3 Lessons From Eeyore on Cheering Up

It’s dreary here. February and March are cruel in Pennsylvania.

I recently talked with a friend in New Zealand. It’s late summer there. But it’s late winter here and it’s been cloudy since December 3.

This morning it’s raining.

3 dangers of negative emotion:

  1. Small irritations are more irritating when you’re blue.
  2. People are more frustrating when it’s cloudy.
  3. Problems are bigger when you’re pessimistic.

3 lessons from Eeyore:

#1. “Don’t blame me if it rains.” Eeyore

List all the “drizzling issues” that come to mind. (Take five minutes.)

Circle the most serious issues and put a square around the least serious.

Cross out every issue on your list where you have little or no control.

Successful leaders focus on things within their control.

Which drizzling issue – that’s within your control – would you like to begin solving today?

Lower your expectations. You don’t need to solve it. Just begin.

#2. Think “It could be worse.”

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.

“So it is.”

And freezing.”

“Is it?”

“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

#3. The blues aren’t permanent.

“The nicest thing about the rain is that it always stops. Eventually.” Eeyore

Perhaps you tend toward less happiness. Bubbly people irritate you.

Explanatory style impacts attitude. Pessimists think problems are permanent and pervasive. Optimists think of problems as temporary and isolated. (Read, “Learned Optimism,” by Martin Seligman)

4 tips that Eeyore didn’t suggest:

#4. Avoid complainers.

Don’t have coffee with Downer Dave or Negative Nancy. You can’t permanently avoid them, but just for today you can.

#5. Improve something.

The door has been sticking for months. Get some sandpaper and fix it.

#6. Do something you enjoy.

#7. Move.

  1. Go on a ‘tell me something good’ walk-about.
  2. Exercise over lunch. (At least take a walk.)
  3. Walk up and down the stairs a few times.

What’s dangerous about negative emotion? Not dangerous?

What do you do when you feel blue?

16 Ways to Lead Through Sadness (Leadership Freak)

Glad, Mad, Sad, Teams Catch a Leaders Mood (Goleman)

7 Ways to Cheer Up in Less than 60 Seconds (Jack Canfield)