This article shows how your current mood can be always be happiness, simply by shifting your emotions the way you want them.
Your Current Mood
Depending on your mood, you will see things in a certain way. For instance if you are feeling happy, certain things that are not so happy will not have the same impact. On the other hand if you are feeling unhappy then positive things may also have no impact.
If you are in a negative mood it pays to be aware of it. For instance, the other day I was quite stressed out, being Christmas Eve and having some problems with last minute shopping and expecting the plumber to arrive to do some emergency work.
It took me some time to calm down and see things rationally. But when the plumber had left and the sink was fixed, I was able to settle down an enjoy the rest of the day.
If you ask most people 'Do You Want To Be Happy?', most will say 'yes'. However a lot of people live their lives from one extreme to another. They are on an emotional rollercoaster, wildly happy at one end and wildly angry or depressed at the other end.
Our emotions are actually quite addictive. We get addicted to happiness and when circumstances are not perfect, we descend into the hellfire of anger or depression.
Of course, when you are sad you get attention from others, as well as connection and sympathy.
When you get angry, your brain blocks off access to the prefrontal cortex, which is the logic and reasoning part of the brain, and you are left with the primitive amygdala or lizard brain that is the fight or fight brain.
Often if you have an argument with someone you might walk away from it and still harbour the anger for a day or days at a time. Indeed it can run almost permanently - think of instances of family feuds.
6 Techniques to Reprogram your Brain for Happiness
So how do we get the thinking brain to switch back on so we can be more logical, or more happy?
Technique 1: Change Your Mood - Become Centred
This is a lot easier than you might think. If you find yourself in a primitive state such as anger or fear, simply put your hand on your heart, close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes.
See if you can hear or feel your heartbeat. What you are doing is to focus on the now, not on the emotion or the circumstances leading to it. In biological terms, your mind is re-synchronising itself to your heartbeat (normal rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute).
Technique 2: Change Your Mood - Change Your Posture
Another way you can do it is to change your posture. If you have ever seen a video of a speaker they will have a certain posture and body language.
When you are angry you set a posture that is 'ready for war'. When you are happy you have a different posture.
You can change your mood by changing your posture. Stand tall and look forward, engaging yourself with what you see, and smile.
When you adopt a posture associated with happiness or any other desirable emotion, you body actually produces the chemicals that actually make you feel good. It's like 'faking it until you're making it'.
Technique 3: Change Your Mood By Making Yourself Laugh!
A good way to do this is to do what's called 'laughter yoga'. This is a technique developed by Dr Madan Kataria. The idea is that by laughing voluntarily (ie with no particular stimulus to laugh) causes the body to produce the same response as a 'natural' laugh. See the video below for more information.
The actual process of laughing produces all the feel good chemicals such as endorphins and dopamine, and reduces the stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine.
Even if you are not initially feeling happy - this will change quickly once you just go through the motions.
You may have noticed this when you go to a party or watch a show where everyone else is laughing. Most comedies have a laugh track to get the audience going.
Technique 4: Watch A Funny Movie
Needless to say there are plenty of funny movies out there. One of the best sequences I have seen is in the original film 'Mary Poppins' (1964) where they visit 'Uncle Albert' who has a 'laughing problem':
You can get the lyrics here: https://www.metrolyrics.com/i-love-to-laugh-lyrics-mary-poppins.html
By consciously making laughter and joy, you can choose the way you feel and you can choose your current mood.
What you say to yourself can easily affect your mood. Therefore if you want to be happy you need to say happy things to yourself.
Technique 5: Stick On Some Music
Have music around - if you want to feel triumphant, play triumphant music. If you want to feel laid back, pick laid back music.
Essentially, you are not your emotions and your emotions do not create you. You decide your emotions.
A lot of people miss this.
Technique 6: Practice Gratitude.
Another big factor in improving your mood is Gratitude.
Simply expressing gratitude - either in a journal or explicitly to others - has been shown to improve people's mood significantly.
If you find yourself feeling not so great, consider changing your thoughts to express gratitude for something, or to someone. Even better call them up. That way both of you will change your emotional state.
After all, there is an entire holiday devoted to gratitude in the US and Canada.
You can find a listing of good Gratitude journals here.
Here's A Gratitude Exercise To Change Your Mood To Joy and Happiness
I suggest you think carefully about the questions then write out the answers on a separate sheet of paper.
- Think of someone in your life to express gratitude to.
- Write a letter to them - at least 300 words - informing them of the things about them that you are grateful for.
- Finally, consider giving it to them and sharing your happiness and joy.
- You will be astounded at the results!
There is a saying (misattributed to Buddha) that says 'we are what we think'. In other words, it all starts with the mind and then proceeds to reality. If we want to feel happiness, we think and then act happy, then we feel and are happy.
We are in control of our mind, and therefore our happiness. The key is awareness.
If you would like to learn a bit more about becoming aware, check out 'The New Science of Super Awareness' by Bill Harris. You can obtain a free copy here.