Emotions are contagious, part 1: The importance of taking time to reboot your mood

Case of the mondays

There’s lots of discussion about how emotions are contagious (see here and here and here for example). If you are in an upbeat mood, people around you absorb your positivity and become happier. And if you are in a bad mood – the negativity rubs off too.

What this means for your job

This means that when you’re in a bad mood, not only does your productivity suffer, but so does the productivity of your entire team.

Everyone has good days and bad days – and that’s fine. In fact, it’s a problem when companies force their employees to fake positivity.

But if you work for a company that you believe in or with colleagues who you like and respect, or if you even just want to have a healthy family or social life, then you owe it to everyone to find ways to get out of your funk.

And as a business or employer, it’s strongly in your interest to make sure that your employees are empowered to take off time in the middle of the day when they’re feeling down and give themselves a boost.

Make sure employees take time to raise their spirits

Let’s say one employee is down in the dumps today, and only operating at 80% efficiency. If their grumpiness rubs off on their immediate team, they all start working at a lower efficiency too. And if the contagion spreads, all of a sudden the entire company is working slower.

By allowing employees to take time in the middle of the day to power up their mood, you not only avoid the negativity virus, but you can create a positivity one instead.


So how do you reboot your mood?

Sometimes there’s something in particular that’s bothering you, and fixing it is the best thing you can do to improve your mood. But often it’s circumstances that you can’t fully control that have you down in the dumps. How can you lift up your spirits when dealing with less-than-ideal circumstances?

I decided to crowdsource this question on Facebook, and here are some of the answers my friends gave.

  • Eat something that you like
  • Drink some good coffee. Or some wine.
  • Exercise
  • Take a nap
  • Go exploring
  • Listen to some music – really loud
  • Clean/organize. Desk, house, kitchen, whatever.
  • Get some popcorn and watch something you enjoy
  • Positive affirmations
  • Dance
  • Read some jokes
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Read a good book
  • Make some art
  • Write
  • Take your B vitamins
  • Get some sun (that vitamin D might help too)

Feel free to leave your strategies for picking yourself out of the dumps in the comments.

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