New York City
- Life is short, and you can't afford to spend it mired in worry and negativity. Author and mind training expert Patt Lind-Kyle
offers some surprising get-started-now solutions for the bad-mood blues.
So you woke up in a bad mood - again - and it's only gotten worse. All day long you've been stomping around, slamming drawers, staring daggers at your spouse, and snapping at your coworkers. Time to take a breather and reflect on the consequences of your negativity. Whatever you blame your bad moods on a flat tire, a vacation-ruining bout of the flu, a looming stressful deadline
, your dark thoughts aren't just hurting you. They're affecting everyone around you, too.
And here's the worst part, says mind training expert Lind-Kyle: For too many people, bad moods aren't an occasional thing - they're a way of life.
"As a society, we're overworked, overstressed, and overextended, which all too often is a recipe for a bad day," points out Lind-Kyle, author of "Heal Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain: Applying the Exciting New Science of Brain Synchrony for Creativity, Peace and Presence" (Energy Psychology Press, 2009, $26.95), and mind training guide whose voice appears on the book's companion CDs. "And the real danger is that bad days turn into bad weeks, which turn into bad months, which turn into bad years.
"The good news, though, is that our brains are actually wired for happiness," she adds. "You've just got to learn how to tap into it."
"Before you know it, you actually become addicted to bad moods and worry," Lind-Kyle says. "Those negative emotions start to feel safe, and you unconsciously latch on to your bad moods. They become the 'easy' route to take, because - admit it - it's a lot easier to wallow and grumble than to take action to make things better!"
Author Patt Lind-Kyle.
"It's crucial to have a high locus of will and effort, because you don't want to be unnecessarily buffeted and bruised by life's vagaries," she explains. "True, you can't always control outside circumstances. But you can control how you respond to them. And before you know it, positive reactions will be your default instead of something you have to work for."
"If you find yourself spiraling into franticness and worry, force yourself to use all five senses," Lind-Kyle advises. "What does the chair feel like against your back? What sounds do you hear coming from neighboring offices? Can you identify what scent is wafting from the candle your spouse just lit? You might not believe me until you try it, but you really can experience a shift of feeling by consciously exploring the world around you through your body's sensations."
"In general, it's a good idea to examine who you are, how you relate to others, what drives you, and what sets you off - among other things," Lind-Kyle points out. "Before you can begin to effectively battle bad moods, you need to be able to understand what causes them. And then (to the extent that it's possible) you can head them off. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you are your personality. Your unhelpful personality patterns can be changed!"
"Through self-reflection, mind training, and awareness, you can identify the self-defeating beliefs that are linked to memory and stored in your subconscious mind," Lind-Kyle promises. "Acknowledge the fears and behaviors those beliefs have caused, and then consciously address your negative and painful feelings. I call it 'Facing, Embracing, and Erasing.'" (Her book explains this exercise in more detail.)
Finally, ask yourself: Is my lifestyle the real bad-mood culprit? If you've been reading the preceding tips thinking, Yeah right! I don't have time to train my mind. I have to work 12-hour days just to pay the bills!, you might have hit the nail on the head, says Lind-Kyle. Your lifestyle is probably part of the reason you're unhappy. The high-pressure job you have to work to pay for the big house and new car and gym membership is sucking up all your energy and perpetuating a pace and intensity that's the very antithesis of the mental quality that leads to true happiness.
About The Author
Patt Lind-Kyle is an author, therapist, speaker, trainer, and consultant. She is a former professor at Foothill College, and founder of a learning assessment company that applies neuro-monitoring tools for stress management, health, and peak performance. Her research, writing, and teaching in the mind/brain field center on using an EEG brainwave monitoring system to help individuals maximize their brain-mind potentials. Patt has written a chapter in Audacious Aging: "Building Community from the Inside Out" (Elite Books, 2009). She is also the author of "When Sleeping Beauty Wakes Up" (SwanRaven, 1994).
For more information go to www.healrewireyourbrain.com