Sometimes it just feels like nothing is going right. Believe me, we’ve all been there. You accidentally overslept, spilled your coffee and now you have to rush out of the door, only to find out your car won’t start.
Whatever the reason is, bad moods happen to all of us. But what do you do when you’re in a bad mood? Do you feel sorry for yourself and act snippy the rest of the day? Do you let your day get ruined? I sure hope not.
Changing the way you deal with a bad mood can actually change your life. It certainly changed mine.
Going for a run might seem to be the least appealing thing right now, but I promise you’ll feel better after you’ve finished! John J. Ratey, M.D., author of the amazing book (that you really need to read) Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, argues that humans evolved to move, and the health of our brains—and the moods our brains experience—rely on physical activity to stay healthy.
Text a friend, call your mom (nothing to be ashamed about) or even chat to yourself in your head. Reflecting on a past situation and putting it into perspective can help tremendously to improve your mood, or talk about something completely unrelated to help you focus on the good out there. It’s a like a mini talk therapy session.
Bring your attention to the present
If your bad mood is caused by something that happened in the past – and chances are it is – try to focus your mind on the present. It’s tempting to dwell on whatever happened, but it probably won’t really help you. Yes, that fight you had with your partner this morning sucked but you can talk it out later – it’s time to tackle your to-do list now. For me, it helps to practice deep breathing and muscle relaxation so I can focus on the here and now.
Do something new
I love to write short stories about happy things when I feel down. Or I go for a walk to a place I’ve never been before. Honestly, breaking out of my routine is usually all I need. Even talking to a stranger can completely bring my good mood back. By doing something new, I have to be completely in the moment and thus force myself to take my mind off of the thing that put me in a bad mood in the first place. Easy!
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