Likewise, you may forget (or just get too overwhelmed!) to check in with others about things that are important to them. For today, I want you to really pay attention to someone else. This will help you shift your perspective from “self” to “other,” which is a tried and true method for lifting one’s mood. A change in perspective really does make a difference! And by listening to what is important to someone else, you may gain perspective on what’s going on in your own life.
Gaining perspective is a key component of emotional health.
By listening to someone else, you may:
- Realize you are not alone in your struggles
- Remember that we all go through ups & downs
- Feel motivated by the positive events in someone else’s life
- Feel better about your struggles compared to someone else’s
- Become more thankful for the positives in your life
- Learn something new
- Connect with someone over a shared interest
- Or, just enjoy the temporary mental break of a pleasant social interaction
In addition, it will probably be a pleasant experience for the other person, and good moods are contagious!
So try to Reach Out today! Ask someone something specific about his/her hobby, job/school, significant other, travel, children/grandchildren/pet, a challenge you know he/she is facing, etc.
Be specific in your question, really listen, and ask a few follow-up questions.
This is a great way to let others know you care by showing an interest, while simultaneously taking a break from your own stressors. If you aren’t going to see anyone in person today, then call, send an email, text, or Facebook message.
One additional tip–if you’re talking to someone who is stuck in a negative rut of complaining (different from appropriately sharing about a stressful life event!), you can use this tip to change the topic. Ask specific questions about something you know is a bright spot in the person’s life–his/her hobby, travel, pet, etc., and you can usually shift the conversation away from the negative. Be gentle in the transition and genuine in your interest, and you’ve just done a favor for both of you.
How can you use this technique today?