It’s happened to us all; you wake up in a great mood. The sun is shinning, and the first thought you had when you opened your eyes was, “Ah, I’m so lucky to have this life!”
You happily hum your way into the kitchen, and begin getting ready for another full and fabulous day. You’re peacefully preparing breakfast for the kids. And then, your kid emerges from her lair-like den, corners of the mouth slightly rigid, and eyes stormy. Or, your partner cuts himself shaving, and gets grumpy about it. Or your other kid starts pestering your grumpy kid.
Or, all of the above.
Suddenly, life is no longer a bowl full of ripe, sweet cherries. Slowly your perfectly wonderful mood begins souring, too.
It’s true; we catch bad moods! And if we’re not careful, we pass them along. The good news is we can catch and spread positive moods, too.
Here are some ideas for what can be done when a bad mood strikes, and spreads faster than a super-virulent strain of the common cold:
- Address the facts; a member, or members, of the family are feeling down.
- Remind yourself, and the rest of your family – if you can do so without sounding high and mighty, that there’s no “right” mood to be in. To everything, there is a season. Allow your heart to open to the possibility that the space each of your family members is in, is perfect for them.
- Yet, you don’t have to stand by and do nothing, or worse, catch the bug! Instead, ask if anything needs to be done. Perhaps your kid had a bad dream, and needs to talk it out. Or, your other kid feels all the attention being drawn to the grumpy kid. Maybe creating a shift is as easy as asking, “Is there anything I can do to help you feel better?”
- Voice your commitment to staying positive. A great way to do this is by being kind, not taking sides, and verbally stating something you’re grateful for.
Stability of mood is built on your own disengagement from how any one “should” be acting, behaving, or feeling. Take a breath. Let everyone else be wherever they are. Choose the mood that makes you feel the most resourceful.
You’ll be able to turn your own mood sunny side up in no time, and let it spread from there. Remember; every breath is a chance for a new choice.
LaSara Firefox Allen, MPNLP, is a game designer, author, educator, coach, and speaker. She helps her clients find balance in their lives, and alignment with personal and family-held values. She teaches and coaches internationally.