I spilled coffee over the keyboard, an editor e-mailed saying payment hasn’t been processed, and the vegies I was planning to use in the soup, had spoiled. None of these are a big deal, but these little annoyances had me in a funk. Now, I needed to raise my positive energy before the whole day went haywire.
Often we let the little things determine how we feel our entire day. A few things go wrong or we have to cope with some little hassles and we think “whelp, I guess I’m just having one of those days.”
Yet, just as a few annoyances can lower our mood a few little tweaks can trigger our positive energy and make the whole day better.
Strut Your Good Stuff
Sometimes, simply changing your physiology can pull you out of the doldrums. In the 80s psychologist Robert Zajonc found that when the small facial muscles move into the shape of a smile they also trigger specific brain functions that are associated with happiness. So fire up a big fake grin and you’ll start to diffuse negative feelings.
Now German researchers say, putting a bounce in your step can also raise happiness levels. People who altered their gait to walk with a more energetic and uplifted stride – head up, shoulders back — felt happier and more positive.
Other research shows that people who are feeling sad or depressed tend to sit and walk slumped over, shoulders down. But, when we lift up our posture, pull back our shoulders, and stand tall we feel better.
It’s easy to let the little things get us down. Next time, though, when you feel yourself falling into a cycle of niggling annoyance and negativity put a little spring in your step. It may be enough to change your mood and your day.