Some people believe that happiness is a choice. No matter what mood we wake up in in the morning, we can choose to let that mood follow us around for the day (inevitably impacting on our experiences) or we can choose to ‘change our minds’ and embody a different mood as we step out of bed.

I know that I used to be someone who would often wake up in a ‘bad mood’ (often through lack of sleep) and allow this to spill over into my day, especially my relationships.

This is where Mindfulness comes in. It enhances our ability to stop ourselves in our tracks, become an ‘outside observer’ even for a few seconds, and then to respond rather than to react to any given situation. A short pause, together with a clear (internal) intention to change, is often all it takes to stop irritability, grumpiness or petty-mindedness to take hold.

Thankfully, we typically find ourselves in numerous situations throughout the day that can test this!

It is no secret that our mood affects the way we treat others, and then this in turn impacts the way they treat us back. Some people call this karma, other people would call it the simple law of cause and effect. Either way, it is within our power (most of the time) to be the instigator of change within ourselves.

We can’t change those around us, but we can change how we react or respond to those around us.

It is even said that if you’re feeling down, gently bringing a smile to your face has the power to trigger something inside us (a memory response perhaps, or a chemical reaction – see ‘In the Press’ below) that can invoke a spark of joy. It may only be short-lived but it can be the start of an improvement in our mood, and therefore an improvement in how we experience our day.