What do you do when you are having a low mental moment? Do you want to learn a quick and simple way to pull yourself out of that funk almost instantly? We are all familiar with the tenet that you should wait and count to ten before reacting to a situation when you are upset, right? This fix also has a count indicator. It doesn’t matter if you are in a negative funk or already feeling good, it will work. You can reap the benefits of this quick pick me up no matter where you are. You can do it while sitting at your desk, waiting in line at the supermarket, or drinking your morning latte. By applying this action your mood will take off.
We are generally happier when we race through our thoughts rather than when we think each one through slowly. Our favorite addictions, nicotine and caffeine improve mood, enhance cognitions, and raise heart rate. These all share at least one thing regarding boosting mood…they speed up the users thoughts. A common symptom of depression is slow thinking. Racing thoughts and euphoria are associated with mania. Intentionally thinking fast sparks a type of light mania. Those who have experimented with it experienced exhilarating effects. By manipulating your thinking speed and focusing your thoughts on some simple tasks, you can boost your mood and kick yourself out of a mild funk.
Psychologist Emily Pronin of Princeton University and Daniel Wegner of Harvard discovered this phenomenon but can not explain exactly how or why it works. “Thinking may function as a dandy distraction. We may be thinking so fast that we can’t stress about other things in our lives and our thoughts can’t wander to dark places”, according to Promin. Wegner speculates “it may be that people associate the subjectivity of racing thoughts with happiness and that acts as a cue when assessing one’s mood.” However it works. People, who committed to thinking faster by timed brainstorming or reading text that scrolled quickly on their computer monitor reported feeling happier, felt more powerful, creative and energetic.
Here are a few exercises you can practice to boost your mood;
Write 20 three letter words in 60 seconds or less.
List the 15 favorite people in your life in 60 seconds or less.
Brainstorm your top 10 dream desires in 60 seconds or less.
Play speed Boggle, charades, or Taboo, limit each turn to 30 seconds.
Get up and do a set of jumping jacks for 60 seconds or less.
Set your screen saver to scroll quickly through inspirational and motivational quotes.
Say 30 words that begin with the letter “M” in 60 seconds or less.
Racing thoughts and euphoria have long been associated with mania. Now you can create your own mania without the full-blown pathology. Fast thinking feels good. Pronin and Wegner’s studies prove this. Now it is up to you. By merely increasing the speed of your thinking you can lift your mood.
Manic thinking: Independent effects of thought speed and thought content on mood – http://weblamp.princeton.edu/~psych/psychology/research/pronin/pubs/2006FastThinking.pdf