Quick Fixes for a Bad Mood

Reviewed Mar 16, 2017

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Summary

There are many things you can do to nurture yourself during a bad mood, but you must first accept the fact that you will feel uncomfortable emotions sometimes.

The human mood. Up it goes—ah, the happiness. Life is wonderful. Oops! Down it goes—oh, life is so hard. Often it coasts along in neutral—life just is. Moods are simply a fact of life. Your brain reacts to so much on a minute basis—its own chemistry, the environment, your thoughts, and more. Whether your moods vary slightly or by the hour, you are not helpless when it comes to the low ones. While you can’t expect the following advice to guarantee you a permanently blissful state, perhaps you will find a few ways to recover more quickly from bad moods.

First steps

There are many things you can do to nurture yourself during a bad mood, but you must first accept the fact that you will feel uncomfortable emotions sometimes, such as anger, sorrow, anxiety, guilt, frustration, etc. Identifying and accepting your negative feelings prevents you from adding anxiety about your mood to the discomfort you already feel. With that aside, consider these other immediate actions you can take:

  • Breathe! A few slow, deep breaths can work wonders on your brain’s response as well as your mood.
  • Stay in the moment. Thoughts that race ahead with anxiety to the future or look back with guilt and blame tend to worsen your mood.
  • Let it go. Try this visualization: take a deep breath in and picture the breath wrapping around the negative feelings. As you breathe out, imagine that the worries, frustrations, or whatever ails you leave on the exhalation, drifting off to be handled by a “higher power.”
  • Distract. Sometimes you can step out from underneath that black cloud by taking your mind off your discomfort—organize your desk, read the comics, anything that gets your mind on something else.
  • Confess it. Talking to a sympathetic listener can help, to a point. Rehashing scenes that upset you earlier might make the bad mood linger longer than it has to!
  • Write it down. If you have trouble letting go of negative emotions, try writing about what you are feeling.
  • Time out. If you feel overwhelmed by people, noise, or activity around you, try to “escape” for at least a few minutes to a private place where you can focus on your breathing.
  • Get moving. A brisk 10-minute walk can really boost your mood, especially if it is outdoors giving you exposure to daylight. 

Indulge a little

The above suggestions might be all you have access to if your mood plummets at work or in some situation where you don’t have the freedom to make other choices. If, however, your low mood strikes at home, try pampering yourself a bit to ease tension and lift your emotional state. See whether any of these suggestions appeal to you:

  • Light a lavender candle or enjoy some other soothing fragrance.
  • Take a long bath with your favorite scented bubbles.
  • Get a massage from a loved one or even a professional masseuse—they make house calls!
  • Watch a movie that tugs your heartstrings and have a good cry, or watch one that gives you a real belly laugh.
  • Play your most soothing or uplifting music.
  • Spend a little time working on a hobby, playing a musical instrument, or some other uplifting distraction.
  • Take a brief nap—perhaps your low mood stems from poor sleep!
  • Try a relaxation method such as meditation, yoga, progressive relaxation, etc.
  • When your mood is up, start a blessings journal—an ongoing list of appreciation for all the good things in your life. Read the journal whenever your mood drops. 

The long run

Let’s assume that you’re willing to try some of these suggestions. Are you still bothered by the overall occurrence of moodiness? Remember, everyone has high and low moods—it comes with being human. Make sure, however, that you control the long-range variables that heavily influence mood. How well do you nurture your body and mind with the following?

  • Proper hydration and nutrition—varied and loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals. Adding foods that contain omega-3 oils to your diet might improve your mood.
  • Adequate sleep
  • Regular aerobic exercise and strength training
  • Limited consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugar
  • Forgiveness—Holding grudges against yourself or others damages your mood.
  • Charity—Helping someone else less fortunate than you is a wonderful mood lifter. 

When low moods linger

Now that you have immediate actions, relaxing indulgences, and even long-term changes to choose from, try the ones that fit your tastes. Don’t force yourself to do any of them—that’s sure to worsen your mood! You also need to be aware of the frequency, duration, and severity of your low moods. If you have been feeling terrible and unlike yourself for more than two weeks, see your doctor. Your doctor can rule out physical causes of mood disturbance such as thyroid problems, low blood sugar, etc. He might recommend counseling or medication if you have symptoms of depression or an anxiety disorder. Even in light of something more serious than a momentary mood drop, the suggestions described here apply as a helpful addition to therapy and medication. 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD. New Harbinger Publications Inc., 1995; You Can Be Happy No Matter What by Richard Carlson, PhD. New World Library, 1992; Top 10 Ways for Women to Nurture by Mary Jo Marchionni

Summary

There are many things you can do to nurture yourself during a bad mood, but you must first accept the fact that you will feel uncomfortable emotions sometimes.

