"Just snap out of it!" How many times have you said this to yourself when you were stuck in a bad mood? How many times have others said it to you? And does it help? If you're like most people, the answer is a resounding "NO". You probably end up feeling worse. Yet you do it again and again. So why do you and others do it? Because you want to get out of your bad moods quickly.
Bad moods are no fun. For some of us it consists of excessive worrying about "what if this happens or that happens". For others it involves feelings of sadness, anger, pessimism, self -criticism, or, perhaps, just plain lethargy. At times, we just want to go home and be a couch potato in front of the tube or, perhaps, simply go to sleep. Other times we may try to get out of a bad mood by calling up a friend or getting involved in some pleasant solitary activity. And you know, sometimes it works. The shift in focus does help us snap out of our bad mood. One thing is for certain though. When we do snap out of bad moods this way, it's never because we scolded ourselves with words like "Snap out of it", "You're such a baby" or "You're making a mountain out of a molehill". As you'll discover in depth in this workbook, such negative self- talk is a major part of what both creates and prolongs our negative mood states.
In the following 3 step program, called Mood Shifting, you'll both come to understand where your negative moods come from and how to transform them into more positive states of mind. In making the moderate effort required, you can expect to reap the following seven benefits:
1. GREATER ENERGY:
It takes tremendous energy to listen to, and struggle in our minds, with our negative self- talk. We can feel years younger and have more of what the French call "joie de vivre" when we eliminate our fearful, pessimistic and self critical thinking.
2. BETTER HEALTH:
Research over the past few years has shown conclusively that a negative mindset puts an incredible strain on our bodies. It lowers our immune system and opens the door to disease. Eliminating our negative thoughts and attitudes can improve our health dramatically.
3. GREATER SELF ESTEEM:
Self esteem is the way we view ourselves. We can see ourselves either as someone in whom we have pride and think is worthwhile, or someone about whom we feel shame and embarrassment. Eliminating negative thinking will create an immediate improvement in our self esteem.
4. IMPROVED CLOSENESS WITH OTHERS:
The old adage "If you can't love you, how can I love you?" is true. Negativity pessimism, and self criticism drive away those people trying to love us because, eventually, they feel helpless and depleted themselves. They come to feel that whatever they do, they can't really affect our negative mood. Feeling frustrated and increasingly resentful, they may finally say "Hey, what's in it for me?"
5. IMPROVED WORK PERFORMANCE:
In my experience, negative thinking sabotages more careers than almost anything else. Being our own worse critic robs us of the confidence and determination to set and achieve goals. Eliminating negativity shows up quickly at work.
6. INCREASED CREATIVITY AND SPONTANEITY:
As you might expect, creativity and spontaneity, whether at work or at home, blossoms in an atmosphere of positive thinking. As we eliminate our negative self- talk, our creative mind becomes free to play.
7. GREATER HAPPINESS AND PEACE OF MIND:
This benefit really sums up all the others. We all want to be happy, but we often fail to realize that's it's our own thoughts, feelings and attitudes, rather than any outside circumstances, which create our peace of mind. Simply put, the more supportive our self-talk, the better we feel. The more negative our self-talk, the more unhappy we will be.
These seven benefits are compelling, aren't they? When I present them at my workshops on "Eliminating Negative Self Talk", peoples' heads bob up and down in recognition when I list them. Do they seem accurate to you, too? I also ask people to write down on a slip of paper some of the horrible things they say to themselves. I collect them and have people read them anonymously. Often I hear such statements as "I'm not smart enough", "You're so stupid", "I'm such a loser" and "Nothing will ever change". A frequent one people often hear during the program is "This whole program is just self indulgence, a waste of time!" It's really quite sad to hear how harshly we can treat ourselves.
Now, to make this a bit more real for you, I'd like you to do the following: Using the blank space provided, write down some of the negative things you say to yourself all the time. Go ahead, see what you come up with and then read further.
MY NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
Ok, now that you've seen your own negativity in black and white, I'm going to ask what may seem a strange question. Ready? When don't you talk to yourself this way? "Never", you say? I doubt it. Even if bad moods seem to predominate in your life, I still bet there are times, even if they seem few and far between, when you're not engaging in negative self-talk. Usually it's those times we're deeply involved in some activity we really like. Often, it's something we feel really confident about doing, something we feel competent at. Other times, it's when we feel close to someone. At such times, our sense of self is expanded, and we feel "full".
A good word for this state of mind, perhaps, is that we feel BIG. To get a sense of this, close your eyes and imagine you're filled with a wonderful sense of lightness and fullness. Now open your eyes and look around the room. Walk around a bit. Notice how good you feel. Now imagine someone stuck a pin in you. All the air goes out of you. Isn't this how you feel when you're in a bad mood? You feel insecure, depleted, and self- critical. Instead of feeling big, you now feel SMALL! Understanding this shift in your state of mind is a major factor in eliminating both your negative self-talk and your negative moods. Understanding this shifting state is what the Mood Shifting Program is all about...
TO ORDER MOOD SHIFTING CLICK THE BOOK BELOW: