Flip the mind

Our moods have this annoying ability to change in an instant. One minute we are in our dream world, and the next we are ranting and raving about something inconsequential. These moments can then linger on for many hours or even days.

Luckily, this also works in reverse. Notice those moments when we are going about our business, feeling a bit grumpy or curmudgeonly, then someone says a kind word or smiles at us or gives us a biscuit or cup of tea, and we are suddenly uplifted and in a good mood. These pleasant moments can also linger on for many hours and even affect our decision making.

This has a scientific basis - it's called mental priming. It's why adverts have insanely happy people on them and other such things, but let's leave mass mental priming for another time.

So then, now we know that the mind can flip in an instant, we can perhaps have a go at generating some pleasantness in other people knowing that this pleasantness will be reflected back on us. Perhaps we are feeling grumpy, we go to the shop, we crack a smile across our sour visage, and hey presto, a smile comes back - our effort has been rewarded, mental priming has occurred, and a chink of happiness has entered our day. Extra tip: for best results, smile with the eyes.

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