Man, sometimes life seems so complicated and stressful and dark. I’m all for modern technology that enables us to communicate quickly and effectively, but it means we have more information coming at us than ever before, and a lot of the time that information is just too much.
I listen to the news far less than I used to, not because I’m an ostrich with her head in the sand, but because as I get older I find I’m more sensitive to the harsh stuff. Even a few minutes on Facebook can inject all kinds of conflict into my day; people argue about politics and religion and red cups at Starbucks, and while I believe in healthy discourse and disagreement, a lot of the information streaming at me these days doesn’t feel healthy. It just sort of wears me down.
So I thought I’d compile a list of moodchangers. These are things that can help me push the mental “reset” button on those days when there’s just too much conflict or stressful stuff coming at me. They work for me; they just might work for you, too. (And please share your favorite moodchangers below.)
*A brief walk, especially morning or evening when the pace of life seems a little different (slower). It is meditative and renewing, even if it’s just around the neighborhood.
*A baby to hold or admire or smile at. (And if the baby smiles back, well, that’s just the best.)
*Sitting at my prayer desk with a scented candle burning and a rosary in my hand. I don’t even have to be praying the rosary; in fact, I usually don’t pray it the conventional way. Just holding onto it grounds me.
*The ocean. I don’t get there nearly often enough, but when I do, it puts a new spin on everything.
*A cup of tea.
*Flowers, in a vase on my table or in a garden outside. Even a photo of pretty flowers can make me feel better.
*A song like this one, by John Goodall (it happens to be the theme song from the British series “The Vicar of Dibley” — another thing that can instantly lift my spirits). This melody has soothed me and calmed me I do not know how many times.
*A butterfly, or a hummingbird. Catching a glimpse of these little winged creatures make me stop whatever I’m doing to watch, and makes me instantly happy.
*Hugs from my boys. I love it, the feel of their skinny arms and little bodies. I think it’s the best moodchanger of all.