your chest, breathe confidently and deeply, and smile.
You might not feel like doing these things, but that is exactly the point.
It takes time to override what our mind wants us to do naturally, but the more you become aware of this process and the more you practise, the better you’ll get.
Remember that you hold the cards. You hold the power over your mood – everyone does. It’s you who gets to choose your mood.
Choose your mood by changing what you do with your body. The rest will follow.