Learning To Master Your Moods

"A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself."

~Proverbs 11:17

What if you wrote down every good thing that happened to you in a day.  And then you wrote down every bad thing that happened to you in a day.  Which list would be longer?  

I think it would depend on what kind of day you'd had, right?  If you've had a rough day, you're likely to be focused on those things that happened that were bad.  If you've had a great day, you're probably thinking about all the good things that happened to you.

Now think about this.

When we've had a good day, has nothing at all bad happened that day?  Was every single part of our day good?  Or was there one or two things that weren't great that we've forgotten about because we were focused on the fun we were having.  We were focused on the outing.  We were focused on the entertaining event.  We forgot about the lousy sandwich we had for lunch.  We forgot about the driver that cut us off on the way home.  We hardly even noticed the rude clerk at the grocery store.  

That's because our focus was positive.  

You'll find the same thing is true on a bad day.  There's good things that will happen on bad days, right?  But we don't see them, because we've let something shift our focus from being positive to being negative and all we see is the negative that day.

I've been thinking about this lately.  When I have a bad day.  What was it that started it?  It's usually something small.  It's something insignificant early in the day--sometimes it's a rude email that I'll focus on and let fester.  Sometimes it's waiting in line behind somebody at the coffee shop that's indecisive. Somebody is complaining, or being a jerk. Small, meaningless stuff.  

Sometimes if you'll just stop  and ask yourself if stewing on that little thing is worth potentially derailing your day, you'll realize you're making a bad choice, and you can focus on what's going right.  You can find something to be grateful for.  You can change your day by simply changing your mood by changing your focus.  

And here's one more thought--our bad day isn't going to stay our bad day.  More often than not bad moods are more contagious than the common cold.  You can give it to other people really easily.  The same is true of being a positive person though.  Which contagion would you rather spread?  

We are going to have seriously bad days where real crisis occur.  But more often than not, our "bad days" aren't really that bad.  It's just our mood that's been bad.  And you can fix that simply by shifting your focus.  

~Todd E. Creason