We all get in crummy moods. Oh, not the depressive or grieving ones. Those take a different sort of attention to manage. But just the down-home, from a definable source or not, garden-variety bad mood.
We don’t need to list the causes 🙂
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being in a bad mood. It makes me grumpy. And worse, it takes happiness out of my moment. Life is short. I intend for my moments to be about creating my life, in a positive way, so even the loss of one precious moment is a sin.
Maybe a reason exists for why you’re not in a stellar place. So, the plan is to figure out how to change your mood, without deceiving your own feelings.
Here’s a method to turn that frown back into a smile.
- Did You Transgress?
Okay, so that sounds counterproductive. But in order to make sure that I’m not covering over emotions, I first dissect the feelings, and the actions and thoughts that led to them.
A guilty conscience, stuffed down, can sure ruin a day. So, the question becomes did I do something to cause it.
Because of course if I did, I can take action to repair my sin. And once you first ‘fess up, that mood goes from downturned to up.
- Have you Abandoned Yourself?
Of course not! Why on Earth would you do that?
This can be in any area of your life, and often it occurs without you even thinking about it.
To make sure, make a list of habits that tend to bite you in the butt. Not the kind you’re trying to overcome, but those you wish you had. You know—eating more vegetables, walking daily, reading more uplifting material, anything that improves you in any way.
Have you been remiss in practicing these?
Practice one right now. Even if it’s simply eating an apple. I just saw a report that said the skins of apples help stay the muscle wasting we all experience as we grow older. How cool is that?
- Have a nice cup of Darjeeling Tea. Or a glass of ruby-red Sangiovese, which tickles your tongue.
The point being not to drink your bad mood away, but rather to re-direct your mind to the tingle of your taste buds and focus, just for a minute, on something other than what’s wrong.
Besides, both tea and wine in moderation have great health benefits, so you’re doing something good for yourself too. Can’t beat that!
- Put in those ear buds and listen to a happy song. We know that music is a great mood lifter. You can successfully improve your mood and boost overall happiness doing so, according to a study by Yuna Ferguson in The Journal of Positive Psychology.
It keeps you in the moment, rather than the future.
“People could focus more on enjoying their experience of the journey towards happiness and not get hung up on the destination,” Ferguson said.
- Pet your dog.
This one works for me on an ongoing basis! Because we know that when looking into the eyes of your dog or petting it, being close and focused, raises the oxytocin levels in both human and canine. The bonding hormone. Which also fosters a feeling of well-being.
Lord knows, I have enough four-leggeds here who always need attention that I get my dose every day! But if I’m sad, have the blues, am in a bad mood, I stop, sit in the floor, and get snarfled by puppy love. Before I know it, I’m laughing my way back to work.
- Think of someone or something you love. Just visualize that.
Didn’t you feel your heart turn around? Just with the mental image of a beloved, you actually feel those emotions coursing through your body. Boosting your immune system. Making you smile.
A Course in Miracles constantly says, there are only two emotions in the human breast—love and fear. Fear being the manifestation of all feelings that are not love. And you cannot feel them both at the same time.
By visualizing a being you love, you pivot your attention back to the positive. And of course, your feelings follow 🙂
Just practice the physical act of smiling. If only for a group of seconds.
We’re not talking smile because you feel like it, but rather utilizing the muscles in your face that do so. You know, like doing all those ab crunches at the gym you hate so much—working any muscle causes it to strengthen.
Funny thing about smiling—studies show that by doing so, your mood is actually lifted. So, you don’t have me telling you this, but scientists who study these things!
And funny enough too, often when I force a smile when I’m not feeling that at all, the act of doing so seems so ludicrous that it makes me laugh. And I like to laugh. It makes me happy!
The main point being, by doing any of these things or a hundred more like them, it gives you a break from the negative. If only for a second or two. But that opens the door to see whatever had you bummed in a new light. Yep, it’s still there, but you got out from under it just long enough for it not to own you.
Which is the place from which you can handle it.
And that should make you happy!
What do you do to get in a good mood?
This Post Has 4 Comments
Kari14 Oct 2015
Petting my dogs is definitely something I do to bring myself into a good mood. I squish them too. I didn’t know it promoted the bonding hormone, but that makes total sense. Contact is definitely something we all need.
Did you see the story about Godfrey Cuotto? He let a man hold his hand and hug him on a bus ride, and you can see the need this man needed some sort of contact. Powerful stuff.
Susan Malone15 Oct 2015
So true, Kari–we sorely need contact with living beings, whether two- or four-legged!
And I did see the story about Godfrey Cuotto. How incredibly cool was that! Restores your faith in human kind 🙂
Sharon M Hart20 Jul 2016
If I am not in a good mood, I usually just sit for a while with the mood I am in and wait for it to teach me what I need to learn. As Rumi says, “the dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
Susan Malone20 Jul 2016
I love that Rumi quote, Sharon! Such wisdom there. And yes, we learn from the light and the dark times . . .