Improving my mood

I’m getting better at detecting my mood through mindfulness; I’m still noticing it on a small subset of cases, but it’s improving! The trick is simple, but hard to execute: I just stop and think “what am I feeling right now?” and then asking “why?” until I get to the root cause.

Sometimes, noticing is enough for things to improve.

Other times, I just realize that I’m slightly dehydrated or sleepy, and I need water or a nap (or both!).

There are a few times, though, that I’m sad or angry about something that’s happening; this has been going on more and more recently due to some health issues in the family, and this is trickier for me to notice and much harder to fix. When I do realize this is happening, there are two actions I take to improve my mood that work extremely well in just a few minutes.

Writing down 3 things I’m grateful for

This is pretty self-explanatory: you pick up a notebook / blank file and write down three things you’re grateful for on that day.

I try to always think about different things, depending on the situation. If I’m thinking about health issues, I like to remind myself that I’m breathing well (I usually take that for granted, even though I live with asthma); if I’m thinking about a fight with someone, I remember they are alive and well. All things considered, I also like to remember that I am alive and well.

The tricky part here is to not just write this quickly and move on, but to actually feel it. This is not a to-do list item, put some heart to it!

Wishing other people to be happy

This is extremely effective and super quick to do. It’s something that I first found via Tim Ferriss and have used by myself and with the help of the Calm iOS app.

Here is what you do: you think about someone you love, and repeat (in your head) the following mantra:

I wish you to be happy. I wish you to be safe. I wish you to be healthy. I wish you to be at peace.

Then, think about someone difficult, and repeat the same mantra. Feel the words. Feel the meaning. Let yourself really get into that mindset.

Last by not least, think about yourself and repeat the same mantra. Love yourself.

This is it. I hope it helps!

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