© COPYRIGHT 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. * Mountain photo by Cecilia Mortenson ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide/CAAL2aspiremountainjourneys.com
YAY! I don’t know about you, but those are welcome words to my ears! Why? Because it means I am done with work for the day – and on Friday – for the week! That’s when I usually go out with friends to celebrate the coming weekend. I love it because everyone is happy – well, usually they are happy.
Sometimes though, they aren’t so happy. In fact, sometimes, after a couple of drinks, they start ranting and raving about how they hate their job or their boss and feel trapped and, and, and….you know what I’m talking about…you may even have been the one ranting and raving.
Why does that happen? We leave work, feeling great because we are “free” for the weekend, go out with friends to celebrate, and end up complaining! What causes that fatal change in mood?
I’ll tell you. YOU cause it! What?! But it’s my boss! He doesn’t respect me. He treats me badly. I hate my job! I hear you.
Now let me ask you a question. What about your job do you like? Does it give you a decent income? Does that income allow you to do fun things on the weekend? What else is great about your job? Do you dig your colleagues? (that’s probably who you are celebrating Happy Hour with right now!)
Let me ask you another question. After answering the previous questions, NOW how do you feel? Better? Why? Probably because you were thinking happy thoughts, right?
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying you shouldn’t look at what would make you happier! But do you see the difference? Instead of saying, I hate my job/boss or whatever it is you “hate,” what if you asked yourself, “What, specifically, about that do I hate?” Or better yet, “What can I do to make it better?” Now we’re getting somewhere! Instead of being the victim, you are taking control. Is there something you can do to make the situation better? If there is – DO IT! If there isn’t, maybe it’s time for a change. Either way, YOU are in control.
Another thing – neuroscience has proven that we are “hard-wired” to look for the “negative.” Why is that? Because millions of years ago, when we were out there in the wild, we had to look for the negative (as in DANGER) so that we could survive! Our brain thinks that anything that “threatens” us (our boss) is dangerous (threatens our survival) and this automatically stimulates our “fight or flight” response. This in turn, stimulates our body to produce adrenalin, which we don’t actually need, since we aren’t going to physically fight with our boss (even though we might want to!) or run away (at least not yet!) So what happens to all this adrenalin? It turns into STRESS!
So, what can we do? Let’s be scientific here (logical). If being angry with our boss makes us feel badly, and thinking about what we LIKE about our job/home/friends/partner/kids/pets makes us feel good, then the LOGICAL thing to do is think about the good stuff, right? See? VERY scientific!
And the fact is, brain research has proven that when we think “happy thoughts”, our stress levels DO go down, which has huge health benefits, as you can imagine.
So, I am inviting you to start a new habit: DAILY HAPPY HOUR!
I am not encouraging you to drink daily (that’s entirely up to you) but I AM encouraging you to take a few minutes – daily – to consciously think about what makes you happy! Really FEEL it! You know that feeling – how you can actually feel your heart swelling with joy. Joy over the silly little things in life, like:
And I promise you, Happy Hour will never be the same for you again (in a good way!)