One of the key indicators of living a happy life is keeping your mindset clearly aligned with your core values. It sounds so simple, but as time ticks by, you may find yourself falling into boredom, feeling off track, and often losing your optimistic attitude.
As a life coach, I work with many people, mainly women in midlife, but truth be told, this can happen to anyone. The way out of this pattern is simple but not necessarily easy, especially as we age and become more set in our ways and create more rigid habits.
There’s the key. You have to work to become more flexible and adaptable to change if you want to live a happy life.
Here are some key points to observe about yourself that can improve your outlook so you can master your mood. For good.
Dumping tired mantras
You tell yourself many things about what you like or don’t like. We all do. But as Tony Robbins so accurately says, “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always gotten”. It’s unrealistic to expect a mood or even a lifestyle to change if you’re playing a soundtrack of limiting “greatest hits”. Just because you’ve never done, always done, or never really liked something doesn’t mean that is you forever and ever. Try changing even one of those limiting mantras, like, “I’m not much of a going out for drinks person”, to “it might be ok to go out for drinks every now and then”. The domino effect of making one small shift can be very rewarding.
Making new habits-starting small
Once you’ve decided to rewrite a few tired old lines of yours, you can start slowly on this journey of positivity with one small change of habit at a time. Do you recognize the benefits of mediation and really want to make it a part of your life but you’ve always thought “that’s a little too woo-woo” for you? Just set an alarm to wake up 15 minutes earlier, find a mediation app or yogi you like and give it a try 3 days a week. Baby steps to new habits work best.
Your personal space
The importance of home surroundings is often underestimated. Realizing that home is where you go to rest, recharge, and soothe yourself makes it a critical factor in how you show up in the world and in your mindset and happiness. So if your home is cluttered, dark, stuck in time, or just blah, decluttering and making some easy updates can give you a kickstart to lifting your spirits.
Your sense of personal style
The same holds true for the clothes you put on this one amazing body you get. Do you find your wardrobe blah, stuck in time, or that you just wear the same 6 things on rotation? It may be time to visit your closet and take an inventory.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I love this?
- Do I love how this makes me feel?
- Does this represent who I want to be in this stage of my life?
If you answer “no” to anything, it may be time to recycle and allow someone else to enjoy those threads.
Are you a positive conversationalist?
Your happiness and mood are often impacted by others around you, right? Well, that goes for you too. Are you being the negative Nancy in your group? Do you find yourself looking for the opportunity to challenge things, argue a point, or gossip about others? Going down those paths makes you less pleasant which impacts your mindset, not to mention those around you too. Paues when you feel the urge to go low, think about what good that will do, and look for the positive angle in your conversations.
Your friend group
Surround yourself with people that enhance your mood and your life. This seems simple enough, but many times the most life draining people around you are either close friends or even family! Take a hard look at what you can do to break away or limit your time around them, if possible, or just make it harder for them to drain you by staying in your own optimism and finding the positive angle. They’ll eventually tire of bringing you their life sucking drama.
Your social calendar
Look at your social life and determine if you feel like you’re overloaded or underwhelmed. It’s easy to overdo it with things we don’t like, but also to get used to being perfectly comfy at home every night. Every now and then, push yourself to do something new, maybe live theater, and allow your mind to expand in new and exciting ways.
You’re likely conditioned not to talk to strangers, and while there’s a time and place for that, it’s too often how you might behave all day every day. Lift up your eyes and face, get them out of your phone, and say hello or start a conversation. Whether in the line at the grocery store, or waiting while you get an oil change, you can single handedly turn your entire mood around by getting out of your own head and having a genuine interaction with a nearby stranger. Start today.
Changing your story
Perhaps the most vital step in managing your mood for good will come from changing the stories you have told yourself until this point. Life is ever-changing and evolving, and so should your feelings about yourself and who you are. Just because something was true about you as a child, it doesn’t define who you are until the end of time.
You’re the boss of who you are. You’re a strong and adaptable human, and you hold the key to your joy. Changing your story may require some real thought work, therapy, or a life coach, but it will be the best investment you can ever make in yourself for long term mood mastery.