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I’ve been struggling to stay out of a bad mood this week.  In funks of the past, I haven’t been clear about why my mood was sour.  This week, the cause is clear.  I’ve been in pain (back injury).  But, pain or no, I don’t wish to be in a bad mood.  It negatively affects my decision making.  I do less and I’m less focused on others.  The quality of my communication with others suffers too.   So I try to brighten my spirits.

If you’re like me, you find that the task isn’t so easy.  I’ll try distractions like movies, reading, and playing games.  I’ve done a lot of sitting – trying to take it easy to not make my pain worse.  I’ve even resorted to pain killers (something I’m traditionally loath to do).  But these measures provide only temporary relief, and the pain and the resultant sour mood repeatedly bob back to the surface.

While it didn’t completely and finally disrupt this cycle, one thing I tried has had some lasting positive effect.  As I recall it in order to share it with you, I can feel my mood lift.  The back still hurts, but my outlook, attitude, and behavior doesn’t go as far south as before I completed this exercise.

I did a Gratefulness Inventory.  I begin with the events of the day and go from there.  Here’s an example:

  • I wake with pain, but I see my wife Kathleen getting ready for the day and I’m grateful that I have a rock-solid life partner.

  • She checks to see how I feel and I’m grateful that my partner is loving and supportive.

  • I drag myself out of bed to get ready for the day and I’m grateful that my body works and is healthy (for the most part, glossing over the problem with my back.)

  • I see my son Collyn and my daughter Geneva and I’m grateful for the many blessings that come along daily with happy, healthy children.

  • I check my email and I’m grateful for the miraculous technology that allows me to be in touch with many people from all over the world.  I get to receive and share ideas and information on many subjects.

  • I listen to music and I’m grateful for the joy created by the thousands of people who created, recorded, produced, and distributed it, along with those who invented, developed, and manufactured all the tools to make it all happen.  Did I say thousands?  It’s probably more like millions of people who have contributed to my simple enjoyment of listening to music.

  • I read a passage of Scripture and I’m grateful to God for the peace, purpose, and joy of my life.

  • I meet a new friend/colleague for coffee and I’m thankful for the fellowship and connection with people who live to serve others.

  • I type on a computer and I’m grateful for all the resources that are at my fingertips.  This allows me the freedom to own and operate my own business.

  • Speaking of owning a business, I’m grateful to live in a place where the light of freedom, while diminished, still burns bright.  This allows me to live more purposefully and joyfully.

  • I eat a delicious meal and I’m grateful for the wide variety of food that I am privileged to enjoy.

  • I write this article and I’m grateful for you that you’re reading this and connecting with me.

I could go on and on.  I’m struck by the difference in my mood at this moment as compared with what it was before I wrote that list.  I encourage you to try the exercise out for yourself and see if you feel a boost.  Come on, do it right now – it’s fun!  Please let me know if you feel any difference!

 

About the author : admin

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