Let’s face it: we all wake up feeling cranky or depressed for no apparent reason once in awhile, and when it happens, we’re faced with two options. Either we pull a baseball cap over our eyes and gear up for a bad day… or we make the choice to change our mindset by acting in ways that are proven to breed positivity. And since research shows that negativity can be contagious to the people around us, I’d say that’s just one pretty compelling reason to learn some strategies for when we wake up in a funk. It’s the perfect topic to team up on with our friends at Frost Bank to share some of the research findings in their Opt for Optimism study. The goal of the study is to help people adopt simple habits to unlock the power of optimism and improve their financial health. Keep reading for 3 mood boosters that usually work for me, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments!
1 – Direct your focus to others.
This is such a simple act, yet it’s probably the #1 quickest way to get out of a funk. Get outside yourself and focus your attention on others. Frost’s research found that 91% of American have a desire to be more optimistic – so let’s lift each other up to achieve this goal. Smile and say hello to strangers at the coffee shop (I know, it’s the last thing you feel like doing, but trust me), call a family member just to see how they’re doing, and try having an entire conversation with someone where you ask them questions instead of talking about yourself. Bad mood? What bad mood?
2 – Seek progress, not perfection.
Frost’s study showed that while optimists aren’t perfect, they have courage to try. For example, many optimists have a rough financial plan over a detailed one. They find simply making progress toward financial goals matters. In fact, research shows making and celebrating progress in small increments can make you more successful at meeting goals.
3 – Unplug and go play.
Do you ever find yourself in a funky mood after scrolling through your social media feed? If so, a tech detox might be just the thing to cure what ails you. That nagging sense of negativity often comes out when we’re playing the comparison game – and we can all fall prey when our social media feeds are bombarding us with beautiful people going to fabulous places wearing ridiculously good outfits. Just as some may feel social media controls their daily lives, Frost’s research found that more than half of Americans say finances control their lives at times. But for optimists, their mindset is more powerful than current circumstances.
However, even optimists experience setbacks, citing an average of four in their lives compared to eight for pessimists surveyed. But they are more likely than pessimists to have recovered and learned from their setbacks. In fact, optimists in Frost’s survey also say learning from their mistakes fuels their optimism.
Here’s the takeaway: disconnect, put away your phone, and go do something that feeds your soul. By implementing these simple habits in your daily life, you can not only improve financial health but potentially decrease financial stress – and who doesn’t want that? In fact, optimists in the Frost study say they experience 145 fewer days of financial stress on average compared to pessimists. Go to optforoptimism.com to learn more about these habits, and sign up for the 30-Day Optimism Challenge to help increase your optimism and improve your financial health.