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Good mood: DIY

Wouldn’t it be nice to create a good mood for yourself, even on a bad day?

We know that success breeds success. And that sometimes it works the other way too. If you want to know how you can interrupt a negative loop and be in a good mood on demand then read on.

So say you are feeling good today, your boss loves you. Your best friend just called to tell you how great you are, and you won some money on a scratchy. Everything is going well. You can’t put a foot wrong.


Why can’t you be in a good mood like this every day?

Why can’t you be in a good mood like this every day?

Well, you can.

Your mind and body are connected in a feedback loop

Your mind and body are connected in a feedback loop. And you don’t have to wait for something good to happen outside of yourself. What you think affects your behaviour. When you think good thoughts, hear great music, remember a great moment in your life, that changes how you walk. You walk with a swing in your step. The feedback loop is from your thinking to your behaviour.

The pictures you make in your head affect your behaviour. You have control over these. Take a moment to imagine in your mind’s eye someone close to you. Or think of the beach, boulevard or boardwalk from your last holiday. Relive a moment from a great dinner party. It makes you feel good. That may put a swing in your step. Again thinking affects your behaviour.


The words you say to yourself (your self-talk) and the sounds you hear also make a difference. So when everything’s going well your inner voice may be quiet. Or it could be soothing and encouraging you. You may hum a tune to yourself. Or listen to music you love. It affects your behaviour when you do this. The mind and the body connected in a feedback loop.

Similarly how you hold your body. For some people it’s easy to feel good when they’ve moving. When you sit or stand as if you’re confident, you will feel confident. Your body changes your mind (for more on this, see Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk – your body changes your mind).

Whatever affects your behaviour changes the results you get in the world. You’re happy, you smile, people smile back, that makes you smile more.

This feeds back into your body and mind and creates new results, good or bad. You think good thoughts because you’re smiling, you hum more of tune, you whistle while you work, other people are infected by your good mood and it’s an endless feedback loop.

But of course that isn’t always what happens.

On some days the printer jams. Your computer blows up. You have no mobile signal. The help desk is rude to you. Your boss refuses to budge on that deadline which will mean you have to work all weekend and miss your best friend’s party. All the spring goes out of your step. You walk with your head down.You are less patient with clients.

If you’re feeling good and smile at clients, the result is that they smile back, and extend your assignment. Conversely, if you feel bad, you may snap at them. They snap back and choose not to extend. That means you feel worse so you snap back. And the cycle of negativity continues.

DIY by interrupting the pattern

Either way it’s a feedback loop. You know this – success breeds success.

The way to influence your state of mind is to interrupt the pattern. Change the way you use your body. Change your thoughts. Re-tune the voices and sounds in your head. This can set you back you back on track to be in a good mood or change your thoughts.

Here are three things you can do to interrupt that negative loop and be in a good mood:

Put a new picture in your head

If you find yourself spiraling downwards, concentrate on a positive picture. This dispels any negative pictures you may be making without knowing it. The picture could be a real one from a book or magazine, or it could be a strong, positive memory. Try picturing something you want, (a yacht, a car, a million-dollar view), something you have (a yacht, a car, a million dollar view) or something you love (your kids, partner, a pet). It must be a strong positive image for you,one that can put you in a good mood.

Replace the words and sounds in your head

Secondly, replace the words and sounds in your heads with more positive ones.

This is the theory behind affirmations. By saying “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better” you can jam the other things your negative self-talk can come up with (e.g. “I’m a failure”).

You can also get yourself to be in a good mood by listening to music. Pay attention to the lyrics. Replacing negative self-talk with “I’m just a teenage dirt bag” may be less than effective than “Everyone’s a winner babe”. Music without lyrics will do too! Just make sure you like the music. You can listen to real music or you can just replay it in your head.

Take a walk somewhere

Thirdly, move. Ideally, take a short walk somewhere you like. If you can’t leave the room, then get up and grab a coffee or a spare pen – just moving can break the cycle. Change seats, sit back in your chair – change how you hold yourself. If you can stretch a little that also helps. Pectorals, hamstrings, or calves release tension effectively. Do it in the loo if you have to. Or try the wonder women power pose.

Check it out

Success breeds success, you know that. If you find yourself creating something else, take the time to re-program yourself.

You can DIY a good mood.

Interrupting the pattern for a moment or two with one of these ideas, or a combination of them, will put you back on track again. Every person is different – if changing thoughts or pictures don’t work for you but sounds do, then use that. If movement is the best way then know that and use it.

So you can be in a good mood.

Every time you want to.

Cindy Tonkin helps your data science consulting teams work smarter, faster and “nicer”. The program is called Smarter Data People. Click here to find out more

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