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We’ve all heard the phrase “life is a bowl of cherries” and truthfully, I know some days it feels like that bowl of cherries got dumped upside down on your head. However, keep in mind that when you are in a contagious Leadership position, your mood is equally contagious as your actions. How you feel could mean the difference between employees seeing you as someone who rode their broom into work or someone they can approach with a need, question, or great news. In fact, it happened to me just the other day. I was tired, exhausted, and overwhelmed and it showed and no one talked to me for the rest of the day. Eek! So how do you turn the blues or bummed out or stressed out moods into one that really reflects a more positive, approachable outlook?

Well, the first step is a rather simple one and in fact you may laugh: think about something else. Yes, I just said think about something else. When you are dogmatically focused on the bad stuff in your world that is all you see and the radar system, so to speak, in your brain seeks out more crummy stuff because that is what your focus is telling your brain is important. So, pretend you have “something shiny syndrome” and shift your attention to something else, preferably more pleasing. Go sniff some roses, perhaps.

Secondly, write down all those things that you appreciate about whatever is bothering you. Again, it sounds simple, but why “over-complicate” matters. Do the simple steps and if they don’t’ work, then come back to me and I’ll give you complicated assignments. Physically writing down what you appreciate about the person making your life difficult or the situation you just encountered that irked your nerves will help you to have a contagious sense of appreciation, greater control over your emotions and more contagious confidence™ about your ability to handle anything else you come across.

Finally, stop for a moment and listen to yourself. Sometimes we get carried away with the “woe is me’s” and once the downward spiral starts, it gains momentum. Stop, breathe, and take stock of what you are really saying. Listen for extreme language like “every one, every time, always, never” etc, and then question what you are saying. Does this, whatever it is, really happen every single day? Really? The doubt you infuse in what you are hearing yourself say will lessen the blow of your thoughts and likely begin to change your mood.

The blues are a bummer. Frustration is not your friend. And though no one is saying you need to go out and attach Pom-Poms to your body today, it is important to realize that when you are bummed, down or stressed out, others notice and your productivity goes down and your relationships suffer. It’s all contagious, you know!

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