Happy...

 

I have to admit, I laughed when I first looked up "uplifting your mood" online. I had prayed about our "Happy" message and the Holy Spirit said He wanted me to write on "uplifting your mood," so I Googled it, and there in front of me was an ad for an AirWick. The message behind it was that scenting your air could be a mood changer. While I laughed, I had to admit, it was kind of true.

Changing the atmosphere can change how we perceive it. Sometimes we need this especially if we've gone through a trying time or a severe trauma. Maybe you lost your job or had a falling out with a spouse. You may need to change your atmosphere so you can start fresh. That's what I needed as I looked around my apartment at the Home Depot projects I started working on. I had cleaned the fans and the air conditioners, getting rid of the old plastic coverings from the winter season, and with that, I removed layers of soot, dust, and dirt. Your mood changes when you choose to change it and sometimes a little spring or in this case, summer cleaning, can be very beneficial. 

For our Happy, Healthy, Healed series, we've set aside different ways to bring change into your atmosphere. There are healing messages from Bishop TD Jakes, Joel Osteen, and Rebekah Lyons, fun food recipes like frozen yogurt and shrimp tostadas, and great stories like Recognizing Narcissists and Who's Stealing Your Peace: The Draining Bunch to help you sort through those so called "friends" that might really be toxic. Yup, there's a lot you might want to clean up and out of your life.

 

Tips to Help You Stay Encouraged

Psychology Today points out that mood lifters can be simple daily changes that can block out negative and depressing thoughts. They give a few easy suggestions on "cheering you up" and we've added to their list:

  • Start the day with prayer, read your Bible, and read the Daily Bread.
  • Play an inspiring message from Joel Osteen, or TD Jakes.
  • Check out that funny YouTube video with the singing dogs, or the babies with their cute temper tantrums.
  • Spend a little time with someone else even if it's just a short visit.
  • Take a nature walk, even if it's just to your mail box.
  • Plan your future. By making plans you have something to look forward to. Visit an amusement park, a museum, or a new town.
  • Make a checklist of things to accomplish the next day and add fun items. Plan to make that new recipe or audit that free class. Sign up for dance lessons. Try karaoke. 

 

Gregory Jantz, Ph.D. suggests that music can also change your mood and atmosphere. While it can be expensive to start ordering new music online, you can get free music in YouTube, or add new stations to your Pandora account. You may find that your favorite artist has new music out and Pandora can allow you to add similar songs when you add that favorite artist or band to your play list. You can even do a search in YouTube for live music that can let you see a full concert for a change of pace.

Know that despite what you're going through, God has great things in store for your future. Jeremiah 29:11 reads, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That's one of the reasons why it's important to focus on moving forward so you can hear clearly from god and not let others bring your mood down. Because what we speak is what comes to pass it's important to guard your heart and keep your mood uplifted. Remember, out of the mouth, the heart speaks. Be careful what you say and what you spend your time on or with so you can stay focused on God's promises and an expected end!

    When You Need to Unsubscribe

    I was playing one of those video games on my tablet when I realized that it was sending me reminders everyday to log in for free points. After a couple of weeks, it became a fast habit - that I didn't want, so I uninstalled it. Research has shown that it takes about 30-days before a task becomes a habit. While we all love games, we don't want them to dominate our thinking. Instead, focus on positive influencers that will help you to stay happy, at peace, and full of joy.

    When you start your day, you may want to consider how your mood is influenced right from when you get up in the morning. While not everyone leaps out of bed, singing, "Morning's here!" You can make changes to your morning routine that will take effect over time:

    • Praise God for waking you up, putting food on your table, breath in your body, a roof over your head.
    • Plan out the day in prayer and talk to God about what you would like to achieve for the day.
    • Speak affirmations into your life. Decree that you are the head, lender, and above, blessed and highly favored, fearfully and wonderfully made.
    • See the atmosphere changed with your words. Before you open that email, make that call, or go into that meeting, see it as already blessed and with a favorable outcome.
    • Ask God for help in any area where you are struggling with your faith or you have a problem that you can't fix on your own.

     

    As you go through your day, you may want to look for ways that you can accomplish small goals that can give you a sense of purpose. Large projects can take time, but the smaller ones are easy to check off. That way you can see your progress even if you still have a list of bigger items to get through. 

     

     

    Change Your Picture

    I have a senior neighbor that I check on from time to time. He's in his 90's and now has a health care worker, so I just like to stop in and say a quick prayer. He'll usually joke with me about school, or tell me what's bothering him on MSNBC. This visit was different. He said, "That Jackson Pollock is bothering me." I turned around to look and realize that the black, gray, and white poster on his wall was I'll admit, rather abysmal. He was letting me know that his vision needed to be changed, so I ordered him a Monet print with colorful poppy fields.

    Sometimes what we see in front of us has to be changed to change our mood. The next thing my neighbor said was something that a lot of people are going through now and it can prove challenging. My neighbor confided, "They're all gone. All my friends are gone. I'm the last one." He was talking about his friends that he grew up with. He didn't see the nurses coming in, his children with his grandchildren, or the new friends that had been stopping by, so I encouraged him by reminding him that he always had family, friends, and neighbors, Jesus in his heart, and a lot of helpful angels. He understood, but I also understood how he was longing, and feeling left out.

    My neighbor's lament reminded me of Joseph in the pit/prison, feeling left out as everyone else got blessed. I could see him saying, "Don't forget me." I'm still here. At times, we're holding on for God to bring blessing and change and we just want to say please send help, send someone so I won't be alone, and give me a sign that you're there. When you need God, know that He's there. If He moves people out, better are coming. Your latter days will be better than the former, so hold onto God's promises - there are over 8,000 of them in the Bible.

    Lastly, as you look for ways to change your atmosphere - especially if you've been hurt or if you've gone through a big trial in your life, remember, judgment is coming. A lot of what is going on in the world, i.e., the rumors of wars, violence, etc., are all predecessors to the final judgment. That means, don't worry, don't doubt, but pray. Hold onto God's unchanging Hand and let Him lead and guide you. We have a glorious future to look forward to not just in heaven, but now here on earth. Your latter days will be better than the former, so in the interim, make that list, get your Air Wick, and maybe do a little redecorating and spring/summer cleaning! 

    "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Malachi 3:6

    Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Hebrews 10:35-36

    "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle." Psalm 24:7-8

    "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the LORD come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." I Corinthians 4:5