Ever heard somebody utter the phrase, “Somebody must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed!” in your general direction? Not only is it hugely irritating to be reminded that you aren’t feeling bright and cheery – the statement itself seems to imply that your mood is set and that nothing can change it.
I disagree. Personally, I think that our minds are a reflection of the thoughts we choose to dwell on – which makes it entirely possible to change a bad mood to a good one if you find yourself battling a sometimes-grouchy demeanor.
The following are a few of the different techniques I’ve either used or heard about that can be used to reset your mood to a happier state:
- Aim for gratitude
Often times, I find that my bad moods stem from feeling deficient in some area. Maybe I wish that my business was further ahead, that I was wealthier or that I was in better shape. Even if these thoughts are unfounded, they can really get me down!
In these cases, taking the time to be grateful for the things I am fortunate to have puts me in a better mood every time. To really put things in perspective, I’ll try to take some action that solidifies this gratitude – whether that’s making a list of things I’m thankful for, writing a thank you note to someone who’s helped me or some other task that helps me feel better about where I’m at now.
- Put on your favorite song
We all have songs that make us feel happier overall (plus songs that get us down – avoid these at all costs!). Blasting these “feel good” tunes can make a big difference in lightening your mood.
- Get some “touch time”
Believe me – I’m not trying to be dirty here. In fact, studies have demonstrated that engaging in touch – whether that’s getting a massage, petting a dog or simply holding hands with your spouse – helps to lower blood pressure, improve the stress response and improve your overall mood.
- Do something you love
If your bad mood is preventing you from getting your work done, take a break and do something you love. If you love playing video games, take a 15-minute break away from whatever’s stressing you out to shoot some zombies. If you play a musical instrument, a 10-minute jam session might be all you need to help you turn your mood around and get back to business.
- Do something healthy
It’s no secret that exercise raises endorphin levels, which improve your mood and make you feel better overall. Really, I’ve found that very few things turn my bad days into good days than a hard gym workout. If you’re feeling down or angry, a long run, a kickboxing class or a weight lifting session might be all you need to start feeling better.
- Try a new food
Sometimes changing things up with one sensory system – in this case, experimenting with new tastes – is enough to promote adjustments in other bodily systems. And really, if you go out of your way to make sure the new food is one that you’ll enjoy, why wouldn’t you be in an instantly better mood?!
- Sniff a lemon
Okay, I can’t personally say that I’ve tried this one, but I’ve seen it recommended in a few different places. Basically, the idea is that the fresh, citrus scent promotes a positive mood – but I’ll leave it up to you if you want to try this one…
- Stare at something blue
The idea that different colors promote different emotional responses is pretty well-established and, in this case, blue is important because it’s the color of relaxation. Really, this is why therapists often recommend that patients stare at the sky in the hopes that its blue color will provide a calming effect.
To achieve these benefits for yourself, try putting on a blue shirt, sitting in a blue room or tucking yourself under a blue blanket. Not only will you be warm and cozy, you’ll find yourself in a better mood as well!
This one goes along with the ‘expressing gratitude’ idea listed above, but really, if you want to put it into perspective exactly how lucky you are, spend some time volunteering. The process of helping other people in the world to benefit their situations can be a huge mood booster, while also providing valuable services to the less fortunate in your area.
- Put a smile on your face
Finally, if you’re feeling down, try plastering a smile on your face – no matter how awful you feel! You’ll think that you look silly at first, but eventually, you’ll find that your mood begins to turn around and your interactions with others around you improve.
What do you do when you’re feeling down? Share your best mood changing techniques in the comments section below!