Have you ever noticed how a change of scenery can drastically change your mood?
I first discovered this when my children were really young. I would repeatedly make the mistake of staying home for long periods of time under the expectation that I would accomplish a lot of tasks on my to-do list. By the fourth hour, though, we often imploded into a rubble of whining, fighting and bickering.
The minute I surrendered and exited the house -- as if our very lives depended on an escape from the toxic fumes within -- we somehow re-set ourselves like a switch. Now, I understand why I changed my attitude when venturing out in public. I obviously didn't want to be seen by my neighbors as the resident shrew that I was. But how exactly did my then two and four-year old know to shape up for public viewing? The answer is that they did not. They simply needed to get the heck out of dodge and saddle up their imaginary horses to some new posts.
Though my daughters are now 11 and 13, the same holds true today. We can be bickering and boorish inside our home, but the minute we break through the InvisiFence of ugly that sometimes surrounds our property, Bam!, we are back to being the poster children for civilized behavior. And it really isn't an act-- we actually feel better and it shows.
My most recent discovery is that this works just as well when there is no one to argue with but the negative ideas floating in my own head. Whether I am feeling scared or saddened by current events or fearful of finances, I find that -- rather than wallowing in the bleakness of it all -- a step outside of my own space does wonders. No, it doesn't solve the problems in my life, but it does help me cope with them.
I find that a quiet walk is a great temporary fix, but the most long-lasting benefits come from stepping outside the fence line of my own woes and helping someone else ease theirs.
Causes Shana Moore Supports