Something that struck me during leadership training a few years back, was that although you have control of your actions and reactions, you cannot control the actions of others. When someone throws an unexpected wrench into your day, they called it “hijacking”. Don’t let your day be emotionally hijacked. Here are 5 tips to avoid getting hijacked and turn your day around.
1. Consider the big picture.
Yes, whatever it is it is frustrating, disheartening, sad, or even infuriating, but will it matter next week? A year from now? 5 years from now? Putting your frustrations into perspective helps manage your emotions and turn your day around faster.
2. Listen to a song that reminds you of a happy occasion.
According to Music and Memory “our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory… Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music.” Triggering happy memories through music is a way to break that emotional bond with what’s on your mind by shifting it to a happier emotion and occasion.
3. Do something outside of your routine.
From doing a cartwheel down the hallway to letting yourself have that afternoon bag of skittles to taking a walk outside. Breaking up your routine will break up what you are emotionally focused on.
4. Force a smile onto your lips.
According to Medical News Today, “smiling during brief periods of stress may help reduce the body’s stress response, regardless of whether the person actually feels happy or not.” According to Mark Stibich, smiling also changes your mood as well as others, releases endorphins, helps you stay positive, and makes you seem successful, among other benefits.
Pro Tip: Can’t get yourself to smile? Put a pencil in your mouth between your teeth. The positioning of your face when you do this sees many of the same healthy results.
5. Gain a different perspective.
Write down what you are grateful for. Many people underestimate how lucky they are in life. To put life in perspective, remember this, “If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world….If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.”