I have a lot of people ask me how to get into a good mood. Well, not necessarily get into a good mood at any given moment, but how to sustain that good mood over time. If you are one of the many out there setting out to conquer your bad mood, let me give you some quick advice on how to make a good mood part of your everyday life.
Your good mood success will live and die by the habits you put into place to secure your desired goals. So, it stands to reason that the better the habit, the better the results you will see.
But the idea of instilling new habits doesn’t usually sound like a fun thing to do. It sounds like a lot of work. It sounds like a lot of discomfort. That’s why I advocate for the adoption of rituals, which are nothing more than patterned behaviors but with a slightly more positive vibe.
When you adopt rituals, you train your brain to go through certain programing automatically. At that point, the behavior you desire is no longer “work”—you just do it. When you put good mood rituals in place, these programs start to run automatically, making it easy to get in a good mood and stay there.
The key with these rituals is consistency over a longer period of time. A ritual is not adopted in a week or two. You need to ingrain these sacred habits into your neural pathways.
Therefore, it is necessary to carve out time each day to start to develop these rituals. And, if one day the sky is falling, and you just don’t get around to your rituals, it likely won’t matter much. Where you get into trouble is when you miss one day, and then you make up an excuse to miss the next, and so on. Not doing the ritual quickly becomes the new ritual.
To get back on track, you simply recommit and start the ritual over, taking care to carry it out every day. I advocate for repetition of the ritual for 45-90 days to really solidify it. And if you really want to get it right, if you miss a day at, say, day 32, then the next day you start over again at day 1.
“But what rituals should I consider taking on?”, you might ask. Below I talk about 5 good mood rituals that I still do every day and that have served to help keep me in a very good mood for quite some time.
Ritual #1 Meditation
It is difficult to sustain a higher level of happiness without incorporating a spirituality practice into your daily routine and lifestyle. To aspire to a higher level of being, it is essential to connect on a higher level. I have found the best way to make this connection is through meditation.
I use meditation to check in on my body, on my mind and on my spirit. I use meditation as a means of listening to what is going on inside of me and quieting my thoughts. I use meditation to connect with the Universe and feel as though I am part of something expansive and timeless.
The more frequently you practice meditation, the more the effects sustain themselves throughout your day and throughout your life. Daily meditation practice equals daily sustained good mood.
You don’t have to devote more than a few minutes each day to meditation and you don’t have to be perfect in your practice. Keep it simple. Focus on your breath. Focus on a mantra or affirmation. Focus on the quiet. What your practice should be is meaningful for you. With meaning and connectedness, comes happiness.
Ritual #2 Gratitude
Gratitude is feeling or showing appreciation toward someone or something. A gratitude practice is a daily commitment to focusing your energy and thoughts on what you appreciate. There are few things you can do to build and maintain your happiness as important as exercising daily gratitude.
Gratitude shifts our thinking to the present moment. Gratitude allows us to celebrate what we have now and what we have accomplished. It also allows us to refocus our energy on our dreams and goals.
What’s more, gratitude shines a light on the positive in our lives—on the positive people, on the positive results, on other positive emotions. A sense of gratitude leads to a sense of love, and anything is possible with love. I mean, is there anything that is more encapsulating of the good in life than love?
Ritual #3 Remind yourself of your why
If you don’t remind yourself each and every day why you made the decision to seek and hold on to your good mood, you won’t keep going after that goal.
My best advice here is to remind yourself often of why you made your decision. Take a piece of paper, write out your resolution in big letters at the top, and under your resolution list all the reasons why you are going to accomplish it. Make these statements positive. Then put that paper somewhere you will see it every morning, like your bathroom mirror. Make yourself read it and really reflect on the reasons why you started on this journey and why it is so important for you to continue.
Ritual #4 Be a dreamer
Your imagination is the gateway to your good mood and, ultimately, to your ideal life. You have the amazing ability to form the picture of any life you want and, by so imagining it, then living the life you desire. When your mood is dark and small, so is your world.
Carry with you the attitude of a dreamer. Never stop dreaming—even when things aren’t going your way, even when you are sad or frustrated, even when others make fun of your dreams or try to squash them right in front of your eyes. See yourself living life in a good mood and hold that picture in the forefront of your mind. It is your right to dream big. You deserve to be happy.
Ritual #5 Something that makes you feel good
I love nature. When I am in and around it, I feel good mental, physically and spiritually. So, I make being outside for a period of time each day one of my rituals. I also think movement is important for my good mood. Daily exercise or some kind of movement helps keep everything in balance. A walk outside can check off both boxes at the same time.
While I do advocate for regular exercise, what I want to get across here is that you should be incorporating rituals that make you feel complete and like a better version of yourself. Whether those rituals include journaling, reading, doing affirmations, spending time with pets, spending time with loved ones, laughing or listening to your favorite Zen master on YouTube, the idea is the same. Make these good mood activities daily practices that help contribute to an overall good mood.
Wishing you an amazing year ahead! May you find and hold on to your good mood!
Feature photo: Sonnie Hiles / Unsplash
About Dannie De Novo: Dannie is an author, attorney, coach, entrepreneur and podcast host who loves horses, traveling and learning. Her book Get in a Good Mood & Stay There launched in 2018. She spends her days finding ways to help those who aren’t experiencing the most fulfilling version of their lives. Her greatest job and joy is serving as mom to an amazing beacon of light and hope, her daughter, Carson. To learn move visit: www.DannieDeNovo.com