Here in the UK, we are on a ‘high’ after the successful London Olympic Games and with the Paralympics about to begin. The weather may not always be great but the country came together as one. We talked to each other on the streets, there was a buzz around the office and as the gold medals increased, everyone felt good.
But how long will that feeling last and wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just bottle it, to be opened when the energy we have been feeling throughout the country will have gone?
So, how do you feel when you get up in the morning? Ready to bounce out of bed with your daily exercise regime or do you struggle to get yourself together and not want to look at yourself in the mirror until after your first cup of coffee?
And then you go into work, with a growl and grumpy face and maybe yell at the person who asks how you are? Sound familiar? Well, you are not alone.
If you are feeling miserable this may be accompanied by stress, anxiety, anger, irritability and low energy but in many ways, you are probably the last person to notice. Your colleague asks you what is wrong and you wish you could identify why you feel as you do but you don’t want to ‘open up’ at work for risk of being seen as weak and unable to cope. And so the vicious cycle goes on until maybe you get to the point where your sleepless nights and lack of concentration gets to you. And then you might finally think you should try and do something about it.
Hmm…you say to yourself. “Where did I put that bottle of ‘feel good factor’ — I am sure I have it around somewhere?”
Determining your mood
So what determines your mood — are they external or internal factors? Well, you may hear yourself saying, ‘It’s not fair that I did not get that job promotion or ‘It’s not fair that my wife doesn’t understand me’ and so it goes on. You spend your working day telling your colleagues that something or other is not fair and then you are surprised that your colleagues don’t wish to have lunch with you. And with all of that negativity, who can truthfully blame them? They will probably want to spend their free time with someone who has energy and a positive attitude. So if you can’t find your bottle of ‘feel good factor’, I suggest you go for lunch by yourself!
So let us do a quick mood-check here and now and find out how you are really feeling?
Do you often?
• Feel sad?
• Hear yourself saying words like ‘it’s not fair?’
• Feel the world is against you?
• Find it hard to get up in the morning
• Feel devalued and unappreciated?
• Often get tired?
• Feel there is little point in going to work?
• Feel you are letting people down?
• Find your negative mood is affecting your productivity?
Well, if your answer is ‘often’ rather than an ‘infrequently’, then you need to take action!
What can you do about it?
1. Get yourself checked out at the doctor and ensure that you don’t have a hormone imbalance or other clinical problem
2. Discipline yourself to take a walk every day which will raise your energy and hormone levels.
3. Listen to what you say to other people. Mentally put a flashing red light above your head when you go into ‘negative mode’
4. Talk to one new person every day at work [maybe as you go up in the lift] and find out something about them that interests you.
5. Do something for someone else and know what it feels like to be appreciated and valued.
6. Eat healthily with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and drink adequate water.
7. Take on a new hobby outside of work that will fit into your schedule.
And when you have worked on these elements satisfactorily, then pass them onto someone else as you would have then discovered your own ‘feel good factor’ bottle which you can dip into at any time.
And then you will be inundated with lunch dates!
— The author is a BBC Guest Broadcaster and motivational speaker. She is CEO of an international stress management consultancy and her new book, ‘Show Stress Who’s Boss!’ is available in all good bookshops.