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The Sunny Side of Your Mind: Five Steps Towards Improving Your Mood



This is obviously a takeoff on the song, "The Sunny Side of the Street." This is the second installment on the theme of Victimhood and how and why one should resist the temptation to go there because it is so destructive to one's life. Unfortunately, I speak from personal experience. It's not that I have been a true victim in life or really considered myself one, but I must admit that I have entered in that pond from time to time in an effort to soothe my "inner child" by wallowing in self pity. Unfortunately, it never works. Thinking dark unhappy thoughts, regardless of your intent, still and always will create dark unhappy feelings and moods; it is a simple case of cause and effect. Your mood does not take sides; it just does what it is told. Thus sad thoughts create sad feelings every time. In other words, you can't win by being a victim; life just doesn't work that way and it only leads one into a vicious cycle of anger, sadness and negativity (not a good formula for a happy life.).

Please don't misunderstand my intent here, unfortunately life does create some actual victims and I am not in any way trying to minimize the suffering of these brave souls. In fact, I am saying just the opposite, there are true victims and those who just want to wear that mantle. And then there are those people of superior character and courage who are true victims but transcend it all the same.

The realization that I have finally come to after living more decades than I enjoy admitting to is that "mood conquers all." I used to think, believe and accept that a bad or dark mood was the direct result of my circumstances and until and unless this was changed, I had no choice but to suffer the consequence of my current life situation. This led me, in my younger days, to seeking out venues where I could drink and party to boost my mood or think of the "magic scheme" that would free me from my rollercoaster like emotional ride.

Then one day, when my partying days were over, I learned the truth about one's mood. That truth is that mood, for the most part, is not so much controlled by ones circumstances, which we cannot often control, but by ones thoughts, which we can.

As the song goes, "I used to walk in the shade with my blues on parade," but "Life can be so sweet on the sunny side of the street," the same holds true with your thinking. So now that we know what not to do here is my formula for a lifetime stroll down the "sunny side of your mind."

Five Steps Towards Improving Your Mood

Make it your Intention to be a Happier Person: This may sound simplistic and even a bit Pollyannaish, but it is nothing of the sort. I hereby give you permission to feel okay or even good even when things aren't going your way. Those of us who wait for everything to be just right to feel good have a long wait indeed. Believe it or not but feeling good and having a good experience can be mutually exclusive, in an overall sense. Like having a positive attitude even when things don't go your way.

Maintain Awareness: Be aware of your negative thinking and nip it in the bud

Make Your Happy List: Write down a list of the things in life that make you feel happy when you think about them, preferably things that you have actually experienced and carry positive emotions. Both see and feel these experiences in your mind.

Daily Practice: Go over your "List' in your mind on a daily basis, as many times as possible especially upon rising and before sleeping. Do this at least three times a day for the first two weeks and then as often as possible.

Going Forward: Then revert to your Happy List whenever you catch yourself feeling bad or in a dark mood.
What I have written here is not just a theory, it is a simple and practical way of feeling "Happier," which I use myself and teach to my clients with excellent results.

So give it a try, the only thing you have to lose is the blues!

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