Developing a mood box or book is a good exercise in contemplative Christian mindfulness, particularly when you are fighting against negative thinking. I’ve used this practice with people struggling against serious illness and/or depression. It is just as effective for the ups and downs of daily life.
The first step is to determine what mood you want to feel. You can create mood boxes or books to encourage hope, joy, optimism, trust in God, contentment and more.
Select an attractive box or blank book that, if possible, reflects this emphasis. This is a private exercise, so the box has to speak to you and no one else. You also can decorate the box or book to please yourself. I’ve also used decorated photo storage boxes to get a head start on the look I wanted.
Then fill the box or book with cues that encourage the mood you want. Try to appeal to many of your senses. You can add:
- Scripture verses
- Quotes from books
- Song lyrics
- Images cut from magazines or books
- Essential oils
- Items from nature
If you are creating a book rather than a box, you can put essential oils or perfume on the pages to get scent. Continue to add to the box over time, or to remove things if they lose their appeal.
One of my friends has a mood box based on hope, originally created as she served as caregiver for a sick loved one. When the person died, she made a ritual of emptying the box and starting to collect box contents again.
Put the mood box or book in a place where you can see it daily. When you feel far from your desired mood, use it for a few minutes to help yourself go on the right path.