On 11 March, I published a post about a simple but effective mood raiser, how I was able to raise my mood by going for a walk.
I have been for several walks since then, planned to go again today but a late cold snap and snow after a few warm days has made a walk less attractive.
Sometimes raising our mood is more of a challenge, requiring more tactics to transform our mood.
A few days ago, I read a post on Moodraiser by Adam Khan – The Top Ten Ways to Raise your Mood. All simple, none will cost you any money and because I have been using several of them myself for years, I know that they are effective.
Today I am only going to expand on three, and remind you of one, if you want to discover the other six, go to the link above, you will be glad you did.
Number 2 on the Moodraiser list is:
Looking at personal photos. The benefit from this is considerably higher than from eating chocolate, listening to music, drinking alcohol or watching television.
Comparing your situation to something worse. I find this a very good way to get over feelings of frustration about my life in Canada. I just have to compare my life now with the situation we were in after losing everything in the chaos of the farm take-overs in Zimbabwe to get things in perspective. Political correctness, disregard (in my opinion) for individual and property rights and a brutally cold winter here are small burdens compared to my treatment at the hands of Mugabe’s police. I wrote about that experience in three posts starting here. Adversity: The Day I lost all my coffee cups.
I recall a day soon after arriving here when I was helping a neighbouring farmer by driving an open tractor during the last traces of a major storm. It was 3C, pouring rain, I was not wearing a wet suit, just a semi rainproof jacket. I was cold and miserable. When I got back to the farm base, the farmer was apologetic, asked why I had not come in earlier. My response was that; wet and cold as I was, it was still infinitely better than an overcrowded police cell in Zimbabwe.
That put it in perspective for me. I remember the comparison whenever I am tempted to whine about my situation.
Number 6: Think of something you are grateful for.
This one is complimentary to the one above. It is something I have been doing as part of my daily routine for a few years. I write 5 things that I am grateful for in a Gratitude Journal every day. It does not take much heart searching to come up with 5 things to be grateful for even on a bad day. Here’s 5 that the millions of people living in Africa would be eternally grateful for: Clean tap water, sanitary toilets, electricity, school transport, security.
Makes you realise that things are not too bad when many of the things you take for granted would change less fortunate people’s lives completely.
Number 8: Do some exercise. I know how effective this one is. I mention it again as a reminder for you.
Tenth on the list: Reframe a circumstance.
The idea behind this, is that although we cannot change the circumstance that has made us unhappy, we can change how we feel about it. We can reframe it, look at it another way.
My younger son recently made me acutely aware of this when we were chatting on Skype. It was on a particularly cold day, we had almost finished what I had thought was a more than adequate supply of wood for heating our old farmhouse for two winters. I was not enjoying my life in Canada very much. I happened to mention that, with hindsight, moving to Canada had been a mistake, we should have gone to England.
Bryan’s response was that when we moved to Canada, we had almost no other options. Australia had said we were too old, most of the people we knew of who had gone to New Zealand were struggling. We did not have resources or time to apply to the USA, anywhere else in Africa at our age was out of the question. At the time, most of the rest of our family who subsequently moved to the UK were still in Zimbabwe and undecided on their futures, but we had my elder son Shaun in Canada and it appeared we would be accepted as immigrants.
That very effectively reframed it for me, similar to my response in number 4 above, being a bit cold, snow bound and short of wood is still infinitely better than a police cell or worse in Zimbabwe.
How do you raise your mood? Share any additional ideas by leaving a comment.
Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net