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Mind Over Mood
01 August 2008 01:09 am
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You do not need to feel overwhelmed by stress, fear, fatigue, or anxiety. Use these simple mind over mood tips to feel better and calmer.

Staying In the Present

A mind over mood strategy that can be very effective is to stay in the present. This means to focus on things that are going on in your immediate environment. Often times worries and stress are a direct result of focusing on things that have happened in the past or being concerned with things in the future. Staying in the present can be accomplished by making a decision to focus on the simple pleasures in life, like a cup of hot chocolate, or a warm bath.

Using Realistic Self-Talk

It is easy to tell ourselves that things will never get better, that there is no reason for hope, or that life is unfair. These things are simply not the case. Things may feel like they will never get better, but the fact is they usually do. It is a valuable mind over mood tool to be able to talk back to our negative inner voices and remind ourselves of reality.

Laugh

At first sight this might not seem like a mind over mood technique, but it absolutely can be. Laughter can be the result of a decision to engage in behavior that makes laughing likely. This can be implemented by watching comedies, listening to comedians on tape, or scheduling some time with a friend who makes you laugh. Using it in this way it becomes a mind over mood tool that can increase resiliency to stress and help counteract negative feelings.

Picture a Favorite Place

Using mental imagery to control our moods is nothing new. Many of us as kids, if we were unable to fall asleep at night, were told to picture something pleasant. Now, as adults, we can expand on this idea to create more control over our moods. Think of a place that makes you feel relaxed. Close your eyes and focus on this for a few minutes at a time, once or twice a day. After you have done this for several days you will find it easier to use in stressful situations, where the benefits of picturing a relaxing place can be most evident.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

There are many ways to relax. One way is to listen to music that is calming. Another is to flex each muscle, one at a time, and then relax it. A third way is to take deep breaths and allow your stomach to rise and fall, which is a way to calm your body, and can counteract our tendency to take short, shallow breaths. Whichever method used, relaxation techniques are a good way to start the day and end it, in addition to any time where you are needing to relax.

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