Mondays uggh! Some days you just get out of the wrong side of the bed. Today I had it on overload. At 3 minutes to 8am I was done. Even after spending time going through my gratitude list and my positive affirmations 3 secs later something new just annoyed me. Nothing seemed to be shifting my irritable negative cloud. I could have quite happily returned to my bed and slept until the weekend – you know the scenario.
So I started to think about what could make me feel better, what can you do to turn around a monday frown upside down when all the odds are against you? The universe kindly responded by showing me and now as I am sitting here writing to you I am buzzing with energy and dancing along to Don’t Worry Be Happy! (Surreal to think if I had heard this song this morning it would have bugged the heck out of me). So what’s the secret? It’s really simple and easy to follow. If you want to turn you Monday frown upside down and enjoy the rest of your day in spite of getting out of bed on the wrong side follow my three simple steps kindly taught to me today by the universe.
Open up and breath
I know this is the tough part. The last thing you want to do when you are annoyed or irritated is to stop being annoyed (humans, such weird creatures we are). However if you want to feel happier you need to take charge internally and open yourself up to the possibility of shifting your mood. And one of the easiest ways of doing this is power meditating.
I have tried a lot of meditation and always struggled with it however power meditating is the most simple and shortest meditation/affirmation technique of them all! The concept is simple. Just as a quick power nap freshens the body a quick power meditation freshens the soul – I found this technique here at Mind Body Green (however the name is from yours truly).
Basically you focus on your breath and breath deeply into your belly allowing it to relax and become soft. Then begin internally repeating to yourself, “Breathing In, I calm myself. Breathing out, I smile.” And you keep doing this until you find you begin to smile. The corners of your mouth start twitching and as you smile you feel better and open for an improvement in your day.
Be creative and release your inner creative child
Children get the better deal. Hours of playtime, oh don’t you miss it. Especially the hours we all spent with paint brush or crayon in hand creating scribbly, wibbly stick men masterpieces to be lovingly displayed on Mum’s fridge. On a crappy day allowing yourself the freedom to doodle, draw and paint the way you did all those years ago (not so long ago for some of you) is absolutely the best medicine.
Why? Because creativity clears the mind. It craves focus which prevents you from being caught up with negative or stressful thoughts. The other equally important part of creating in childhood is that it involves interacting with colour. Colour is all around us but unless we have been lucky enough to follow a creative career path we often stop interacting with it in our adulthood. Colour impacts our moods, our feelings and our behaviours. Best of all our interpretation of colour is completely utterly personal, No-one in the world experiences and reacts to the different colours in exactly the way you do. Stands to reason that interacting with colour liberates us unconsciously.
Step two is simple – Be Creative. However I don’t want you just to be creative, to get rid of your bad mood. I want you to be as creative in a childish way. Small children don’t care. If they make a picture they love it, because they enjoyed making it. They have freedom to express their creative potential because they don’t compare themselves and their abilities with everyone else’s. Something we have all forgotten how to do.
Now I don’t mean you should regress completely and allow your inner child to take over your workplace. However an hour of childish artistic freedom works wonders on any black cloud day. I was lucky today. I got a few hours to paint and stick and glue, in an art class (the wonderful perks of studying human development means you get these kind of opportunities). However if you are at work I get that it can be challenging to suddenly get the crayons out and begin to make stick figure drawings. Luckily the recent fad for mindfulness colouring books and zentangling has made grownup colouring much more socially acceptable, plus it is a great way to be creative without having to initiate the process of the drawing. The first chance you get today grab some paper, draw or make some time to colour. Don’t get caught up in being artistically perfect, get caught up in the experience of playing with colour and the freedom of creating. No matter what it is you make, your inner child will think it is wonderful and if you end up smiling who the heck cares what you drew! (And if you really don’t want to be artistic on paper, another easy and fun way to be creative and interact with colour is Lego. I am serious. And the bonus is that there is always some small child in the world very happy to take it off your hands when you have done the making).
Be stupid and play
Do something stupid. I don’t mean stupid in the buy 100 lotto tickets way, I mean stupid the way you did when you were small. Play. We as adults are incredibly self conscious and caught up in what other people think of us. Getting out of our stuff and doing ‘something daft’ (as my mum would say) is not just a liberating experience for us but for everyone around us. The important factor here is to make sure whatever you do is physical and has absolutely in no way at all a connection to your adult life (which means going to the gym does not count).
Start a paper aeroplane competition, have a pillow fight, jump in puddles.If you dare
go bigger and follow the wonderful example of Miranda Hart in the BBC series “Miranda” who makes the enjoyment of living alone an art form. The picture says it all…
If at all possible do something daft with friends, it makes you laugh more. Today in my second class of the day I was to be found wearing a giant rabbit costume whilst we reenacted a nursery rhyme dance as part of a demonstration of a cognitive and creative development activity for children (again the opportunities of studying human development).
The unexpected byproduct of this experience was the liberating effect on the adults taking part. Suddenly dressed as fairy tale characters and dancing around playing a game each of the adults came out of their shells. It was a sight to behold.
However as you may have hidden your Buzz Lightyear costume in the darkest recesses of your loft I recommend instead of watching the news tonight getting out the Twister. Nothing lifts the mood like entangling yourself in an impossible position and howling with laughter.
And if nothing else there is always the option of dancing around like a ninny in the kitchen to your favourite music.
You may notice that the universe today provided me with an experience of childhood which I am recommending to you. To be honest returning to a child’s world perspective, getting out of yourself, ignoring your adult mental constrictions and having a few hours playing and creating, reminds you why life is worth living and it makes sense. Try it (even if you think it sounds bonkers) you will see what I mean.
Combine the acts of breathing, creating and being stupid and I guarantee you that your Monday (or any day of the week) frown cannot possibly remain.
Life is our own adventure so choose to make yours a fun one!
Have a fantastic week , got to dash I’m off to have a disco in my kitchen (Cue Abba “I am the dancing queen …..”)
Happy Monday 🙂