We all experience ups and downs. It is natural for our outlook, energy, and enthusiasm to change from day to day or even from appointment to appointment. So, while our perspective can ebb and flow - there are a number of things that we can do to help ourselves meet the challenges of the day.
None of these ideas will be new. But it is not enough to know it - we must do it. We have to take the actions to get the results we want. So take a moment to actually DO one of these approaches because your day will get better - if even only by a little.
1. It Starts With Attitude
We can influence the events of our day by the feelings we carry and the attitudes we foster. If you find yourself stuck on one conversation gone bad or if you are looking forward to a meeting that you are unsure about, those "less than serene" moments can pile up and dramatically affect how your day is going . So when you find your day turning into something overwhelming stop and use whatever strategy you need to get you back on track. Among many others, here are some methods I've use:
Even as I write this I sat up a little straighter in my chair. Am I feeling up? Down? How did that last sales call go? My body is going to reflect whatever my mind and heart is experiencing. But it goes beyond this - study after study shows that how we hold our body also affects our mind. Kinda weird, yes. But totally true.
In fact, there is a wave of apps and cloud-synced devices that will help you keep you shoulders back and your back straight. Check out the Lumo Lift if this appeals to you. Honestly, I'm not sure if I want that many reminders - but it would probably be good for me.
For a less techie approach let's take a page from Mark Rashid's book. Mark is a gifted horse whisperer and motivational speaker who recommends focusing on the solar plexus, situated just below the rib cage. When you breathe deeply and concentrate on this area, you will notice immediate confidence and peace of mind. This one technique can help you center yourself even when faced with challenging work situations or while being stuck in traffic.
3. Enjoy the Small Pleasures of life
We can all take for granted life’s potential pleasures. It is easy to do. Take, for example, something that happens every day - sleep. At some point I'm sure that we have all looked at sleep as an inconvenient necessity rather than something to be deeply enjoyed. In fact, how many of us brag about how little sleep we need? While some act as if they don't care about sleep others are tormented because they can't get enough.
I've worked with many people troubled by insomnia and general poor sleep. They are up for an hour or more - staring at the clock. Worried they won't be able to go back to sleep. While missing sleep can be a cause of great unhappiness, our attitude, again, can shape our actual experience.
For example, I have a friend who insists that the times that he wakes in the middle of the night are some of the most peaceful and serene moments of his life. Listening to the quiet house. Taking time to pay attention to what he is grateful for. Listening to the (sometimes) funny sounds of his wife breathing as she sleeps. It is all about perspective and my friend has figured this one out.
4. For Better or For Worse - Review Your Attitude
The next time you are having a bad day at work don't try to avoid the feelings - dig into them a little bit. Take a moment and look around at what is actually going on. Chances are that there is no fully apparent reason why you are feeling unhappy. Whatever is going on, often, is a jumbled mess of future worries and past experiences in collision with your in-the-moment common sense. Just remember you are the conductor of your life. You determine the way you see others and the world. So review your approach to the moment - clear your mind - and get yourself back on track.
5. Be a Positive Influence to Others Around You
If you are into experimenting and want to have a bit of fun try this one on for size. The next time you are meeting with co-workers or even clients simply bounce into the room happily with a big smile on your face and see how the room reacts! Likely some will be unamused - let them stay in their misery. Others will embrace you like a breath of fresh air.
The reality is that in our overly serious business culture there are companies that actually discourage and do everything within their power to squash happiness and friendship. If you happen to be at one of those places, seriously, my heart goes out to you. It may be time to realize that not all companies are run this way. And if you happen to be the owner of a company with poor morale and dissatisfaction just remember that this didn't happen overnight - but it can be changed for the better.
6. Love Your Work - Love Your Life
It is important beyond measure to pay attention to what is going right in our lives. As we do we'll find the list of things we are grateful continue to grow. We can find daily happiness in our work and in our life. When you embrace the small pleasures in life you not only appreciate them in the moment, but you also pave the way for being ready for still more good fortune.
Every situation we're presented with can be an opportunity for personal growth and professional development. Difficult times call on us to dig in to our inner resources and push through. Good times are a reminder that the hard work we have put in is paying off. The thing to remember is that there is a lot of power in patience and determination. Put your mind at ease and get ready for the next hill to climb. Life can be energetic, joyful and wonderful or it can be bumpy, busy and hectic - it’s your call.
If you feel like sharing, it would be great to hear what you do to pump up the levity, happiness, and brightness in your life. Have a great day!