Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rodney's 5 Ways to Find More Joy - Even When You Don't Feel Well or Have a Lot of Money

You think you have problems? Living with three chronic illnesses (migraine, Celiac Disease and Periodic Paralysis) I probably have more excuses to whine than you do. What I have learned to do instead is find joy in the simple things. Here are some everyday ways to increase the joy and happiness in your life.

1) Listen to music. I hated doing paperwork in my job as a quality manager, until my son gave me an MP3 player. Now, I pop those ear pieces in and power through stacks of mindless (but necessary) reports while spending quality time with Johnny Cash, U2 or K. T. Tunstall.

2) Buy someone else a soda. This one is a triple threat because you get to take a little break, got something in your stomach and enjoy a bit of company. For me, I believe the part that makes the most difference is having someone to talk to. Feeling connected to the people around you can make a huge impact on your joy and happiness.

3) Get something to eat. This happens to me a lot: I am busy working, walking or shopping and suddenly everything annoys the crap out of me! People. Stranger's haircuts. Stories on the radio. When I feel like that, I even get annoyed at the sound my shoes make when I walk. Then, when I eat a little lunch or dinner, the world is suddenly okay again. Testing has shown me that these mood swings are caused by blood sugar changes. So, check your blood sugar if you want to, or just get something warm and filling in your belly.

4) Clean something. Maybe you get in the emotional doldrums too (even when your blood sugar is fine). When nothing is going right, or I just feel sluggish and do not know what else to do, I have found that straightening SOMEthing really helps me. I believe it is because I get up and get moving, make a noticeable change in my environment, and actually accomplish something useful. Try it with something simple like organizing your tools, straightening your desk or putting away the silverware. It is amazing how much accomplishing SOMEthing can improve your mood.

5) Get some sleep. I had a couple of bad days just lately. My blood sugar was okay. I was not going into a paralysis attack. No sign of a migraine. Still, something was not right. Maybe you have already guessed it, but I was getting a cold. I felt tired, like I needed to just sleep, because that is exactly what I should have been doing. Five doses of cough medicine and a handful of Ibuprofen later, and suddenly I was feeling much more rested, joyful and happy.

Boosting your mood does not have to be complicated or expensive when you pay attention to what works for you. To boost your own mood, try these five simple techniques, and see for yourself which ones work best for you.

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