Have you ever found yourself at an emotional low point during your day and wondered, “How did I get here, again?” Have you ever considered the possibility that you may be able to help prevent these low points from happening by creating an emergency mood lifter? Visualize a red metal box with a glass front panel with the words “in case of emergency break glass.” Then, imagine that inside of that box is something that will help you, something that may prevent the low point, an emergency mood lifter. Would you break the glass?
Breaking the glass may sound easy enough, but there is one very important stipulation. You need to know when to break it. In terms of your mood, the actual emergency occurs before the low point ever happens, and that is when you must act. You want to disrupt your current state of mind.
The purpose of an emergency mood lifter is to prevent the low point from happening at all. So, how do you do that? You need to be honest with yourself and recognize your own warning signs. Personally, I tend to get distracted and irritable hours before I hit a low point. As soon as I realize that I’m feeling this way, I need to be proactive by accessing my emergency mood lifter. Otherwise, my mood will continue to decline.
If you don’t yet know your own warning signs, you could keep a “feelings log” for several days to determine them. Check-in with yourself multiple times throughout the day and write down how you’re feeling at that moment. If your mood is especially low, look back at the prior entries to pinpoint your warning signs.
Another way that may help you recognize your warning signs is to ask your loved ones or those people with whom you spend the most time. They may notice that your cranky behavior is often followed by an emotional low.
Once you know your own warning signs and have learned to recognize them, you’re ready to create your emergency mood lifter. So, what is an emergency mood lifter? It is different for everyone as it is customized to each person. It is a list of at least three simple items that will lift your mood no matter what the circumstances are in your present situation.
Since this is your secret arsenal, you get to choose the items, and the more active they are, the more effective they will be. For instance, one of my items is listening to upbeat music. Within minutes of turning the music on, my body can’t resist the urge to move and my mood is immediately lifted. Music makes me feel happy and relaxed.
What makes you feel happy? Do you enjoy being in nature or doing something creative? Try to think of things that are easily accomplished no matter where you are. Maybe you like parasailing, but can you do that at a moment’s notice when your mood needs lifting? Don’t just think of your three items, write them down and keep the list handy.
I used to carry an index card with my list while I was going through an especially difficult time. It may sound silly to carry your list, but when your warning signs begin, you are already on the path to feeling low and finding a way out will not necessarily come to mind. However, if you have an emergency mood lifter at your disposal, you don’t have to think of a way to help yourself. Just take out your list and choose to do the item that seems most appealing at that time.
Maybe you’ll feel so much better after doing one item that you’ll also do the other two. The key is to act as soon as you notice, or perhaps someone else notices, one of your warning signs. Access your emergency mood lifter, do what it says, and begin to feel better.
There’s one more final step that is helpful in this process. Once you have utilized your emergency mood lifter and are feeling better, take a moment to reflect on the situation and be thankful for it. You have done an amazing thing by being courageous and motivated enough to put a plan in place and then execute it in order to help yourself. You avoided an emotional low point, and that is something to smile about. Create an emergency mood lifter today and you can look forward to a better tomorrow.
Author Bio: Heidi Kinney is a freelance writer from Massachusetts who uses her writing to inspire others to live happier and healthier lives. You can visit her website at heidikinney.com.
Photo by Siddharth Bhogra on Unsplash
The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.
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One thought on “How to Create an Emergency Mood Lifter for Your Mental Health”
This is a very helpful article, with clear advice for taking charge of your own mental health. I look forward to reading more articles by this author. Her tone was friendly and kind, like reading a letter from a good friend.