Kick the blues: How to manage a bad mood.
You’ve overslept and wake up to twenty missed calls, your internet is down, you discover a past due credit card bill and a traffic jam makes you late for work. Oh, nothing catastrophic occurs, just a series of frustrating delays, minor mishaps, and dropped details that, cumulatively, drive you crazy. All at once you realize: I’m in a terrible mood, again.
On some days, staying upbeat can be quite a task. Bad moods grasp us from all sorts of botherances, from petty things like not having breakfast on time to big stuff like having a fight with your partner.
WHAT DO I DO?
- Don’t flail in the quicksand: Accept and embrace your state of mind. Understand that your feelings are always normal– albeit irrational at times, they are always normal responses to our nature and our nurture. A major part of our frustration in a bad mood comes with trying to writhe out of it. Simply be mindful of your mood-state and accept that “it is as it is.”
- Try getting to the root: We all get into bad moods and the main reason we have trouble extracting ourselves from them effectively is when we’re not aware of what’s causing it. Decode Your Mood: Ask yourself questions to figure out what’s really wrong.
- What’s really bugging me? Was it because I overslept? No, it must be the argument I had two days ago. Small rejections, guilt, exhaustion, low self-esteem – thinking what triggered the bad mood will ward off confusion and subconsciously prepare you to handle things better should the incident repeat again.
- Am I avoiding something? Ask yourself if there’s something that you’re unwilling to address.
- Could it be more than one thing? It’s common to have multiple emotions cropping up at the same time. If there are multiple things bringing you down, divide and conquer – tackle one thing at a time.
3. Process your emotions : Start by taking a few deep breaths. Find a quiet place and take a few minutes for yourself to sort out your thoughts. Ideally, go someplace where you can have privacy to shut down the stimulation to your brain. If you’re at a busy place, like your office or a restaurant, take a walk around the block or go out for some fresh air. Later on,you might want to journal about how you are feeling to figure out a way out of the problem.
- Practice mindfulness: It helps to stay centered in the present—even when it’s not all that pleasant. Practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or meditation to reboot your mind, body and spirit. Sit quietly for a few minutes and try some deep, calming breaths. Focus on the breath moving in and out of the body and gently guide attention back to the breath if the mind starts to wander.
- 5. Blow off steam: Talking through our concerns makes them seem more manageable. Call a patient friend or relative and be sure to tell her/him you’re not trying to fix anything―you just want a listener
- Don’t be too hard on yourself: We are all works in progress and it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes. Forgive yourself for any slip-ups and practice self-care to make yourself feel better.
- Check if you are Hungry or Exhausted : Being hungry for a long time or exhausted tends to get u cranky and irritable. If it’s been a while since you last ate, have a snack. When we don’t get enough sleep it significantly impacts our thinking, creativity, and especially our general mood. Taking a 15-minute power nap would be sufficient to recharge your batteries and get you going.
- Distract yourself: Diversions allow our emotions to calm down. Listen to a happy song, dress up for yourself, play with a pet, read a few pages of your favourite book, fold laundry, jump or dance around to some upbeat music- just do something that takes your mind off the problem for a while.
- Don’t expect people to be mind-readers: Talk to your loved ones and tell them what you feel, or need. If you think you would do better on your own, ask for some space.
Instead of stocking up your shelves with anti-depressants or sleeping over the meh mood, consider these simple pick-me-up activities help you to break the blues.
- Drink some water or warm tea slowly and mindfully. (Green tea’s theanine has even been shown to enhance mood.)
- Eat a healthy snack – chomp on some nuts, bit of dark chocolate or a fruit.
- Listen to music that makes you happy or relaxes you.
- Count your blessings.Think about or write down 5 things that you’re thankful for right now in your life. Expressing gratitude creates an instant mood boost.
- Sniff certain scents.Inhaling the scent of orange or lavender can reduce anxiety and improve mood.
- Take a shower. Close close your eyes and let the water run down your face and over your head; somehow not only cleaning your body, but your mind and spirit.
- Talk to a family member/ friend. Ask them how their day was. Talk about the weather, a good book you read. Sometimes, listening to people’s happy experiences also lifts your mood.
- De-clutter.Getting organized helps us feel calmer instantly. Just five to ten minutes is enough to tackle a small project, like a desk or a corner in the kitchen would be enough.
- Get some exercise:If possible, go out for a brisk walk, or do some yoga poses. Just 10 minutes of an active and distracting activity breaks the flow of rumination and lifts people’s moods. As a form of exercise, yoga impacts mood and anxiety. If you change how you move and use your body your mood will change.
- Do something you’ve been putting off: Though you may be dreading it, once you do it, you’ll feel happier! You’ll be surprised by the difference this makes in your mood.
- Achieve a goal.You would be surprised how small successes can have big mood payoffs
- Ogle at or buy some flowers.Studies find flowers provide an instant and lasting mood boost.
Because we are human, anger and foul moods are a natural and normal part of life and they needn’t be shameful nor destructive. Know that you are not your anger and understand that this too, shall pass .The more you practice self-compassion and self-care, inner peace and serenity will be restored and you will be able to deal better with with the challenges life throws at you.