When I first started my business – the good old pre-COVID times, face-to-face events were the norm. I attended a lot of networking events, sometimes before work. Because I worked from home, these events actually let me see people in person (I guess most people understand what that means, now that the world has gone through some pretty rough lockdowns).
Morning events meant waking up early and a long drive into the city. Since I did not travel every day to work, this was a big deal for me. A journey which normally takes 25 minutes, in rush hour can take up to an hour and a half. A lot of us can get frustrated with stuff like this.
Sadhguru, an Indian yogi said people buy their favourite cars, sometimes expensive ones and are very proud of it. But when they are stuck in traffic, they get all worked up. Some people have road rage and this, in turn, makes others get angry. Rather than enjoy your favourite car, why all this road rage? I don’t think many people would even have this perspective.
That concept sort of stuck with me and when I was on those early morning drives, I used to prepare my favourite music list. Before I hit the freeway, I turned on the music, enjoyed the rising sun, the pink-orange hues of the sky and listened to my favourite music and hummed along till I reached my destination.
As I arrived at the event, even though the drive was long, I felt really good. I was pumped and ready to face a brand-new day. Post event, there was only increased positivity and the feeling that I could conquer any mountain (of work ).
Life has its twists and turns, and sometimes things will not go as per plan. You may visualise your perfect day during your morning meditation and may still find some awful drivers on your way to work. Or there could be this one person who always rubs you the wrong way. But can you control what others do? All you can control is your ‘response-ability’ – your ability to respond to situations around you. When someone cuts in front of you, you will get an initial shock and rage. But how quickly you can get over it – that is the important thing.
I still get annoyed when drivers don’t do the right thing. Sometimes, I swear (not when my children are in the car), but within the next few seconds, I bless the driver and say ‘Have a good day’. Why? Because I know that his/her action is something I can’t control, and regardless of how careless it was, blessing him/her and moving on will let me have a good day.
Situations like these can happen at your home or your office or when you are with any group of people. When things don’t go your way, how quickly can you bounce back and how do you elevate your mood? (I’m not talking about life changing situations here, just everyday things that upset all of us).
Here are my top tips.
- Cry it out. Sometimes you have to cry to let it out. If you are among a group of people and cant cry there, find a restroom or a quiet spot. Once you get it off your chest, you will feel better.
- Talk it out. Family and friends can sometimes upset you. It helps if you can verbalise (in a respectful manner) what upset you.
- Write it out. In situations where you can’t express it, write the whole thing out in your journal. You can pour emotions onto paper knowing that it is for your eyes only.
- Sleep. One of my favourite mood elevators. When you are tired, you are more prone to getting upset. Have a nap and the world looks rosy again.
- Listen to music. Music has this amazing capacity to lift our spirits. Tune into your favourite song(s) and sing along.
- Movement. Move your body – dance, walk, exercise, run – whatever feels good to you.
- Talk to a friend or loved one. Women are really good at sharing events in their lives (aka gossiping). But this really helps them to either get it off their chest and/or find solutions from other people’s experiences.
- Watch/listen to comedy. Laughter is the best medicine is an often-forgotten quote, but one that is so true!
There is always a way to elevate your mood. And you are not alone. If you struggle for long periods of time, seek professional help.
If you need a sympathetic ear, I am here.