Hi everyone. Lisi has gone underground to write and is neck-deep in The Dirty Book Club so she’s asked me to guest blah-g today. Before I start rambling on about my current musings, I want to say how ah-mazing it has been reading the comments on last week’s post. Seriously you guys, I’m so impressed by the thoughtful and articulate ways you expressed yourselves and shared your stories. Also, a big high-five to both Lisi and Judy for the respectful ways they expressed their messages to one another.
I revisited the comments thread this morning, in fact, since they’ve been putting me in exceptionally high spirits. You’d think that today, marked by the spring equinox–aka the first day of spring or the moment in time in which equal amounts of the sun’s energy reaches the northern and southern hemisphere–would be enough to brighten things a bit, but I don’t think life’s present dullness is felt by only me. A number of my friends have been expressing feeling blue lately, or just plain drab overall. It’s true that today was overcast here, but just in case spring doesn’t bring the brightness some of us need this season, I’ve come up with a few no-fail, no-brainer tricks to shift your cloud-covered day into something positively luminous.
1. Take A Facebook Tour of Happiness
I found a study online yesterday where 75 percent of the participants admitted they enjoyed looking at old photos or wall posts on their Facebook page when they were feeling low. Researchers suggested being fascinated by these findings, although I think if you consider the results they seem to make complete sense. Psychologist Dr. Clare Wilson said, “Facebook is marketed as a means of communicating with others. Yet this research shows we are more likely to use it to connect with our past selves, perhaps when our present selves need reassuring. The pictures we often post are reminders of a positive past event. When in the grip of a negative mood, it is too easy to forget how good we often feel. Our positive posts can remind us of this.” You might have noticed that most people post on the Internet positive things they are doing showcasing what a great time they are having. An awesome birthday party, a tropical vacation, a great gift. We don’t often post about the negative things happening in life, though of course we all have a lot of that going on, too. By revisiting old photo albums on your Facebook page or reading past comments friends left that are particularly kind, we can focus on the goodness in our lives instead of dwelling on the lackluster bits we all experience.
2. Write A Friend Crush Letter
What’s a friend crush, you ask? Do you have a dear friend you couldn’t live without? Someone that has been loyal to you throughout your friendship and has truly earned the title of BFFL? That’s your friend crush. A great way to get out of your own personal funk is to stop focusing on yourself, your woes, your rejections, the things in life that just aren’t panning out. Instead, focus on someone you love and admire like your friend crush and either write a letter to or about this BFF. The letter doesn’t have to be sent ever, but writing to your friend or to a third party discussing all of the marvelous things about this favorite, loyal, inspiring, etc. person in your life cheers you up right away since you’re focusing on the positive aspects in someone and practicing gratitude for them. We get so caught up in all of the things that are missing from our lives that sometimes even the ones who stand by us for more than the happy moments get diminished or overlooked. This letter-writing activity practices slowing down and being conscious of what we are thankful for in our good friends (this works for family members too). In my experience, it took a quarter of a century to find even one truly great friend, so be thankful if you have a BFF you can count on during junior and high school years.
3. Happy Playlists on Loop
It’s no secret how much music impacts our moods, and if you’re anything like I was, you’re probably listening to a whole bunch of angsty Fiona Apple and Garbage or emo Bright Eyes and The Smiths, which make it pretty difficult to slap on a peppy smile and feel happy. I think back now, and was life really all that bad? Probably not. Did my music make me feel like I was an emotionally deep, arty soul? Definitely. We go through a lot of musical phases in our lives, but it’s good to be able to recognize when to change the music station and start singing a happier tune. Studies show that playing brighter, up-tempo music instantly lifts one’s mood, so that means faster beats and fewer heart-breaking lyrics. Maybe you have 10 awesomely happy or hopeful songs to get you jazzed for spring or just for any day you’re feeling blue.
Here’s my personal list of amazing upbeat songs from the past and present that get my day going or get me in a better mood to go out or be social with friends.
* Yeah Yeah Yeahs — Y Control
*Modest Mouse — Float On
* Little Dragon — Ritual Union
*Selena Gomez — Love You Like A Love Song
* Spice Girls — Wannabe (all-timer, don’t judge)
* Lykke Li — Little Bit
* Kimbra — Settle Down
* Taylor Swift — We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
* White Stripes — Seven Nation Army
* Arcade Fire — Wake Up
If these don’t leave you ready to conquer the world, I don’t know what will.
Do you have a list of happy anthems that get you moving? I’d love to hear what’s getting you out of bed in the morning or bringing some positivity to your day. Let me know what your favorite mood-lifting songs are in the comments below or if you have any favorite methods of focusing on the goodness life brings you. 🙂
Lisi will be back next week with her usual Blah-g. For now, happy Wednesday!