The Mental Trick That Can Immediately Pull You Out Of A Bad Day

Photo: Dundanim / 
Woman looking hopeful with a sun flare behind her

It’s Monday morning. The weekend was neither as restful nor as productive as you’d planned. You stare at your computer screen, hoping for inspiration. Coffee #2 is not kicking in. You struggle to push aside the self-doubt and the negative thoughts. 

Face it … it looks like the start of a less-than-inspirational day. We all have them. The question is, how do you get motivated when you're feeling like this? 

When you momentarily doubt your abilities, there’s one sure-fire gift to motivate you when you're down.

In a word, it’s all about compliments — giving and receiving them. 

But it's not just that.

What if you were to assemble a "bouquet file" of compliments to read through to cheer you up and motivate you on a bad day? 

RELATED: 7 Horrible Lies Imposter Syndrome Makes You Believe

The science behind giving and receiving compliments

According to a Japanese study, getting a compliment activates a part of the brain called the striatum, encouraging recipients to perform better. In fact, the study showed receiving a compliment had an effect on the brain similar to receiving cash!

On the other hand, it’s equally good for your brain to praise the performance of others genuinely.

RELATED: The Most Meaningful Compliment You Can Say To The Person You Love

What is a bouquet file?

A bouquet file is a collection of compliments from others. It stores the nice things people have said about you and your abilities. 

Sources of bouquets

You may give and receive compliments through any manner of workplace interactions. It might be by email, text, letter, phone call or in person. In fact, it could even be a sticky note.

RELATED: How To Stop Putting Your Foot In Your Mouth At Work (& Feel Less Awkward, Too)

How to start a bouquet file

Decide whether you want a paper or a digital version or a combination of the two. For example, if you prefer digital, create a folder on your computer desktop or create a file in a program like OneNote.

If you choose paper, print your complimentary emails and screenshots of texts. You can type and print any noteworthy verbal compliments as well, or save them digitally.

What a bouquet file can look like — and how it helps cheer you up when you're down

Remember the presentation you did a few months ago? You rocked it and people said so. “Hey, Angela, great job on the presentation today! You really inspired me!”

That’s a keeper for your new bouquet file. 

Look for examples that are specific and meaningful and consider the source. It’s usually not too difficult to discern between friends and colleagues who are genuinely invested in your development and well-being and those who are not.

RELATED: If Someone Thinks You're Crazy, Turn It Into A Compliment

Invest in bouquet files of others 

Another study has shown that giving compliments to another person benefits the giver as well. However, the study stated people are hesitant to compliment another person because they underestimate the impact their words of kindness can have.

In short, if you’re debating whether to give a compliment to another, the answer is clear. If it’s genuine and meaningful, do it! By giving and receiving compliments, both you and the recipient will benefit from the power of this inspirational gift.

RELATED: 7 Things Truly Nice People Do Every Day That Make Us Adore Them

Start today — and add to it for a lifetime

Today is a perfect day to start tracking the kindness of others. It’s also the time to be alert to opportunities to invest in other people’s bouquet files.

With the gift of giving and receiving compliments, the Monday morning thoughts of self-doubt won’t stand a chance.

RELATED: What It Means When Someone Gives You A Backhanded Compliment (And How To Respond)

Brent Roy, PCC, CMC, is a certified executive, career and personal development coach who will help you to increase your confidence and prepare you for promotion or a new career. 

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