He said he had noticed that when he was feeling grumpy or sad or worried, it was sometimes hard to rally himself out of the mood. I feel the same way, I admitted. He nodded.
He said that he had tried something recently that surprised him: he decided, mid-bad mood, to just smile. Not to think anything particularly happy, or count his blessings or whatever, just to smile. And he noticed that within a minute or two, he actually felt significantly happier and calmer.
He suggested that we try, for one week, to catch ourselves any time we feel at all crabby or down -- and immediately smile. And see what happens.
I know I have read that this has been proven to work, and that cognitive-behavioral therapy emphasizes stuff like this -- but where he came up with it, I don't know. He doesn't either. But I tried it this morning: while I was on hold with Pottery Barn trying to return my non-functional curtain rod A SECOND TIME, I smiled a huge exaggerated smile at my son -- and I actually started laughing. I felt not just marginally better but more like the way your nose feels 20 minutes after a Sudafed -- suddenly open and clear.
The return phone person answered and everything went smoothly.
So I am going to try my son's Mission Optimism for this week. I'll let you know how it goes -- for me and for him -- what our successes and failures are. Anyone want to try it with me??? Let me know if it works or doesn't for you.