Author Brendon Burchard once suffered a devastating accident that could’ve left him depressed and bitter. Instead, he lives life to the fullest. Here’s how he maintains a positive attitude, from his book The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive.
Since moods are our overall enduring emotional tones, anything that affects our emotions can affect our moods. I’ve found that the most important factors to mood are physical movement (that’s why, when you were in a funk, your mom used to say, “Why don’t you go for a walk?”), sound or music (we all have songs that lift our moods), mental focus (pay attention to the negative, and that’s how you feel), social vibe (we tend to meet the moods of others around us), and future orientation (if you feel enthusiastic about the future, you tend to feel that way in the present).
I’ve been using these factors very strategically as I cope with the concussion I’ve been dealing with since my ATV accident. I walk or exercise every single day. I have my favorite music playing throughout the house. I’m avoiding all negative media. I’m hanging out with fun friends and my cheery wife, and I’m keeping my eye toward a healthier and more thrilling tomorrow. These are all simple strategies for living in congruence with how I want to feel.
Here are more ideas you can implement on a daily basis to manage and maintain a positive mood:
• Begin every day by asking yourself, What am I looking forward to the most today, or what could I decide to do today that I can look forward to? Starting the day with a positive expectation is key to setting your mood meter high.
• Drink a lot of water all day long—around six liters of water total if you are living an active and fit lifestyle. It turns out that most fatigue, hunger, and headaches—all serious mood killers—stem from a lack of proper hydration.
• Look for reasons to say “thank you,” and show appreciation throughout the day. Complimenting others and showing gratitude has been shown to elevate mood significantly.
• Have lunch with friends. Being around people you like and socializing with others always improves mood.
• Write in a journal each night, detailing the things you are grateful for from the day’s experiences, as well as what you’ve learned and look forward to.
Finally, for the next thirty days, write an entry in your journal about your overall mood for that day and why you felt that way. Then brainstorm some ways you could have generated a more charged mood for that day. The act of writing this down every day will keep your focus and imagination on how you can finally start feeling the way you’ve always wanted to feel in life.