It's Time To Be Happy Not Crappy

22/09/2015 1:53 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

On a recent trip to the United States I had the pleasure of sharing a taxi back to the airport with a girlfriend. During the short car ride we were engaging with the driver, who had lived in the area for nearly 20 years, about life.

In short, he said, "I would rather be happy than crappy." He said it took him a long time to work it out but that being grumpy took up too much of his energy and left him exhausted.

I thought about this comment for a few days as I truly appreciated the reminder. This taxi driver had innocently passed on a great truth to both me and my girlfriend and I was grateful to have been in a position to really hear what the 'teacher' was saying.

We all have the ability to "choose to be". I can be having a "bad" day and let it not only ruin my day in my thoughts, feelings, actions and emotions but of those around me too. If I am grumpy then those around me feel it too. It may be the way I say something, the emotion behind the statement or my body language.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a room and you recognise straight away that the person is in a bad mood? It's like they are walking in with a large dark rain cloud above their head saying 'watch out, I am having a bad day'.

You speak with this person and by the end of the conversation you feel like all of your energy has been zapped away! What happened? You had been in a good mood and then the storm cloud walked over and now you're not feeling as good or positive.

Energy is real. We are all constantly receiving information and feedback from multiple sources all the time and people are one of the greatest sources of passing energy on from one to another.

Which brings me back to the taxi drivers realisation. If I am the one who is feeling down do I have a choice to change that and lessen the impact on myself (my state of wellbeing) and on others too? Of course I do --

I can 'choose to be" more positive. Simple. It is all in your mind-set.

All of us have had days where we wish we could have just started all over again or, better still, wished we could just go back to bed and wake up to a new day.

Those thoughts all lie in the hope that somehow everything is going to just go away. But the bad mood is still there or the experience that we wished we didn't have, we have had, etc...

So what can I do about it?

What if I have the choice or the power to choose my response right then and there? Would I be better off? Of course I would. I would no longer play the victim game or the blame game or the martyr game. I wouldn't allow a bad mood to ruin my entire day or that of another person.

If I am not a victim to the situation I can choose a more appropriate response. If I take responsibility for a situation or an emotion than I am more able to move on quickly rather than blaming another for being the source of my so-called problem. If something is out of my control, it is better to accept it rather than think I can change the outcome or what a person may have said or done. I can't.

The only person that I can control is myself. I can control my thoughts, my words, my actions and my feelings and not those of another person.

Some helpful hints to bring more awareness to a situation where you wish to change your mind-set.

Remember to Breathe- if you're in a really bad mood than try to find a moment to yourself to practise some deep breathing. Sit still and inhale deeply and as you exhale visualise yourself breathing out all of your anger or negative energy. Repeat this exercise for at least five cycles of breath and you will feel your body relax. The more relaxed your body, the easier it is to quiet the mind. This will allow you to become more present and more able to find a solution to your present situation rather than 'hang on to it'.

Smile- my grandmother used to say to me if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. It's free and you don't know what that smile will mean to someone else. It is a very powerful form of connecting with another and makes you feel better because you are not focused on yourself but rather another human being. This is surely one of the quickest and nicest ways of becoming more positive.

Connect with Nature-if possible go outside for 5-10 minutes and simply sit in nature. Gaze at something beautiful, admire a sunset, lie on the grass and watch the clouds float by. Nature brings you back to yourself. Nothing looks or feels as bad when you are sitting in nature. You're able to let go and simply enjoy your surroundings, thus disconnecting from your negative thinking or bad mood.


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