How to take back control of your mood

Changing your mood can make the day more pleasant and productive

Even when something objectively negative happens, it’s important to focus on the positive things that are also happening

Even when something objectively negative happens, it’s important to focus on the positive things that are also happening

 

Life can be full of frustrations. How can you change your mood when you have started your day off on the wrong foot? How do you stop annoyances from dragging you down and killing your productivity?

The good news is you can turn a bad day into a good one. “Happiness is a choice,” says Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage. Even when something objectively negative happens, it’s important to focus on the positive things that are also happening.

“Studies show that when you’re positive, you’re 31 per cent more productive, you’re 40 per cent more likely to receive a promotion, you have 23 per cent fewer health-related effects from stress and your creativity rates triple,” he explains.

Discontent is also contagious, adds Annie McKee, the founder of the Teleos Leadership Institute and co-author of Primal Leadership. “Your negative emotions spread like wildfire,” she explains. “It’s worth changing your mood, not just to make your day more pleasant and productive but to spare those around you.”

So what can you do when you are in a downward spiral? Here are some ideas:

Pinpoint the problem

Take a moment to be grateful

Sure, you may have had a fender bender or missed an appointment, but there are other, perhaps more important, things in your life that are going well.

Take action

Change your routine

Reset realistic expectations

Learn from your bad days to prevent future ones

If you’ve tried the above strategies, make a note of what works for you and what doesn’t, and “be more precise in the future in how you turn things around”. – (Copyright Harvard Business Review 2015 ) Amy Gallo is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review

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