Dr. Larry Senn, the founder of Senn Delaney, a culture-shaping firm, coined the idea of the “mood elevator.” It is essentially a dashboard for human emotion. It starts at the top with gratitude and then moves down to depressed. The quality of your thinking improves as you go higher on the mood elevator, states Senn, and he gives us practical tips on how to elevate our moods and thus, our life.
1. “Know that to be human means you will ride the Mood Elevator and visit each and every floor.” –Larry Senn
It is part of the human experience to feel each of these emotions, but it is how you learn to navigate these emotions that will determine the quality of your life. Learn to spend more time at the top of the elevator.
2. “Learn to recognize the feelings that accompany any unhealthy-normal thinking or thought patterns, and make them a loud bell.” –Larry Senn
Take the time to cultivate self-awareness. Understand your patterns of thought and emotion, and be aware of any red flags that may lead you down the elevator.
3. “Use pattern interrupts to change your thinking and your feelings.” -Larry Senn
This can include a good night’s rest, exercise, a positive social gathering, focusing on a higher purpose, etc.
4. “Feed the thoughts you favor, not those that drop you to the lower floors on the mood elevator.” –Larry Senn
If you focus on the negative, you perpetuate more negativity. If you focus on gratitude and positivity, you perpetuate better thoughts, feelings, and overall life experience.
5. “Live in the world of mild preference—not a world of ‘have-to’s’ and ‘my ways.’” –Larry Senn
Learn to take it easy. Be flexible, patient, and adaptable. Know that things won’t always go your way, and be accepting of that.
6. “Take better care of yourself and remember to stretch and recover with exercise, sleep, and time off.” –Larry Senn
Our physical body and health plays a vital role in shaping our moods. Take care of both your mind and body with the stretch-and-recover cycle.
7. “Use breathing and self-awareness exercises to be here now and quiet your mind.” –Larry Senn
Being present removes us from the anxieties of the future and the regrets of the past. Cultivate this focus on the here and now, and take time to unplug. We live in a society where we are on our phone or responding constantly to emails, text messages, and phone calls. We can’t think clearly if our mind is constantly overstimulated.
8. “Maintain a gratitude perspective; count your blessings daily, and be grateful for life itself.” –Larry Senn
The decision to put gratitude on the top of the mood elevator was deliberate. Gratitude represents the highest state of being, and by appreciating the good versus focusing on the bad, we can raise through the ranks of the mood elevator quickly.
These are just a few takeaways from Senn’s book The Mood Elevator. To print a copy of the elevator or learn more, please visit www.themoodelevator.com