Ever had one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong? Nothing major or life-changing, but maybe you spilled your coffee on the way to work because you were speeding…because you were running late…because you overslept…etc. One of those days where one little thing leads to another and suddenly you’re in a crummy mood and ready for the day to be over.
Days like these are bound to happen. Will you remember that spilled coffee a week from now? Probably not. But in the moment, all the little things seem so…major. And they can leave you in a cranky, upset mood you just can’t seem to shake for the rest of the day. In instances like these, mindsets can make all the difference. You could accept the mood and let every perceived slight of the rest of the day get to you while hoping in spite of it all that your day miraculously gets better, OR you could make a conscious effort to change your mood and the way you perceive the rest of the day’s events.
Let’s explore option B (that is the one you chose, right?). How exactly do you change your mood? The answer might be surprising: by planning ahead.
Hear me out.
No, this doesn’t mean planning not to spill your coffee. It means planning how you will react to the spilled coffee. Or arriving late. Or oversleeping. Or any other multitude of ordinary (albeit annoying) events that have the potential to ruin your mood. Plan to be happy, by making a happy list!
There are various versions of what a happy list can look like. It could simply be a list of things that make you happy in life (like ). I prefer a more practically applicable alternative; a happy list with an actionable component. Specifically; things that you can do to change your mood in 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 minutes.
In five minutes you can get a good snuggle session in with your favorite furry friend, in fifteen minutes you can get a breath of fresh air while you listen to a couple of your favorite songs, in one hour you can get a . See how it works?
So, get to work on building that happy list. Next time you’re having a bad day, take a second to look at it and pick an item off the list that you can use to help boost your mood. Every action has a reaction. Plan your reaction, plan your happy!
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