In a typical day, I, like most people, experience a variety of different emotions, from the momentary frustration of not being able to find my keys to the exhilarating high of landing a new client contract. Sprinkled throughout the day, I may also feel giggling joy by seeing my grandson on FaceTime, or deep gratitude as I fly over the velvety hillsides of northern California, bursting with the green shades of springtime.
I like to think of all these emotional experiences as little “hits,” such as you might remember from the old video game, Space Invaders. We all get hits throughout the day; they are spikes in our neurotransmitter chemistry, and include such natural internal chemicals as oxytocin, serotonin, adrenaline, or cortisol. It happens all the time—whether we are aware of it or not—and it’s the overall score at the end of the day that makes us judge it a good or a bad day.
If you actually think of it like a game, then you can strategically focus on getting more positive hits—the “feel-good” chemicals—than negative ones. Negative hits are stressful, energy-draining, and just make you feel crappy. The more positive hits, the more points you score, and the more likely you are to stay Above the Line. Negative hits take away points, and put you at greater risk for Below the Line status.
The key to getting good at the game is becoming more aware of the subtle hits and acting quickly to change the trajectory that can be triggered by the negative hits, or learning to savor and relish the moments of gratitude, joy, amusement, or contentment. Stretching the effects of the good chemistry builds resilience over time and serves as a buffer to help you manage the natural ups and downs of everyday emotion.
So how do you manage your hits and end with a positive balance at the end of a day or a week? We want to hear from you! Log into the Chocolate Villa Facebook Community Page (or our LinkedIn Community Page) and share your tips and tricks for scoring more positive hits and minimizing the negative ones!