Blue skies and climbing temperatures do a great deal to lift one’s spirits. Having been in a bit of a funk lately, I welcome the longer days and spring blossoms. I want to “snap out of it,” as my mom would so aptly tell me to do when I’m feeling blah.
So when I recently read about the “attitude of gratitude” one man adopted rather than to dwell on his true misfortune (versus my simple bad mood), I took note. His antidote to himself was writing a daily thank you note – to anyone from business acquaintances to family members to relative strangers. John Kralik wrote about this exercise and what he learned from it in the book 365 Thank Yous.
Something about that just made me stop and think. How often do you hear that the simple gesture of smiling at someone can improve your own mood? Or that a small act of kindness is often paid forward time and time again? Once several years back, there was even the “Complaint Free World” bracelet movement started by Will Bowen (I still have several of those bracelets; check out the organization’s website at www.acomplaintfreeworld.org) to help us all keep things in perspective.
I decided to morph some of these ideas to not only make myself feel better, but also to brighten someone else’s day — my own personal spring cleaning of improving my outlook. I love the “attitude of gratitude” phrase, especially when it’s easy to get lost in a kind of slump so far away from home. I’d like to believe that my own basic personality is one that includes kindness and sensitivity naturally (wouldn’t we all?), but it’s also a feel-good boost to offer it completely and utterly on purpose. And, so as not to have the motives become selfish by just improving your own mood, remember that it’s got to feel good to the other person to count.
Maybe this isn’t a cure-all anytime you’re feeling low. But once in the right mindset, it can sure put you in a better mood just thinking about how to make others smile. This is my kind of spring cleaning!