The human mood. Up it goes—ah, the happiness. Life is wonderful. Oops! Down it goes—oh, life is so hard. Often it coasts along in neutral—life just is. Moods are simply a fact of life. Your brain reacts to so much on a minute basis—its own chemistry, the environment, your thoughts, and more. Whether your moods vary slightly or by the hour, you are not helpless when it comes to the low ones. While you can’t expect the following advice to guarantee you a permanently blissful state, perhaps you will find a few ways to recover more quickly from bad moods.

First steps

There are many things you can do to nurture yourself during a bad mood, but you must first accept the fact that you will feel uncomfortable emotions sometimes, such as anger, sorrow, anxiety, guilt, frustration, etc. Identifying and accepting your negative feelings prevents you from adding anxiety about your mood to the discomfort you already feel. With that aside, consider these other immediate actions you can take:

  • Breathe! A few slow, deep breaths can work wonders on your brain’s response as well as your mood.
  • Stay in the moment. Thoughts that race ahead with anxiety to the future or look back with guilt and blame tend to worsen your mood.
  • Let it go. Try this visualization: take a deep breath in and picture the breath wrapping around the negative feelings. As you breathe out, imagine that the worries, frustrations, or whatever ails you leave on the exhalation, drifting off to be handled by a “higher power.”
  • Distract. Sometimes you can step out from underneath that black cloud by taking your mind off your discomfort—organize your desk, read the comics, anything that gets your mind on something else.
  • Confess it. Talking to a sympathetic listener can help, to a point. Rehashing scenes that upset you earlier might make the bad mood linger longer than it has to!
  • Write it down. If you have trouble letting go of negative emotions, try writing about what you are feeling.
  • Time out. If you feel overwhelmed by people, noise, or activity around you, try to “escape” for at least a few minutes to a private place where you can focus on your breathing.
  • Get moving. A brisk 10-minute walk can really boost your mood, especially if it is outdoors giving you exposure to daylight. 

Indulge a little

The above suggestions might be all you have access to if your mood plummets at work or in some situation where you don’t have the freedom to make other choices. If, however, your low mood strikes at home, try pampering yourself a bit to ease tension and lift your emotional state. See whether any of these suggestions appeal to you:

  • Light a lavender candle or enjoy some other soothing fragrance.
  • Take a long bath with your favorite scented bubbles.
  • Get a massage from a loved one or even a professional masseuse—they make house calls!
  • Watch a movie that tugs your heartstrings and have a good cry, or watch one that gives you a real belly laugh.
  • Play your most soothing or uplifting music.
  • Spend a little time working on a hobby, playing a musical instrument, or some other uplifting distraction.
  • Take a brief nap—perhaps your low mood stems from poor sleep!
  • Try a relaxation method such as meditation, yoga, progressive relaxation, etc.
  • When your mood is up, start a blessings journal—an ongoing list of appreciation for all the good things in your life. Read the journal whenever your mood drops. 

The long run

Let’s assume that you’re willing to try some of these suggestions. Are you still bothered by the overall occurrence of moodiness? Remember, everyone has high and low moods—it comes with being human. Make sure, however, that you control the long-range variables that heavily influence mood. How well do you nurture your body and mind with the following?

  • Proper hydration and nutrition—varied and loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals. Adding foods that contain omega-3 oils to your diet might improve your mood.
  • Adequate sleep
  • Regular aerobic exercise and strength training
  • Limited consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugar
  • Forgiveness—Holding grudges against yourself or others damages your mood.
  • Charity—Helping someone else less fortunate than you is a wonderful mood lifter. 

When low moods linger

Now that you have immediate actions, relaxing indulgences, and even long-term changes to choose from, try the ones that fit your tastes. Don’t force yourself to do any of them—that’s sure to worsen your mood! You also need to be aware of the frequency, duration, and severity of your low moods. If you have been feeling terrible and unlike yourself for more than two weeks, see your doctor. Your doctor can rule out physical causes of mood disturbance such as thyroid problems, low blood sugar, etc. He might recommend counseling or medication if you have symptoms of depression or an anxiety disorder. Even in light of something more serious than a momentary mood drop, the suggestions described here apply as a helpful addition to therapy and medication. 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD. New Harbinger Publications Inc., 1995; You Can Be Happy No Matter What by Richard Carlson, PhD. New World Library, 1992; Top 10 Ways for Women to Nurture by Mary Jo Marchionni

Summary

There are many things you can do to nurture yourself during a bad mood, but you must first accept the fact that you will feel uncomfortable emotions sometimes.

