“The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.”
Imagine waking up every day and looking out unto the word through a window in a house. The window, your sole portal to the outside world is dirty from built-up grime which makes it very difficult to see clearly. The view is obstructed and obscured by the stains, leaving the whole process of looking out the window quite onerous. Now imagine that you could clean the window and all you had to do was imagine or decide that the window was clean, and it would miraculously become crystal clear, making it easier to look through. Would you be willing to imagine the clean window for the sake of a clearer view?
Our moods can be subject to a variety of influences which determine the states we end up in. How much sleep did I have, how hungry or thirsty am I, how healthy or unhealthy I feel, all factors which feed into the complex equation which is our mood at any given moment. We also know that our moods change and that it’s possible for us to consciously steer the direction of the change with our willpower to be in a better mood. However, it can be difficult to change your mood if its position is deeply entrenched and intertwined with emotions as well.
Few schools educate children on how to properly tend to housekeeping of the mind. The windows accumulate dirt from childhood and will continue to grime up until we either have a massive storm which may wash away the dirt, and roof slates in the process, or we go and get a bucket, a sponge and get to work. The techniques of cleaning our personal windows are not lost to us but are rarely deemed of such value by educators so as to form a part of the core curriculum of any syllabus.
We have adopted a methodology based on the premise that we want our children’s minds to be strong and robust for the modern world. The most prestigious schools impart the required information in the most efficient ways, leading to the best exam results which result in the best jobs and lifestyles. That’s our chosen underlying driving principle in the education system. Hence, we teach them to have strong minds by filling their heads with heavy loads of facts and information, but we neglect to instruct the practices of balance and flexibility which would serve so well after the mind has become overburden in our information driven society.
There are a variety of techniques which can be taught, learned and perfected which allow one to clean that window to ensure the view of the world is at its best and brightest. Consider a room of people at a party all hushing at once, leaving only one ingrate loud-mouth who was speaking ill of the host to be revealed, and duly ejected from the party to everyone’s delight. Similarly, by encouraging the mind to quieten via meditation, the nuisance thoughts can be observed and set aside, no longer interfering with the daily interactions. Achieving mental equanimity through meditation can become a lifelong pursuit, a path explored by millions worldwide, with an infinite journey available for the willing.
Gratitude, or more specifically the practice of, has been identified by people to have a marked effect on their ability to elevate their moods away from a negative state which may keep them down. The medicinal effect of the old adage “be grateful for the small things” packs a more powerful healing punch than the simplicity of the advice may superficially portray. There are a variety of practices spread across cognitive based therapy, psychology and neurology which harness the power associated with gratitude to improve people’s overall good being. Knowing this, it only makes sense to take advantage of these marvels of mental medicine to take control of the direction of our mood. Unless we want to continue choosing the negative mood? No, today I choose to be in a good mood.