We’ve all had a morning or two (or many) when we’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed and understand that until we change our attitude, the avalanche of heavy feelings will continue to pound us until we can either outrun it or sidestep it and let it roll on by.
I’ll speak candidly here by confessing that waking up on the wrong side of the bed doesn’t happen often to me, but when it does, watch out! Ha
In those moments, I wish I could walk away from myself. The weight of a bad mood is suffocating. I typically stand under a stream of hot water and beg for a magic wand to zap it away. The last thing I want to do is drag around the weight of a negative attitude the entire day.
On the odd days I wake up like this, the first thing I usually do is try to figure out what’s causing it. In fact, I jump into obsessive mode which only serves to aggravate the stress hormones even more! Typically, I have no idea why I feel irritated. It could be the result of a bad night’s sleep, a poor dinner choice from the night before, or a misread signal from someone.
Thankfully what I do know is that it’s temporary.
It is possible to boost a mood.
None of us are immune to yucky feelings. We all get them. Some people just seem to navigate such waves with ease. It doesn’t mean their struggles are any lighter. It just means they have a process for dealing with the ebb and flow of positive and negative emotions.
I love processes. They bring order to chaos. They empower me with a sense of control. They arm me with strategic actions that keep me moving forward in those times it would be so easy to just stay stuck in the muck and wallow. Hell, I don’t want to spend my time wallowing. I want to keep charging forward.
I want a process for when a bad mood strikes!
So, what to do? I set out to discover one by asking a few people what they do to boost a mood.
Here’s what they offered:
10 Minute Vent Period
When I wake up in a bad mood, instead of taking it out on someone else, I take it out on my journal. I give myself 10 minutes to vent. I write feverishly getting all of my feelings onto that paper. I typically find the reason for my bad mood in those 10 minutes. Seeing my feelings written out frees me. I no longer have to carry the weight of my words. They are safely tucked into the pages of my journal, unjudging.
Hit the gym
I literally work out the kinks of a bad mood through rigorous exercise. I pound my feet into the floor, punch a bag, crunch my abs, and challenge my heart to go full steam ahead. When I put my all into a workout under these circumstances, I have no room for bad feelings afterwards. They leave my system on the beads of sweat and evaporate once they’ve exited my body. Whatever bad vibes came in with me are no longer attached after a workout.
Perform a random act of kindness
When I’m feeling grumpy, I make a conscience effort to go out of my way to do something nice for someone else. How can you remain in a bad mood when you’re helping to make another person feel great? It’s impossible.
Turn to funny videos
Nothing pulls me from a bad mood like a funny video. YouTube is like a playground full of them. Laughing makes me happy. It never makes me feel bad. So, logic points me to YouTube on such mornings.
Sing your heart out
A bad mood just gets worse the more I think about it. My mind is like a runaway train when it gets stuck. The only way to get off that track and onto a better one for me is to change the frequency. I change it by putting on one of my favorite tunes and singing until I feel good. Doesn’t usually take more than a song or two.
When I used to suffer from panic attacks, I used a technique of tightening my muscles for five seconds and then releasing the tension. I’d do a few rotations of this technique until the feeling of panic subsided. I won back control over my body through this technique. When a bad mood strikes, I apply the same technique. Within a few rotations, I am back in control and replacing that foul mood with one that makes me feel a whole lot better.
Your turn. What’s your favorite way to boost a mood?