I bet there are people who just simply irate you. Their actions and/or words touch a nerve! I’m sure you recognise the dry metallic taste in your mouth; the quicken heart rate; the dangerous simmer stirring in your belly that causes you to be in a foul mood for the rest of the day.
Why does Anna leave her crap on my desk even though she knows that I don’t like it? It’s really annoying!
Who does my boss think she is, praising me about my business writing skills and saying that I’ve learnt well….excuse me, I spent a whole semester at university doing just that.
Brian always say things that are mean and I hate him for it!
It may be difficult to see when our emotions temporarily cloud our senses- trust me, I know! Recently, I feel that I have been subjected to an unusually high dose of irritable occurrences.
Before going on a rampage on how ridiculous people are or lament on how you were wronged; just think- is it really the ‘annoying people’ that caused you to be miserable?
Some of you may be outraged that I’ve even asked such a question. However, have a think about it. Yes, their actions or words have affected you, but perhaps, it was YOU who have allowed it to happen.
It generally starts with a negative attitude, my friend, you have already ‘made your day’ with such a sad outlook on life. Hand in hand with this negative attitude comes low expectations if there are at all. Expectations in this contexts refers to YOUR expectations of the day. Generally low expectations would have negativity fused with it. Steve is going to be a tyrant. Emma is going to be miss cranky pants and take it out on me.
Trust me, it can be a struggle just to be positive. You have to put in the extra effort. You know, to look presentable; have a smile; greet someone wholeheartedly; put that spring in your step. If that little bit of extra effort is going to make YOU happy, surely, it is worth it?
Being positive isn’t magic, it is the state of mind. There is no need to over complicate this:
Positive attitude + High expectations = Happy being
I’m reading a book called ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin. I’m about a third into the book and I found it insightful. A quote from her to aid us in maintaining a positive attitude is
Feel how you want to feel
essentially, fake it till you feel it. Wake up, feeling a little blue, trying smiling or laughing for a good 5 mins, and if possible, see your reflection in the mirror. Concentrate on the laughing and press on even though you feel absolutely foolish. Looking in the mirror or facing another person is useful as seeing yourself or another person smile or laugh, triggers mirror neurons.
Mirror neurons are located in the premotor cortex. When we see another doing something these neurons are triggered as though we are doing these actions ourselves. Mirror neurons are also linked with our ability for empathy.
How about, just smiling and being pleasant. If mirror neurons are as effective as the experts say, wouldn’t your ‘good’ mood, put someone else in a good mood, in turn putting you in a great mood?
Taking control of our attitude and expectations narrows the adverse effect of the actions of others on us. Instead of being passive and at the receiving end of ‘annoying’ occurrences, I dare you, stand up and take charge- be proactive and be your own positive fairy.
Did it work for you? Did you try something else? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear your positive rituals.
The Happiness Project