Image from Flickr by Joe Shlabotnik
Did it ever happen to you that you’re in a good mood, when suddenly you hear a sad love song being played in the background — and since that song was popular, you decided to listen anyway — after a few minutes you found yourself in a sad mood.
What Happened? It’s a common fact that music affects our mood (state). The same is also true for other forms of media like movies, television shows, books, and even pictures.
I want to ask you a question… Do you want to be happy or sad? I guess the overwhelming majority of people in the world today will choose happiness over sadness, including you.
Most people are not aware though that they have the power to affect their emotions by themselves alone — yes, that’s true. How is it possible, you may ask.
We change our thought. “Really? Is that simple?” Yep. Want an example? Do you remember a time when you were listening to a long boring lecture which makes no sense to you, and you felt bored?
Right then you started daydreaming — maybe you’ve imagined the cool superhero movie you watched last night, or the funny scene from a comedy show you saw the other day.
Has it changed how you feel? Haven’t you felt inspired or even find yourself smiling? Those are the power of thoughts.
The challenge though is how we can control our thoughts when we are faced with the circumstances of life every day. Doesn’t it exert greater control over of our lives? Yes and No.
Yes, if we allow it to, and No, if we don’t allow it. We must remind ourselves, that one of the greatest freedom we have is that we can choose our thoughts, and by choosing our thoughts we (indirectly) choose what we feel whether it’s negative (what people don’t want) or positive (what most people really want).
Aside from thoughts, we can also change our environment, or provide ourselves an alternative and better stimulus.
For instance, I can recall a time when I was in public and suddenly a sad song starts playing, but I don’t want to mood of the song to take over mine — what I do is I turn-on my portable mp3 player and enjoy some happy or inspiring music. In the case that I didn’t bring an mp3 player, I just play a different kind of music inside my head (yes, that’s really possible, you can try it sometime).
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t feel other emotions anymore other than positive ones like happiness. We are humans after all. What I’m pointing out is that we have the option to consciously choose how we feel, if it is really important to us.
To sum it up, we have the power to choose our mood indirectly by changing our thoughts which affect how we feel. We can also try changing our environment or provide an alternative stimulus (which in turn affect our thoughts leading to a better mood).
So, do you want to feel happy? Try listening to an inspiring song like now (I’m listening to one right now). Enjoy!