“This is going to be art’s greatest moment since Mona Lisa sat down & told Leonardo da Vinci she was in a slightly odd mood.” – Edmund Blackadder, Blackadder Goes Forth, BBC
I love Blackadder, and this quote has been pertinent as I’ve been in an ‘odd mood’ for a few weeks. I can’t put my finger on what triggered it (or I choose not to), but I have a general fug that is finally lifting.
Ironically, I had a call from a friend over the weekend who needed a “Shot of Morag”. She was feeling down and wanted me to help cheer her up. As we finished our conversation (uplift delivered) she commented “you are always so happy and positive. I wish I could be like you.
”“You are always so happy and positive. I wish I could be like you.”
This is not the first or last time that others have commented on my ability to give others a boost. For them to leave a phone call, an evening out, a coaching conversation, or leadership program feeling energized and ready to take on the world. But given my ‘funny’ mood you will see why I paused to consider her comments. Maybe I needed to take my own medicine!
Which got me to thinking. Do happy people have fewer worries? Are they luckier than most? Or, should we attribute their attitude to character and mind over matter? What makes for happiness?
I am a glass-half-full person, I tend to see the good in most things, and when faced with challenges, personal and business, often will see the positive side, the light at the end of the tunnel, the proverbial silver lining. Does this mean that I am never “unhappy”? No, but when I do have these ‘odd moods’ I notice them. They feel strange. Like trying to pull on a shirt by putting the ‘wrong’ arm in first. It feels awkward.
Happiness research, and ‘positive psychology,’ is a burgeoning area, full of interesting findings. Some of the latest research suggests that people who focus on purposeful living, rather than happiness, are more likely to enjoy good mental health and a longer life. If you’re highly satisfied with your life, you’re less likely to suffer from physical illnesses, stress and work issues.
How to kick a funny mood
Here are three things I have learnt in the last few weeks about the ‘care and feeding of funny moods’.
- Dance the night away. I am a ballroom dancer. Except I haven’t been dancing for months! Funnily enough, my ‘funny mood’ meant I didn’t feel like going out dancing. WRONG ANSWER. Getting out, getting moving, getting talking and laughing makes a difference. Dancing is optional, but don’t avoid the social situations, instead get involved.
- Don’t keep your funny mood to yourself – Phone a Friend! I decided to take the approach of my friends who call me for a “Shot of Morag” and called a friend. While I couldn’t articulate WHY I was in an odd mood, simply sharing and spending time with a trusted Ally made all the difference.
- Plan Forward. The problem with funny moods is they can be all consuming for the here and now. That’s not to say the practicalities of today aren’t important, however instead of getting stuck in the weeds, take time to envision a brighter tomorrow. One of the activities my team and I use is to answer the statement “Wouldn’t it be great if…” ten times. Then you can start to plan for how to make those a reality.
“Wouldn’t it be great if…”
I know, I said I was going to share three things I had learned from my odd mood. You can consider this a bonus idea that came to me as I wrote this article.
- BONUS IDEA: Realize what you do have. Instead of “Wouldn’t it be great if” try a variation that focuses on today, on gratitude for what you do have, finish the statement “It’s great because…” ten times and see how that influences your mood.
“It’s great because…”
Everyone, at one time or another, experiences a funny mood. A general funk that can be hard to place, and sometimes hard to shift. They aren’t always the result of a crisis, they just are. Maybe the time has come to simply embrace them, rather than hide or deny them.
I’m curious. What makes you happy? How do you kick your ‘funny mood’?