Two Simple, Scientifically Proven Ways to Boost Your Mood at Work
THE DAY BEGINS…
With the sun streaking across your bedroom, you flutter your eyes open.
Feeling rejuvenated (finally) after a good night’s sleep, your ears perk up at the sounds of the city waking up.
A few more minutes pass, and you’re finally ready to leave the comfort of your bed. You slowly rise, peel back the curtain and crack open the window. A gentle, warm breeze brushes across your skin, indicating that spring is here.
You think to yourself, “What a beautiful morning.”
The kind that invites a soft smile.
A calmness in your chest.
A sense of ease that reverberates through your body.
It’s the type of morning that makes you feel excited to greet the day.
Jiving around your home with a pep in your step, you kick your morning routine into high gear.
A+ outfit for a stunning spring day? Check.
Out the door, and off to work.
And then it happens.
Your buoyant mood, high vibes and gusto for the day start to eke out of you. Minute by minute. Second by second.
Because every step you take brings you closer to your office. And farther from home.
Here’s the sad, hard truth:
Even if everything goes according to plan and you have the best morning of your life…
…your mood plummets when you get to work.
Which leaves you feeling defeated.
Because you hate the fact that no matter how great the day may start off, your job inevitably brings you down. Makes you feel like you’re sludging through muck. Like there’s a gnat buzzing around your face that just. won’t. quit.
Plus, you know your colleagues sense your mood too. It permeates through the air. Makes the room feel sticky and thick like a hot, humid day. It’s a heaviness and weight that everyone can feel.
You don’t want to be known as the debbie downer in the office. It’s not who you are! You want to lift people up. Brighten the mood. Add light and positivity every time you walk in the room.
So you feel stuck. You’re not showing up as the person you are or want to be at work. And you don’t know what to do about it.
But you do know this: Something’s got to change.
Because even if you start looking for a new job (or are already on the hunt), you can’t fathom lasting one more day like this. Walking out the door and never coming back isn’t in the cards. So you need a solution, stat.
Oh and, it better work.
INTRODUCING THE TRIPARTITE MODEL
Allow me to introduce the tripartite model.
It’s a core pillar of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in psychology. It says that our beliefs/thoughts, emotions and behaviors/actions are a SYSTEM. Which means they’re interconnected. When one shifts, the others follow.
Our thoughts determine our emotions and our behaviors.
Our emotions dictate our thoughts and actions.
Our behaviors impact our beliefs and feelings.
And so on.
The tripartite model also says that our emotions are the hardest piece to shift. Which makes sense. Because our emotions are what make us feel alive. They add an unparalleled richness to life. Infuse color into a world that would otherwise be shades of grey.
I’m willing to argue they make life worth living.
As Maya Angelou so wisely said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Now, this isn’t meant to discourage you. Or make you feel like your desperate desire to boost your mood is an uphill battle.
It’s actually a road map for how to move forward.
Here’s why: The key takeaway isn’t that your emotions are hard to change on their own. It’s that they’re part of a system. That you’re better off focusing your energy on changing your thoughts and your actions. And that in time, your emotions will follow suit.
Ready to make some changes? I’ve got you.
I’ve included some CBT-based approaches to help you question your thoughts and change your behaviors below. Check ‘em out!
1. When you find yourself with a poor mindset and negative thoughts, ask yourself…
What’s another way of looking at this?
What’s the evidence for this belief?
What would I tell my best friend who comes to me with the same issue?
*The goal here isn’t to get rid of all your negative thoughts. It’s to question, identify and then break apart the ones that are distorted and not rooted in reality.
2. When you want to change your actions or add something new to your routine, ask yourself…
What experiences bring me the most pleasure? Are most enjoyable?
What’s something that I find relatively easy to do and makes me feel accomplished?
*The goal here is to infuse more activities of pleasure and mastery into your day so you experience a greater amount of “little wins”. These will build over time and have a profound impact on your mood. Plus, you’ll be doing more of what you love!
Try one, a few or hell -- try them all. Let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear from you.
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