No one sets out to have a bad day. Can you imagine rubbing the sleep out of your eyes, stretching your stiff muscles while thinking,
Sure, you may not be in your best mood when you first get up, but you do want your day to go well, and be happy, yes? So how is it that you start out in a pretty good mood and poof: one text, one attitude, or an unexpected disruption steals your mojo and 180’s your disposition?
It happens to me all the time.
I don’t like the tone of that email. Did she just raise her bushy eyebrows at me? What did he mean by we’ll see? She didn’t answer my text, she’s mad at me! Why do I always have to clean the microwave? OMG – he didn’t say good morning back – what a jerk.
How can you and I stay happy? How do we avoid getting our cheerfulness and upbeat spirit eclipsed?
By not reacting.
You can’t change what people say and do any more than you can’t do anything about the awful weather. What you can change is how you react. A huge part of your happiness comes down to your interpretation of what’s before you, and your reaction to it.
Unless it’s a run for your life fight or flight kind of thing, don’t knee-jerk react. Pause. Take a couple of invigorating breaths and think before you speak, type, text, or act.
The happiest people do these four things every day:
- Pause. For a short five to ten seconds and just breathe.
- Remember: Think or say quietly to yourself, It’s my choice. I don’t have to react. I choose to have a good day and be happy.
- Reflect: Look at the big picture. Does it matter? What are you trying to prove? Do you need another battle? How you behave now, or the decisions you make in an unthinking moment can cause serious damage to your reputation, relationships, and career.
- Respond: Only after pausing, remembering, and reflecting can we respond appropriately to the situation before us.
Put things in perspective and don’t read too deeply into things. Not everyone has a hidden agenda or is passive aggressive. Let it go. Use your calm voice, offer encouragement, give kindness, be patient, imagine what it is like to be in “that” person’s shoes. Be mindful.
You and I are going to have a good, happy day. Fist bump! Let’s do it again tomorrow? Cheers!