The human mood. Up it goes—ah, the happiness. Life is wonderful. Oops! Down it goes—oh, life is so hard. Often it coasts along in neutral—life just is. Moods are simply a fact of life. Your brain reacts to so much on a minute basis—its own chemistry, the environment, your thoughts, and more. Whether your moods vary slightly or by the hour, you are not helpless when it comes to the low ones. While you can’t expect the following advice to guarantee you a permanently blissful state, perhaps you will find a few ways to recover more quickly from bad moods.

First steps

There are many things you can do to nurture yourself during a bad mood, but you must first accept the fact that you will feel uncomfortable emotions sometimes, such as anger, sorrow, anxiety, guilt, frustration, etc. Identifying and accepting your negative feelings prevents you from adding anxiety about your mood to the discomfort you already feel. With that aside, consider these other immediate actions you can take:

  • Breathe! A few slow, deep breaths can work wonders on your brain’s response as well as your mood.
  • Stay in the moment. Thoughts that race ahead with anxiety to the future or look back with guilt and blame tend to worsen your mood.
  • Let it go. Try this visualization: take a deep breath in and picture the breath wrapping around the negative feelings. As you breathe out, imagine that the worries, frustrations, or whatever ails you leave on the exhalation, drifting off to be handled by a “higher power.”
  • Distract. Sometimes you can step out from underneath that black cloud by taking your mind off your discomfort—organize your desk, read the comics, anything that gets your mind on something else.
  • Confess it. Talking to a sympathetic listener can help, to a point. Rehashing scenes that upset you earlier might make the bad mood linger longer than it has to!
  • Write it down. If you have trouble letting go of negative emotions, try writing about what you are feeling.
  • Time out. If you feel overwhelmed by people, noise, or activity around you, try to “escape” for at least a few minutes to a private place where you can focus on your breathing.
  • Get moving. A brisk 10-minute walk can really boost your mood, especially if it is outdoors giving you exposure to daylight. 

Indulge a little

The above suggestions might be all you have access to if your mood plummets at work or in some situation where you don’t have the freedom to make other choices. If, however, your low mood strikes at home, try pampering yourself a bit to ease tension and lift your emotional state. See whether any of these suggestions appeal to you:

  • Light a lavender candle or enjoy some other soothing fragrance.
  • Take a long bath with your favorite scented bubbles.
  • Get a massage from a loved one or even a professional masseuse—they make house calls!
  • Watch a movie that tugs your heartstrings and have a good cry, or watch one that gives you a real belly laugh.
  • Play your most soothing or uplifting music.
  • Spend a little time working on a hobby, playing a musical instrument, or some other uplifting distraction.
  • Take a brief nap—perhaps your low mood stems from poor sleep!
  • Try a relaxation method such as meditation, yoga, progressive relaxation, etc.
  • When your mood is up, start a blessings journal—an ongoing list of appreciation for all the good things in your life. Read the journal whenever your mood drops. 

The long run

Let’s assume that you’re willing to try some of these suggestions. Are you still bothered by the overall occurrence of moodiness? Remember, everyone has high and low moods—it comes with being human. Make sure, however, that you control the long-range variables that heavily influence mood. How well do you nurture your body and mind with the following?

  • Proper hydration and nutrition—varied and loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals. Adding foods that contain omega-3 oils to your diet might improve your mood.
  • Adequate sleep
  • Regular aerobic exercise and strength training
  • Limited consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugar
  • Forgiveness—Holding grudges against yourself or others damages your mood.
  • Charity—Helping someone else less fortunate than you is a wonderful mood lifter. 

When low moods linger

Now that you have immediate actions, relaxing indulgences, and even long-term changes to choose from, try the ones that fit your tastes. Don’t force yourself to do any of them—that’s sure to worsen your mood! You also need to be aware of the frequency, duration, and severity of your low moods. If you have been feeling terrible and unlike yourself for more than two weeks, see your doctor. Your doctor can rule out physical causes of mood disturbance such as thyroid problems, low blood sugar, etc. He might recommend counseling or medication if you have symptoms of depression or an anxiety disorder. Even in light of something more serious than a momentary mood drop, the suggestions described here apply as a helpful addition to therapy and medication. 

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD. New Harbinger Publications Inc., 1995; You Can Be Happy No Matter What by Richard Carlson, PhD. New World Library, 1992; Top 10 Ways for Women to Nurture by Mary Jo Marchionni

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