There are various ways to get yourself out of the blues or a bad mood
One of the easiest is through eye movement!
Yeah, I know that probably sounds dopey — so let me explain.
You may or may not have heard about the NLP eye movement cues. There’s a quick overview on the NLP FAQ page (scroll down)
Here’s a quick revision:
When we move our eyes up, and to our right or left, we tend to access images in our mind. Try picturing your favourite child… just joking!
What about your favourite chair?
Moving our eyes directly across, level with our ears helps to access auditory information. Looking down and to our left assists us to hear our self-talk. And we can more easily grasp our feelings and emotions when we look down and to our right.
Familiar information — usually visual — can be found by looking straight ahead
Read more in Eye Accessing: How To Make Out What People Really Think. Or take a look at the The NLP Eye Accessing Cues eBook
Ok, now think about the physiology of someone who’s feeling unhappy
How do they carry themselves?
When I ask people this question, they instantly tell me that they’d expect the person to be looking down, perhaps also with rounded shoulders, and that they might even be sighing heavily. No-one has ever told me that they’d see an unhappy person looking up and with their shoulders back.
When we look down, we usually talk more slowly and with a flatter tone. When we look up, our natural tendency is to increase our talking speed — and our voice sounds more upbeat and has extra rhythm and tone. Try it out for yourself.
Think of the language we use when we feel unhappy
- Feeling down.
- Feeling low.
- Depressed (even the word means to push something down forcibly — usually emotions).
- Down in the dumps.
- Down in the mouth.
- Feeling down-right miserable (can’t get much more specific than that!).
Of course, looking down left doesn’t necessarily mean someone is depressed or unhappy; they might be searching for something to say or talking to themselves. A person looking down to their right could also be remembering what it feels like to stroke a pet, or thinking about how good they feel! However, these more positive thinking patterns have different body postures associated with them — and different words.
When we’re feeling better about life, we’ll use different language:
- Things are looking up.
- Look on the bright side/upside.
- Clearer perspective on life.
- We tell others to ‘Lighten up.’
- Life seems brighter.
- Chin up.
Notice that they are visual words and phrases. And our physiology changes to match our eye movement. When we move our eyes to access visually, we tend to look up and out; focusing on what we see, Shoulders are back and chest out, we breathe normally, and we feel more ready to face and engage with the world.
Do you still believe the language we use is coincidental?
While it’s important to acknowledge all your emotions, it’s not necessary to remain in an unwanted emotional state. Your state is dependent upon your thinking. So if you’re experiencing a sad state, it’s a good idea to examine what you’re saying to yourself and where you’re looking.
Words have a massive impact on our emotional state, but you don’t need to take my word for it.😉 Experience it first hand in How Words Affect Your Health.
How to put this information to good use to cheer yourself up
- Your eye movements help you access different parts of your brain.
- The words you use often reflect what you’re doing in your head.
- To change a downbeat state or a bad mood, keep your head straight, and move your eyes up.
- Focus all your attention on what you see. One way to do this is to describe the detail of what you see; for example; “I can see a mandarin tree with one mandarin left on it. Behind that, there’s a white fence. In the distance, I can see water and the undulating land on the other side of the harbour etc.” You’ll probably begin to notice more rhythm and tone in your voice, and you’ll start to speak more quickly.
- Notice how you feel after doing this.