You are not your moods; your authentic self is not defined by whether you are happy or sad at a given moment. Although popular culture often suggests that anger and depression are signs of authenticity (especially in artists), the true self is the soul — the transcendent part of yourself that beckons you to pursue your purpose in life. There are, unfortunately, times in life when our moods cover up the inherent goodness and positive-outlook of our souls. While it is emotionally healthy to feel your feelings and not to suppress them, it’s not healthy to dwell on negative emotions, especially since they don’t reflect the real you. When you are feeling unhappy but need to change your mood back to one of empowerment and positive-thinking, one thing you can do is “act as if” you are in a better head space than you are. In other words: Fake it ’til you make it. In truth, you’re not really faking it, because you are simply expressing your true, positive spirit, which has gone under cover for a while.
Step One: Shift Your Focus Outward
Begin by taking a deep breath, and looking around. What do you see around you? Does it appear horrible? Yes? Great! This is your opportunity to help others. Whether you are truly interested in the well-being of those around you or not, act like you are. Do something to be of service. Ask someone how she’s feeling. Pick up a mess that’s on the floor. Help an old lady cross the street. The operative part of shifting your focus outward is to physically, or at least verbally, do something to help someone else. Behavioral change triggers the goodness at your inner core and brings it back to the surface.
Step Two: Force Yourself to Smile
Life does not demand a constant smile. There are times when it is wholly inappropriate to smile. But when you must be positive when you feel all but optimistic, use your face muscles against your will to smile. Grimacing will only reinforce your bad mood. Do the opposite. Maybe there is something funny about the situation that you are in. Go ahead and laugh at it! Feeling negative? Shake things up and do something unexpected: Smile!
Step Three: Think Good
Do first, then think! If you try to think optimistically before you shift your focus and start to act, your intellect could get stuck in an endless loop of over-thinking. Allow your thoughts to follow your positive actions.