19 Mar Happiness is…putting on a jacket or changing jeans for a pair of shorts!
Do you want to know how happiness is related to what you wear? Or whether or not you pull out and put up your umbrella? Then keep reading because today's blog is based on a nice, simple metaphor that could have profound effects not just on your happiness but more so, on your life…
In short, my proposition for today is that your moods are like the weather. What do I mean by that? Quiet simply that…
they change frequently
you might not always like them but they don't necessarily have anything to do with you
you don't always ask for them (like a storm or the rain or extreme heat)
and you certainly can't completely control them
But, and this is a very important but…
YOU CAN DEFINITELY CONTROL HOW YOU RESPOND TO THEM
Let me make this a bit clearer.
I'm sure there have been days when you've looked out the window or walked out the door and thought something like…it's too hot; or it's too cold; or it's too windy or, well, I think you get the idea by now.
And I'm sure on those days you've not necessarily tried (directly) to change the weather! We know we can't do that.
But I'm guessing what you have done is weighed up various options and considered taking off a layer of clothing or putting on a layer of clothing or changing that jumper for a rain jacket or throwing an umbrella in your bag…just in case.
Well, we can do the same things with our moods and if we do so, I can guarantee you'll enjoy more happiness.
Well, to begin with, don't necessarily try to change your mood; just like the weather, it can't always be changed directly. And don't necessarily "own" the mood…it doesn't have to be you! Instead, accept it for what it is and consider how you can respond to it; what you can do about it; whether or not you can prepare yourself to deal with the "storm" as best you can.
Just like we can put on an extra jumper or swap our jeans for shorts so too can we utillise various emotional regulation strategies (or mood enhancing skills) to manage negative and unpleasant emotions such as stress and depression and maximise positive and enjoyable emotions such as happiness and joy and pride and satisfaction. And the good news is that the more we do this sort of thing the better we get, the easier it becomes and the more effective our efforts will be.
So look at your moods as clouds, that will float into and out of your life. Watch them pass without necessarily owning or attaching to them; and then determine whether or not you need to or want to react and if so, what might help you through as best as possible.
PS: if you're not sure how to cope with the "weather" and struggle to identify of utilise appropriate coping strategies then consider one or more of the following….
we have a range of courses and events coming up, all over Australia, including several in Melbourne, Canberra, Newcastle and Sydney run by me, Dr. Happy, personally – more details HERE
The Happiness Institute has a range of great products, including books and CDs, all based on the science of positive psychology and designed to help you life a great life – more details HERE
I (Dr. Sharp) have developed a self-help program for depression that includes unlimited online support from qualified psychologists – HERE
Or if you'd prefer to work individually with one of our expert, clinical psychologists you can find out more HERE
As always, I hope this helps and look forward to your thoughts and comments, or questions which you can post on our Facebook Page HERE