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Need A Mood Booster? Here’re 5 Ways To Get Happier Within 1 Minute

Need A Mood Booster? Here’re 5 Ways To Get Happier Within 1 Minute

Let’s face it – everyone hits rough spots. (Unless you are Mary Poppins, she never seemed to get upset…) You might be sailing along, happy and content and then bam! Something out of left field gets you upset. Maybe you stub your toe. Maybe you get bad news. Maybe you spill your coffee on your favorite pants. Little or big, there are times when you need a quick way to get back to happy, pronto.

Over the years, I’ve tried lots of things to help me take life’s setbacks less seriously. I’ve asked my friends what they do to cure the doldrums and many times their suggestions simply take too long, too much planning or too much money. I can’t jet off to Tahiti because my performance review didn’t go well. I can’t take the day off to have a spa day and soak in mud with cucumbers on my eyes when my feelings have been hurt. I have responsibilities, time constraints and sometimes I just want to be happy NOW! I am, after all, part of the instant-gratification generation!

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Here are 5 of my go-to techniques to get happier in a minute or less!

1. Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breathes.

Deep breathing is a great way to lower your blood pressure, calm your mind and release endorphins. When my niece was about 2, she would get really wound up and I started having her do deep breathing with me. I made a game of it: we would face each other and I’d say, “Take a deep breath in…” and she’d watch me and breath in with all her might. “Now out slowly…” and we’d breathe out together. We’d repeat that three times, facing each other and end with a little bow. It was amazing how much calmer she became! It is still a go-to technique to calm her down – and now her brothers too! I do it myself when I find my mind racing or when something trivial gets me worked up!

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2. Doodle yourself happy.

If I’m in a public place, at a professional gathering or some other place where I need to be discreet, I grab a pen and doodle. Doodling can do one of two things: it can help me tune out information that is stressing me out or it can actually help me retain information. According to Sunni Brown, author of the book, The Doodle Revolution, doodling can affect how we process information and solve problems. It can actually help us retain more information than if we just listen. (I wish Sunni Brown had been around to explain that to my teachers – I’ve been a life-long doodler!)

3. Sing out loud!

Karen Carpenter was onto something when she told us to Sing out loud, sing out strong! Singing boosts circulation, increases your oxygen intake which is good for your body and your brain, decreases anxiety and releases endorphins. If you aren’t the best singer and you don’t happen to be alone when you break out into song, you may end up laughing about the situation as you spread your joy – however out of key – with others.

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4. Laugh it off!

I grew up watching the Brady Bunch every day after school. One episode that stood out was when the girls were having a sleepover and they decided to play “Ha”. They laid on the floor, each girl’s head on another girl’s stomach. They started off saying “ha” and then ended up laughing for real. I tried it with friends one time, we thought we could do it without really laughing, but discovered it was just so silly we started truly giggling. Laughter has many health benefits. Laughing relaxes your muscles and relieves stress, improves mood and lowers stress hormones. So now when I’m feeling stressed, I often turn to quick and funny videos on YouTube to get me laughing – it changes my focus, makes me happy and has all the health benefits I just mentioned!

5. Jump!

Have you ever seen someone who is so angry that they start pounding their feet or even jumping up and down to make their point? Have you then noticed that their mood begins to shift? Jumping up and down, as if having a mini hissy-fit, is actually one of my favorite ways to get my happy back. I find jumping to be a go-to stress reliever when technology is not my friend. When my software crashes or my DVR forgets to record a favorite show, you may find me jumping up and down in an effort to release my frustration.

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It turns out jumping is pretty amazing! It gets your blood flowing and your lymphatic system on the move. Jumping stimulates metabolism and releases serotonin – a stress relieving hormone that stabilizes your nervous system. It increases bone density and oxygen intake which helps you focus. Jump long enough and you get a cardio workout. Best of all – jumping up and down because things aren’t going your way doesn’t just make you look like a 2 year old, it makes you feel better!

These are just a few quick and easy mood boosters – some you can do discretely in a group and others that are louder and more active. So the next time life is getting you down, choose to take action to bring you back to a happier place. You don’t need a lot of money or vacation time, a minute or less will usually do the trick!

Featured photo credit: Fabien via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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