02/22/2015 07:11 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Steps to Reset Your Mood for More Power


Have you created a mess for yourself as a result of being in a bad mood?

Don't worry.

Everybody has.

You are not alone.

Bad moods suck.

Yet, you and I get into bad moods often BECAUSE others in our life push our buttons.

It happens.

I admit that don't have a recipe to stop others pushing your buttons.

I do have a simple approach to reset your mood back so that you have more power.

The five-step approach is simple - you can internalize it by practicing it for a few items consciously until it becomes part of how you react to "someone or something pushing the buttons."

1. Arrest the Hijack!

There is a part of the brain called Amygdala that has only one job - to react. Centuries ago, the job of the amygdala was to come up with a "flight or fight" response to threats. We have evolved now you generally don't need to exercise your "fight or flight" response often.

However, if you don't check it, the amygdala takes over as soon as someone or some situation "pushes your buttons." After that you lose control and descend into bad moods. You already know what happens after that.

Just being aware of potential Amygdala hijack already solves half the problem - because you will introduce your intellect to arrest the hijack.

2. Shift the Power Assignment

Remember that nobody can really hurt you with his or her words. It is ALWAYS your response to what they say that determines the negative impact.

Really, they say whatever they want to say. It is their choice. You assign power to those words to make them hurt you. If you assign less power to the person and/or their words, you automatically diminish the negative impact.

Next time, when someone or some situation "pushes your buttons," think how much power you want to assign them to hurt you. Dial back the power you are assigning to them and watch the magic unfold.

3. Engage in Time Travel

No, don't take this time travel thing literally.

This is a mind game.

Go forward about ten years into your future and look back at this very situation that is attempting to push you into a bad mood. Reflect for a few seconds to see if it is worth getting worked up today when you look back from that distant tomorrow.

Nine out of ten times, it matters zilch.

The petty squabbles of yesterday look pale today.

The petty squabbles of today will look pale tomorrow.

4. Ask the Magic Question

There is one magic question that has created wonders for me. Ask yourself this question often and there is a good possibility that it will create wonders for you as well.

The question is:

I am here. Where next?

Pause. Reflect. Think about it. Now.

The first part of the question - "I am here" is about acceptance of the fact that history cannot be changed. Whatever said and done, you know that you are here.

The second part of the question - "Where next?" is about choosing "possibilities" over "whining, blaming or being victimized."

5. Celebrate!

Every time you escape descending into a bad mood, you have probably reclaimed a few precious hours in your life.

Every such win is a victory of your intellect over amygdala.

Every such win also proves to you that you CAN indeed have a better response to people and situations that push your buttons.


The power of moods is one of the topics that I cover in my eBook "How to Hack Serendipity" - take a look here.