Man, sometimes life seems so complicated and stressful and dark. Â 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 informationÂ 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. Â Even aÂ few minutes onÂ 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. Â It just sort of wears me down.
So IÂ thought I’d compileÂ a list of moodchangers. These are things that can help me push the mental “reset” button on those days when there’s just too muchÂ conflict or stressful stuffÂ coming at me. Â They work for me; they just might work for you, too. Â (And please share your favorite moodchangersÂ below.)
*A brief walk, especially morning or evening when the pace of life seems a little different (slower). Â It is meditative and renewing, even if it’s just around the neighborhood.
*A baby to hold or admire or smile at. Â (And ifÂ the baby smiles back,Â well,Â that’s just the best.)
*Sitting at my prayer desk with a scented candle burning and a rosary in my hand. I Â don’t even have to be prayingÂ the rosary; in fact, I usually don’t pray it the conventional way. Â Just holding onto it grounds me.
*The ocean. Â I don’t get there nearly often enough, but when I do, itÂ puts a new spin on everything.
*A cup of tea.
*Flowers, in a vase on my table or in a garden outside. Â Even aÂ photo of prettyÂ flowers canÂ 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). Â This melody has soothed me and calmed me I do not know how many times.
*A butterfly, or a hummingbird.Â 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. Â I love it, the feel of their skinny arms and little bodies. Â I think it’s the best moodchangerÂ of all.