The "Bad Mood" Lifestyle: 11 Ways to Turn Yours Around and Create a Powerful NewReality
another bad day. Your Internet is down. You discover a past-due credit
card bill. Thesalesclerk rings up your order wrong. A traffic jam makes
you late to pick up your child at daycare. Oh, nothing catastrophic
occurs, just a series of frustrating delays, minor mishaps, and dropped
details that, cumulatively, make you crazy. All at once you realize:
I'm in a terrible mood, again. In fact, it's hard to remember the last
time I was in a really good mood. What am I doing wrong ... and what
can I do to change it?
alone. More people than ever before are bogged down in the monotony of
chronic bad moods, according to Brenda Anderson, vice president for
global business development for SmithBucklin, an association management
company. And it tends to be the little things--rather than, say, a
serious injury or the death of a friend--that set the spiral into
motion. Because we have such frantic schedules, there's more
opportunity for things to go wrong ... and our agitation makes every
issue seem more profound.
Anderson is the author of Playing the Quantum Field: How Changing Your Choices Can Change Your Life.
become bad days, which become bad weeks, which become bad months and
years," says Anderson. "Before you know it, you're living an unhappy
life and you probably think this is 'normal.' No wonder anti-depressant
use is at an all-time high. It's a shame, because life can and should
be wonderful. You can transcend the circumstances that are pulling you
down ... you need only to learn how."
these maddening details – cancelled flights, missed appointments,
bad haircuts – just reality? No, says Anderson. Your reality
depends entirely on your choices: what you choose to observe and how
you choose to see it. (Most of us view a cancelled flight as "bad," and
that attitude triggers a bad mood –but we could just as easily
see it as a chance to meet interesting people in the airport bar or
spend a few fun hours shopping.)
whose work is based on recent scientific research and discoveries in
Quantum Physics, said every single thought we entertain connects us
directly to the endless potential inherent in the Quantum Field. The
key to true fulfillment is making "thought choices" that yield a high
ROE (return on energy) –instead of low-ROE choices that deplete
your resources and create more drama in your life.
choice you make counts," she said. "The impact of your choices, no
matter how insignificant they may seem, is cumulative. Over time, the
results expand. If your choices are negative, negative results expand
and beget more negative results. If they're positive, the converse
"This is why
you have days when nothing goes right and you descend into a Black
Hole," Anderson explained. "You're operating in the Fear Zone, and you
feel restlessness, anger, frustration, despair, or apathy. Other days,
everything 'clicks.' Doors open, obstaclesmelt away, golden
opportunities materialize. On these days you're operating in the Power
Zone, and it's a place of willingness, acceptance, optimism, and
trust." Clearly, moving into the Power Zone helps us create larger,
more rewarding lives.
But how do we begin to stop making fearful choices and start making powerful ones? Anderson offers some helpful hints:
Believe that you really do have the power to "create" your life.
very powerful. It generates portals of possibility. Believe you can
lose the weight or get a great job or meet your life partner –
and you can. Every morning when you get up, you have a choice about how
to create your day. Why not choose to Believe? When you do, you step
into your true power. And make no mistake: believing is a choice. "I
recently heard about an interview with his Holiness the Dalai Lama in
which he was asked why he remained so positive in spite of all of the
insurmountable challenges he and his people faced," Anderson writes.
"He simply and quietly replied, 'It feels better.'"
Be aware of the seductive power of negativity.
reason, negative, low-energy emotions and limiting beliefs are more
tempting than positive emotions and empowering beliefs. We are more
familiar with them, perhaps even more comfortable. After all, when we
make low energy choices we don't have to be accountable and change our
behavior or solve problems. We can just complain and blame. And misery
does love company; you'll find plenty of people to back you up and add
some complaints of their own. "These low-energy emotions and the
victimmentality they engender pull you away from the life you want,"
says Anderson. "The second you doubt or diminish yourself, you step
into the Black Hole. The more you feed it with worry, fear, anger, and
stress, the larger it becomes and the faster you sink, making it harder
to get out. The more hate, negativity, and judgment you throw at a
problem, the bigger it gets. Everything feels more challenging because
your internal expression has gone from a can-do, open approach to a
dark place of scarcity that affects your family, your job, and
everything you touch."
Give up your need to control.
There is a
big difference between "power" and "force." Power gives life and
energy; force takes them away. Unfortunately, most of us try to control
and overpower, using our energy to manipulate individuals and
situations. (Micromanaging, suspicion, and negativity are signs that
you're using force.) Problem is, force doesn't work. It is a low-ROE
choice that feels bad to everyone involved. You simply can't control
the reactions of other people. And though you may feel completely
justified in using force, it usually results in a lose-lose outcome. On
the other hand, when you operate from a place of power, controlling
only yourself and your actions, you will always have a high ROE.
Anderson recalls a pattern of force she fell into with Patrick, a
gifted salesperson who never seemed to get his weekly reports filled
out. No matter how much she nagged and reminded him, she didn't get
what she wanted. Neither did Patrick. Finally, she made a conscious
effort to redirect her energy from force to power. "We finally agreed
that he could turn in his reports every other month and they'd be
prepared by one of my employees in the regional office in Chicago,"
writes Anderson. "Think of all the energy wasted traveling to Texas to
hassle him about admin policy when I could have been asking him how I
could best help him to do his job better!"
State your intention and let go of the outcome.
