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

Photo: Sam Lion / Pexels
smiling woman with freckles

On Monday morning, you stare at your computer screen, hoping for inspiration after a weekend that was neither as restful nor as productive as you’d planned. Your second coffee of the day isn't kicking in, and you're struggle to push aside the self-doubt and negative thoughts.

We all have uninspired days, but the real question is: How do you get motivated when you're feeling like this? Luckily, there's an answer.

There's one mental trick that can pull you out of a bad mood almost instantly.

When you momentarily doubt your abilities, there’s a sure-fire gift to motivate you. And, in a word, it’s all about giving and receiving compliments. But it's not just that. In fact, it's something much more effective: a "bouquet file."



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

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

So, 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? It seems pretty powerful, but there's actually a science behind giving and receiving compliments.

Photo: Darina Belonogova / Pexels

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

Another study found 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.

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

Remember the presentation your co-worker did a few months ago? They rocked it and people said so, saying something like, “Hey, Angela, great job on the presentation today! You really inspired me!” That's a keeper for your bouquet file of compliments.

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 a person's development and well-being, and those who are not.

So, if you’re debating whether to give a compliment to another person, 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.

Start today and add to it for a lifetime. Now is the perfect time 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, a dull and uninspired Monday morning (or any day of the week) full of self-doubt won’t stand a chance.

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Brent Roy, PCC, CPLC, CMC, is a certified executive, career and personal development coach, and mentor coach. He works with men and women who want to increase their confidence and boost their executive presence