I sometimes find myself in a crappy mood. At least fleetingly, and I’m sure you sometimes feel the same.
Whether this has come out of overthinking, not getting our needs met, poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise, being disrespected, or it’s just one of those days, bad moods can originate from a spectrum of causes. That’s for another post.
One thing is certain, though. Bad moods suck for getting work done, being creative, and generally being excellent at life.
Today, let’s talk about what you can do to improve the situation when you find yourself in such a mood. In my thirty short years, I’ve experienced many emotions and done many things in an effort to shift bad emotions. I’ve often failed at trying, but some things just worked.
There are many ways to improve your emotions. But several (like taking a fun trip) take a lot of time and money, many are indirect and a lot depend on the person.
I have three ways that I’ve come to know work for anybody, to get yourself out of a bad mood very rapidly. Here they are:
Move your body. Become in tune with your muscles and your breathing. Lifting weights is amazing and fairly faultless at improving mood. But so is taking a run, getting your heart beating for twenty minutes or more, dancing, doing yoga, and sweating.
Your body rewards you with great feelings when you allow it to move and play, like you would allow a dog off its leash to run and play.
Creativity and productivity is expressed most fully not after a lazy cup of coffee, but after physical activity. Your brain is your body. The two are one and the same: inextricably linked.
Work out your body, and your brain will become alive. Never forget this.
If you’re anxious about something, move. I lift weights, then shake out my body (including working the vocal chords) for a few minutes before I have to do something that makes me nervous like public speaking. It really helps me.
Draw attention into your body and get out of your head. Don’t try and get out of your thoughts, simply move, feel that movement, and your mood will improve.
Eating well in general is important over the long-term. But if you want that quick fix, eat (or drink) something right now. Bad mood is often down to your body not getting the nutrients it needs.
When I’m angry about something, it’s rarely truly about the thing I think I’m angry about. My hunger is often to blame for fabricating negativity.
And don’t just eat anything. A bag of chips will make your mood worse. Eat something nourishing that you need like protein or something rich in antioxidants and toxin removal like raw spinach, hot nettle soup, or spirulina. Then feel your mood soar.
You’ve heard people yapping on about us being social animals a thousand times. And it’s true. We are alive when we are, and feel, connected. Social media is connection but it is not nourishing as much as meeting and helping real people is.
In the same way as your body rewards movement and exercise with great feelings, so too does your mammalian brain when you socialise the amount you need, especially when you are giving value and creating for others.
Introverts don’t need as much socialisation as extroverts, so be aware of your limits, and rest.
It always feels great after you’ve called a good, fun, positive friend. Do this when you’re in a bad mood.
Take ‘social courage‘ and meet new people. Go to a class, teach a class, go out, set up coffee meets.
You know how good it feels after you’ve taken some form of social courage, whether that be talking to a sales person, teaching a class, talking to someone at a party or giving a talk?
That’s because this is one of the most nourishing and important forms of courage you can do.
Get in front of real, new people. The social animal inside you will lift you out of your bad mood when you do.
To finish off, you know more than anyone else what it is you need to do to lift yourself from your mood, and obviously some things are not so easily fixed over the long term. However, for a quick turnaround, these three are the golden keys.
Do comment with your thoughts.
All watercolor images sourced from Shutterstock.