So, if you
can't control situations, how do you ever get what you want? You
clearly state your intention –and the result finds you. Your
challenge is to let it find you. Rather than working harder or muscling
an outcome, focus on what you want. Zero in on the what – a
fulfilling relationship, a great job, the perfect house--not the how.
"Think of the Field as a cosmic version of QVC," writes Anderson. "They
both have everything you could possibly want, are 'on' twenty-four
hours a day, and are waiting to fill your order. With the cosmic QVC,
you imagine what you want, and you don't have to figure out whether to
shop online or by phone or determine the size, model number, or which
credit card to use. You just need to be clear on what you want to
create in your life."
Choose not to be a victim.
If you put
yourself last, you'll be treated as last. (This is a problem that
women, in particular, create.) Put yourself first. Care for the
caretaker. Choosing to serve is different from being a martyr. If you
stay home with your children out of fear or a feeling of obligation,
you're operating from force, not power, because you're trying to make
something work that doesn't inherently support your best interest.
Instead of saying "I'm not going back to work right now because my
family needs me at home," say, "I'm not going back to work right now
because I choose to be home for my children."
Consciously search for high-energy choices.
every choice you make expands your life exponentially. Even tiny
moments are critical. That's why you must always be on the alert to
make high-energy choices whenever possible. In her book Anderson relays
a story about a dinner she was invited to early on in her career. It
was a "power meal"with her company's new CEO, and Anderson felt out of
her league. She nervously picked up a sour dough roll and began to eat
it, realizing too late that she wasn't sure which bread plate was hers.
A hush fell over the room as the CEO turned to her and quietly said,
"Are you enjoying my bread?" Mortified, Anderson searched for a
high-energy response. "I took a breath," she writes. "'Well, you
weren't eating it!' I joked, flashing him a big smile. And he laughed.
Actually, he howled. Everyone exhaled, and the conversations resumed as
the atmosphere lightened up. I had chosen the power end of the Energy
Spectrum: courage, not fear. Instead of getting horribly embarrassed
and apologizing, I spoke from my power. Had I let the fear take over, I
would have fumbled, apologized, tuned out for the rest of the meal, and
missed out on loads of opportunity."
Stop the Head Trips.
You're on a
Head Trip when you mentally replay the same scenario and what-ifs over
and over in your mind. It wears you down and creates anticipatory
fatigue about something that will probably never happen.
Unhappy starts to stressful days can be turned around.
The more energy you expend on this type of mental exhaustion, the more it grows. Here are several ways to curtail them:
Identify your triggers. Knowing
the issues that set off a Head Trip – aging, appearance, money,
sex, career – can help you short-circuit them.
Manage the angst. When
you Head Trip, your body kicks in with symptoms of stress. You may find
it helpful to walk, run, swim, or dance to move this energy from your
head and into your body and out.
Get a reality check. Ask yourself, Do I have my facts right?
Get out of your head and into action. You probably know the next step you need to take, and the Head Trip is actually about the steps after that.
you are responsible for the life you create. When you find yourself in
a chaotic situation, realize that you created it. And if you create
chaos, you can also create calm. When you find yourself in a
"hurricane," stop the mental jabber and halt the Head Trips. Make your
intention crystal clear. Then, review the challenges you're facing and
make deliberate (high-energy) choices.
We all make
hundreds of judgments every day and seldom realize they are mostly
inaccurate. Learn to let go of your interpretations of and opinions
about others, outcomes, and especially yourself. This will immediately
take you out of the Fear Zone of low-energy choices and expand your
possibilities. For example, when someone does not return your call, you
probably jump to a single conclusion (He's not interested; She's mad at
me; They're too busy to make time for me). This assumption may lead to
a great deal of upset and stress. Next time such an event occurs,
instead of leaping to a negative conclusion imagine at least one more
possibility (Their voicemail isn't working; They have a hectic
schedule). "Suspending judgment stops a downward spiral before it
begins, allowing you to make more powerful, and less obvious, choices,"
writes Anderson. "You'll tap into the Field and experience frequent
creative breakthroughs, better one-on-one relationships, and less
negativity in your life."
Don't miss opportunities to Lighten Up.
Up is the expressway to making the higher-energy choices. Laughter
enables you to break away from the intensity and drama of a situation.
What's more, it's amazing how people respond when you're playful and in
the moment. In her book, Anderson describes a situation in which she
missed a chance to Lighten Up. She was leading a meeting held in a
Mexico resort city and was desperate to make a good impression on the
executives in attendance. A midmorning coffee and fruit break had been
scheduled. As break time neared, Anderson expected the hotel staff to
discreetly begin setting up. Instead, a crash of cymbals rang out, the
door flew open, and a man in a gorilla suit burst into the room and
began passing out bananas. The author was furious. "Rather than seizing
the opportunity to make light of the situation and have fun with it, I
politely escorted the gorilla out of the room," she recalls. "Since he
spoke no English and I spoke very little Spanish, we relied on hand
signals to communicate, which made him seem even more like a gorilla.
When I returned, I apologized for what had happened. If there was ever
a time in my career to Lighten Up and laugh, it would have been then.
But I just couldn't do it. I was too terrified that they thought I was
an imbecile for scheduling this, and I lost a precious opportunity to
connect with my colleagues that day."
post with SmithBucklin, Anderson also serves as CEO of the Society of
Incentive and Travel Executives (SITE). Playing the Quantum Field: How
Changing Your Choices Can Change Your Life is available at bookstores
nationwide and major online booksellers.