Today on Twitter, a mom asked:
My response was,
“ I don’t think it’s hard at all. I stopped paying attention to low moods. The more you ignore it the faster it goes away.”
I thought this was a blogworthy topic so here goes.
4 Ways To Get Out of a Bad Mood Quickly
Seriously, I think the #1 most important tip is:
1) Ignore It
For real, the fastest and easiest way to get out of a bad mood is to simply ignore it. Moods are temporary – good and bad. The more attention you pay to a low mood, the longer it sticks around.
Women are ruminators. We try to analyze what happened and why. This is one of the reasons women suffer from depression more than men.
But ruminating tends to perpetuate whatever it is you’re feeling. No, scratch that. Ruminating tends to perpetuate BAD moods, not good. In fact researchers have discovered that the more people analyze why they’re *happy*, the less happiness they report feeling.
So stop thinking about your moods and just enjoy them. They’re the spice of life.Go on about your business and do whatever it is you normally do or need to do, and stop freaking out or even paying attention to your mood.
2) Self Nurture
This may take the form of a nap, or a bit of exercise, or whatever makes you feel good without being self destructive (like sugar, which will just make you feel guilty after eating it).
Things that work for me: A hot cup of coffee (and caffeine has natural antidepressant qualities too). Coldplay will jolly me out of a bad mood (or at least keep me company during). Going to the gym (increasing endorphin levels). Hugging one of my kids. Reading a great story aloud. Reading anything I enjoy reading.
You might find it helpful to make a list of ten things that make you happy, and keeping it close by so that when you are having a crappy day, you can pull it out and do one.
3) Reach Out
When you’re feeling low, the natural tendency is to isolate yourself. It makes us tired when we’re in a bad mood, and we don’t want others to see our bad side.
Forget all that! Reaching out to people you care about can remind you that your feelings about whatever are temporary. And it also helps you focus on someone else. Shifting focus tends to take you out of whatever mood you’re in. (You could even blog about it. Works for me.)
If you keep a journal, you can go back and read your entries and it will become really clear to you that your moods are transitory. No matter how bad you feel today, you’ll feel better soon – maybe in a matter of hours.
People who study the science of happiness will tell you that a) negative events never impact you as negatively as you think they will, once the dust settles, and b) positive effects don’t impact you as positively as you thought they would, once the dust settles.
I keep a book on my bedside bookshelf. It’s called:
I read it through twice and still refer to it from time to time. It has been, literally, a life changing book for me.