At the start of every new school year, the school I worked at would hold teacher training days. We would all file into the hall and go over school policies, meet in our year groups to plan for the year and listen to speeches that aimed to motivate us and get us pumped up for the year ahead. I remember one speech mentioning something called Mood Hoovers. The man told us about these people that lived amongst us whose sole purpose was to drag everyone down to their miserable level. We laughed at the dramatic way in which he told of us this terrible Mood Hoover invasion, but the older I get, the more I start to wonder if this invasion is actually real.
A Mood Hoover is a person who comes into work and has a complaint before the day has even started. They’re the person who sighs when they’re asked to do something, who constantly is on count down until break or the end of the day. They are the one who claims they hate where their life is at but then does nothing to change it. They’re the one that you don’t even try to emotionally boost anymore. They’re the person that you feel suck away your enthusiasm and positivity. In short, they’re the person that you try to avoid.
For the purpose of the start of year speech, we were told that some of our fellow colleagues could be Mood Hoovers and that on some days that even we could turn into one. We were shown strategies that would enable us to speak to a Mood Hoover in a way that would stop our joy from being sucked away as well as ones that would be able to turn our own Mood Hoover mood around.
The man spoke as if these Mood Hoovers were only around in the professional sense, but taking a look at the wider world around me, I began to notice how many Mood Hoovers there were and more worryingly, how much of an impact they had on my life.
The reality is that Mood Hoovers are everywhere. Those soaps on TV where nothing but awful stuff seems to happen? Mood Hoover. That magazine that tells you to be beautiful you need to be a size 8 with DD boobs and get fillers in your lips? Mood Hoover. Those Instagram bloggers that says they don’t work out at all but somehow have abs? Mood Hoovers. Those people on dating apps that list of their superficial requirements in a partner like it’s a shopping list? Mood Hoovers. That friend that never has a good word to say about anyone or anything? Mood Hoover.
Anything and everything around you that serves only to scoop up your happpiness and wrench it from your grip is a Mood Hoover.
So why is it worthy of being in your life?
Recently, an important dialogue on ‘culling’ the negative influences in our life seems to be breaking into the mainstream media. Whilst it sounds a little extreme, it’s one of the things you can do that brings you the most happiness. It’s really quite a simple procedure too – if it doens’t make you smile, get rid of it. Cut it off. Don’t speak to it. Don’t look at it. Ditch it from your life. It serves you no purpose.
Think about the way you use your phone, the people you speak to, the areas in your life that you dedicate the most time to – Do they make you happy?
Do you follow people you could never look like without starving yourself and changing every bit of who you are just to beat yourself up because you don’t look like them? Unfollow them.
Do you read news articles that you know are written by journalists working for corporations that want the world to be divided more than it is now? Stop reading them.
Do you waste your time on toxic people that you know you have outgrown but feel a sick sense of loyalty to them because they have been in your life for a long time? Stop speaking to them.
Do you keep clothes that used to fit you in your wardrobe, telling yourself that ‘one day you’ll fit into them again’ then berate yourself every time you dare to enjoy food? Throw them out.
Whatever the negative influence that is holding your happiness back is, it needs to be gone from your life. It will serve no purpose other than to suck up any sense of joy that you feel. How can you be happy when all you see, hear and do causes you nothing but sadness? How can you smile when you have surrounded yourself with things that tell you that you aren’t pretty enough, aren’t smart enough, aren’t good enough?
So the next time you’re scrolling online and that girl that you see at the gym more than you see your own reflection posts an edited, filtered selfie with a face full of makeup on and the caption #naturalbeauty, #noworkoutneeded and #makeupfree, delete her. The next time you see an article telling you that this group of people in society are a plague and want to hurt this group of people, don’t click the link and allow yourself to be poisoned by lies. The next time you see an advert for a meal replacement drink that promises you that you’ll lose a stone in a week guilt free and end up with abs like an athlete, turn the page and don’t buy it. Ignore the negativity that surrounds us. Don’t feed the fire, don’t fuel the Mood Hoovers. Fuel yourself and your happiness. Trust me, you’ll have a happier life by doing so.