When I first arrived in Australia from Manchester in the North of England thirty years ago I remember enthusiastically asking a client how their day was progressing. His ocker response was “Mate, I’m having a Barry Crocker”.
Whilst I was used to cockney rhyming slang it took some onerous pre google research to ascertain that he wasn’t enjoying the best of days. Barry Crocker was a popular entertainer of the time whose surname happened to rhyme with ‘shocker’.
If you’re having a Barry Crocker, here are 4 quick ways to turn your day around courtesy of a great article from business author Gwen Moran in the excellent Fast Company magazine.
Shift your focus
“When the train is late or the traffic is terrible, it’s easy to feel the day is sunk before it’s even begun. That’s a problem, because our brains actually only have enough capacity to notice a fraction of what’s around us at any time–a phenomenon known as ‘selective attention,’” says Caroline Webb, CEO of Sevenshift, a New York-based consulting firm that teaches people to use behavioural science to improve their working lives, and author of How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioural Science to Have a Good Day. Once a foul mood hits, it’s likely to color our interactions for the rest of the day if it’s not addressed.
Webb’s antidote: Stop what you’re doing and simply focus on the positive. “Decide to notice three good things. They don’t have to be particularly big or meaningful—perhaps a funny poster, a person being helpful, a nice hat. You’ll reset your mood—which means you’ll go on to spot more good things throughout the day.”
Change your scenery
Scudder says that a quick change of scenery can also help reset your mood. Get outside for a moment—we know that fresh air, sunshine, and green spaces can all help people feel better and improve mood. If you don’t have time for a walk outside, head to an empty conference room or a quiet office for a few moments. If you’re really strapped for time, in 2015, researchers found that simply looking at photos of greenery can reduce stress levels.
“There’s nothing that can put us in a better mood than satisfying our senses,” says life coach and mindfulness meditation teacher Ora Nadrich , author of ‘Says Who ? How One Simple Question Can Change The Way You Think Forever’ A sweet treat might do it. If you don’t want to get in the habit of using food to feel better, try some Craniosacral therapy, which is gently massaging your face and scalp. “It can be very soothing and relaxing, and doing it for as little as 10 minutes can make a big difference in how you feel,” she says. Phoning your funniest friend or otherwise injecting some humour into your day can also help.
“The minute you start laughing, you can get someone else laughing, and before you know it, laughter has changed the energy or mood of the day,” she says.
Write it out
Research indicates that writing about your feelings can affect how you feel. In one 2005 study, subjects who wrote about their traumatic experiences actually had better physical and psychological outcomes than those who wrote about neutral subjects. So take a few minutes to privately write about what you’re feeling. You may even find that, once it’s down on paper, you can let it go.
For more ideas view Gwen Moran’s Fast Company article
For more on behavioural science and building mental toughness contact us.