Mood Altering Without Drugs

Mood Altering Without Drugs

Who wants to be around cranky people?  Most likely none of your customers, suppliers or fellow team members.  However, it is almost impossible not to go through mood swings in a typical workday, especially on those days when nothing seems to go right.  What can you do to go from scowl to smile?


That is a question that Alexander Caillet, an organizational psychologist, Jeremy Hirshberg (Center for Creative Leadership) and Stefano Petti (Asterys, Rome, Italy) attempted to answer by researching how 740 leaders attempted to change bad moods to good ones.  They found there is one method that if used regularly can help you change from a negative to a positive state of mind.  They call it CHE – calm, happy and energized.  It’s a four-step process that begins with breathing.

The benefit of taking deep breaths and exhaling is that is helps to physiologically balance the central nervous system.  When you inhale, your heart speeds up and when you exhale it slows down, helping you to clear your head, focus and make better decisions.

Step 2 is to focus on a happy place.  No kidding.  Think of something that makes you smile or that you are grateful for.  If you like the beach, take a moment to look up pictures of your last beach vacation.  What this does is release neurochemicals that can improve your perspective and mood and “help us remain alert, curious and engaged,” writes Caillet, Hirshberg and Petti.

Step 3 involves reframing your thinking to look at the same thing differently.  Ask, given the current situation, what’s a better alternative? Is there an opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade?  What’s important and what are the lessons that the situation teaches?  What do you heart and gut say?  What outcome do we need to get to and how do we accomplish reaching the goal? Try to find a positive in the negative staring you in the face.

Step 4 requires changing your attitude and action.  This is not easy because you have to put your emotions on the back burner and desire to lash out at a problem.  Resetting your thinking is calming and helps to provide a better perspective than complaining about what has happened or what is.  Instead, you focus on what can potentially be a better outcome.


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