1. How often do you spend time by yourself, either listening to music, reading a good book or simplydaydreaming?
a) You make a point of doing something special every day.
b) Too often – your social life is non-existent at the moment.
c) As often as your hectic lifestyle allows you.
2. When you buy a Lottery ticket, you think …
a) I’ll never win, and if I do I’ll be besieged by fortune-hunters.
b) It could be me, but it’s more likely to be someone else. Still, it doesn’t hurt to hope.
c) I’m going to win, I can feel it.
3. The job of your dreams has just been advertised. You …
a) Know it’s yours for the taking. They’d be mad not to employ someone as talented as you.
b) Update your CV, dust off your smartest interview suit and do your best to dazzle them.
c) Sign and ignore it – you’d never get the jobin a million years.
4. When you snuggle down under the duvetat night, your last thought is usually …
a) Thank God today is over.
b) I can’t wait till tomorrow.
5. How would you describe your social network?
a) You have lots of really good friends you can rely on.
b) You have a wide circle of acquaintances and a few special mates you’ve known for ages.
c) You find it difficult to make friends and generally prefer your own company.
6. Your best friend has just met Mr Right, but you’re in the middle of a man drought. What’s the first thought that pops into your head?
a) Good for her. She deserves to find someone who loves and respects her.
b) Hmmm, I wonder if he’s got any tasty, single mates.
c) Oh God, if she can get a man there must be something terribly wrong with me.
7. How do you feel about exercise, whether it’s going to the gym four times a week or walking the dog?
a) The very idea of exerting yourself makes you break into cold sweat.
b) You know you should do more exercise but getting motivated is really difficult.
c) Exercise is a regular part of your life and you get a buzz out of it.
8. How would you rate your overall state of health?
a) Awful – you constantly feel under the weather.
b) Generally good, but you do get the occasional sniffle.
c) It couldn’t be better.
9. After a tiff with your partner, you usually …
a) Apologize immediately and expect him to do the same – there’s no point in bearing a grudge.
b) Wait till you’ve both calmed down, then talk it over rationally.
c) Blame yourself. You must have done something really awful to upset him so much.
10. When you’re given a box of chocolates, you …
a) Eat a lot in less than 30 seconds, then feel completely sick.
b) Hide the box to avoid temptations.
c) Eat a few and save the rest for a special treat.
11. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
a) Working towards a whole new set of goals having achieved all your current ambitions.
b) Who knows? It’s as much as you can do to get through each day.
c) Probably still aiming for your dream, whether it’s travelling the world or climbing the career ladder.
12. When was the last time you had a real belly laugh?
a) Within the last day or so – your life is filled with laughter.
b) The last time something tickled your fancy.
c) What’s there to laugh about?
13. A businessman in a flash car cuts you up on the highway. You …
a) Yell some choice obscenities, flash your headlights and raise a finger in his general direction.
b) Shrug it off – what a prat.
c) Mouth ‘sorry’ at him and steer clear of him for the rest of the journey.
14. When something goes really wrong in your life, you’re most likely to …
a) Blame yourself and hide under the duvet till things improve.
b) Indulge in a little retail therapy to cheer yourself up.
c) Get on with life – things always get better in the end.
15. You unexpectedly receive a nice bi tax rebate. You …
a) Treat it as a windfall and blow the lot on a massive spending spree.
b) Wonder if they messed up and ring the Inland Revenue for advice.
c) Figure they must have made a mistake – maybe you owe them.
How did you score?
1. A-3 B-1 C-2
2. A-1 B-2 C-3
3. A-3 B-2 C-1
4. A-1 B-3 C-2
5. A-3 B-2 C-1
6. A-3 B-2 C-1
7. A-1 B-2 C-3
8. A-1 B-2 C-3
9. A-3 B-2 C-1
10. A-3 B-1 C-2
11. A-3 B-1 C-2
12. A-3 B-2 C-1
13. A-2 B-3 C-1
14. A-1 B-2 C-3
15. A-3 B-2 C-1
Stormy Weather (15-25)
Take a long, hard look at your life – is it really that bad or are you feeling so down you can’t see the bright side? “If you’ve had a run of bad luck you can get into the habit of expecting the worst and become trapped in a downward spiral,” says Simon Gelsthorpe, a clinical psychologist. “When life seems grim you need to remember how you’re feeling isn’t necessarily a true reflection of the situation,” he says. “You need to separate good from bad and focus on making the bad better/” How? First of all, stop being so hard on yourself. Some things are beyond your control, like he economy, but what about the things you can do something about? If your weight makes you unhappy, for example, why not start regular exercise and sensible diet? The moment you start doing something positive your mood will improve. But what if it’s something more serious, like getting retrenched, being dumped by your man pr relative dying? Surely you can’t shrug it off? “It’s normal to feel sadness, grief and anxiety, and these emotions are helpful. The human mind is cleverly designed. These emotions tell you to slow down, forcing you to dwell on the problem and take stock. It’s part of the healing process.”
Occasional Showers (26-35)
Life’s really not so bad, is it? You may not be floating on air but you’re not down in the dumps either. Most of us fall into this category most of the time, says Gelsthorpe. “Hitting the depths of despair or the heights of joy often depends on circumstances beyond our control. But your attitude can make a big difference to how you fell everyday. Train yourself to look on the bright side and use it as a springboard to better things. Listen to that little voice inside your head – these messages can often be negative, so learn to control it. Instead of thinking “I’m so stupid, I’ll never get this work done”, say to yourself, “Yes, I’m going yo be busy but I’ve faced bigger challenges before and overcome them”. Thinking positively but realistically is the way forward. And steer clear of friends who drag you down and seek out those who make you feel good.
Hello Sunshine! (36-45)
Your attitude makes you sparkle more than a Tiffany shop window. But while sheer joy can be the greatest experience on earth, beware you don’t set yourself up for a fall. It’s best to temper your high hopes with some realistic goals, advises Gelsthorpe. “People who feel very happy may have unrealistic expectations. If you think to yourself ‘I’m going to win the Lottery tonight’ and spend $2 on it, that’s not a problem. But, if you think, ‘I know I’m going to win’ and risk everything, then you’ll run into serious problems.” Lottery losses aside, there are other pitfalls awaiting anyone lucky enough to be riding the crest of a wave. The saying ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you’ doesn’t necessarily hold true, warns Gelsthorpe. “In fact, your happiness may make you less sympathetic with people who are suffering.” Don’t hide your happiness, bit don’t lay it on with a trowel either. Never forget what goes up must come down, moods included. Enjoy the high while it lasts.