We are human and will certainly have our moments of feeling not so great. Sometimes our bad moods have a specific trigger, sometimes we are just feeling generally unhappy about our lives, and then there are the times we are feeling miserable from the second we wake up. I have always been prone to moodiness, but because of my intense interest in personal development and self-improvement, I have made it a point to investigate these states more closely and develop ways of coping with them, rather than completely falling victim to my unpredictable emotional whims. While I am far from an expert, my little journey into my mind has taught me a thing or two, and there is a good chance some of the things that have worked for me will work for you too. Here are just a few to chew on.
Accept the Feelings and Resist Judgment One of the reasons that we have such a hard time dealing with our negative emotions is the fact that we feel bad about feeling bad. There is this whole extra layer of negative feeling that comes along with our anxiety, anger, frustration or sadness. We don’t want to feel this way and that thought just makes everything worse. One of the things that have helped me most in dealing with my moods was just accepting the moment, accepting I felt badly and accepting my imperfect human nature where I struggle and stumble through life sometimes. I stopped being so hard on myself for not being able to handle things in a more ‘’enlightened’’ or ‘’wise’’ fashion. Something amazing happens when you do this. You may still feel whatever it is you are feeling, but the suffering around it lessens significantly. Suffering results from how we are reacting and perceiving, and accepting our bad moods reduces the suffering.
Make a Gratitude List When we are feeling bad, it is easy to get consumed by these feelings and whatever issue is causing our malaise. No matter how many good things we may have in our lives, the ‘’bad’’ things tend to receive more weight and attention; our problems create very strong emotional responses and it is easy to get sucked in. We take the good stuff for granted. Our moods are all about perception, not any concrete reality. A shift in perspective can do wonders. Again, you may not magically feel better, but you can bring yourself out of the muck even just a little bit. Next time bad mood strikes, write out a list of all the things you have to be grateful for in your life, down to the littlest thing. After looking at that list, you will likely experience a mental boost; you will realize that no matter what issue you are dealing with now, there is good in your life, there are things to be thankful for, and that you probably do not have it so bad.
Take Care of Your Body This last tip is not just about any sort of immediate action to tackle an acute attack of moodiness, but about your overall lifestyle. Taking good care of your body is crucial for your overall mental well-being. But, first I will tackle some immediate body care tips that always lift my spirits. First and foremost, get moving. Just 25 minutes of exercise has been shown to enhance the production of mood-boosting chemicals. I have found a brisk walk and a series of stretches that target my whole body do wonders for my emotional state. I am also a huge fan of herbal teas to boost mood, and the herbs best known for this purpose include domain, kava, St. John’s wort and passionflower. Take a nice hot shower or bath to relax your muscles. As for the long-term, make a commitment to eating better. Keeping blood sugar stable can help improve your mental state. This means cutting back on the sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eat more fresh, whole foods. Once I made serious changes to my eating habits, I noticed huge changes in my mental state. Photo Credit