Feeling grumpy? It happens to the best of us. Stress is one thing , but some days, your brain just decides it’s in a bad mood and it feels impossible to beat it. Don’t give in. Here are 10 simple ways to kill that bad mood.
10. Eat and Exercise
Sometimes, just giving your body what it needs can turn your whole mood around, no matter what caused it. Heck, sometimes what’s bothering you isn’t really the issue — maybe your body just needs some food. So before you do anything else, give your body what it needs — eat something If that isn’t the problem, get a bit of exercise and get that blood moving. Even a short walk can make a difference — and if you can, do it outside in the sunshine. It’s amazing what a little attention to your body can do for your brain.
9. Do Something Creative
You may not feel like doing “work” when you’re in a bad mood, but it can actually help get you out of your funk. Researchers have found that the same “narrow, alert focus on issues” that causes a bad mood can actually be a good thing when you’re being creative — and can make for more positive emotions. So not only will you kill that bad mood, but your work will be better too!
8. Crack a Smile
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it bears repeating: research shows that just turning that frown upside-down actually makes you more likely to experience a positive mood. Of course, if you try too hard to fake it, it can backfire — so make sure to accompany that smile with some positive thoughts to help it along.
7. Do Something Nice for Someone Else
Doing something nice for others can make you feel good — even if you’re in a bad mood. So if trying to make yourself happy isn’t working, try making someone else happy. It could be something big or something small — every little bit helps.
6. Listen to Music
Music is a magical thing. One study found that 10 minutes of classical music minimized participants’ negative moods, and it’s not the only one. Find music that works for you and press play. Maybe that’s uplifting music, or maybe it’s something energetic to get your blood pumping. Listening to something you don’t know might help, too — our brains crave novelty, so a song you aren’t familiar with might be just what you need.
5. (Don’t) Vent
One of your first impulses may be to vent your frustration, but that’s actually a bad idea. Venting may feel cathartic in the moment, but it keeps your anger present rather than getting rid of it — which is, ultimately, what you want to do. So, try to channel that into more positive energy (like exercising) rather than negative (like yelling and punching stuff).
4. Stop the Momentum
Unfortunately, once you recognise you’re in a bad mood, your brain continues to expect bad things — turning a bad mood into a bad day. So catch this before it starts, and make sure you don’t give your bad mood momentum. If you can, try and evaluate what put you in that bad mood, and try and put a positive spin on it — even if it’s “I’m motivated to do better next time.” That will keep your brain from over-simplifying.
3. Breathe…and Clear Your Mind
It’s cliché, but taking a few deep breaths can really help you calm down. It’s just simplified meditating — which has been shown to have tons of mental benefits . So even if it seems silly, find a quiet space, breathe, and clear your mind for just two minutes. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel afterward.
2. Find the Patterns
If this bad mood is just an isolated incident, then you can move on once it’s beat. But if this is something that’s happening more often than you’d like, it’s time to dig a little deeper and find the root of the problem. Keep a journal , or fill out this simple form every day to see what patterns emerge — maybe it’s the same thing setting off your mood, or maybe you just aren’t eating breakfast on the days you find yourself grumpy. Whatever it is, finding the pattern is the first step to defeating it.
1. See It Through
Lastly, while it may seem counter-intuitive, you may have to spend some time on what’s bothering you. If it’s something you need to deal with, pushing it down isn’t going to help. Instead, think through what’s making you mad — whether it’s a piece of bad news or something else — and let your brain fully process it. If you do, you can actually lessen the effect it has on you. That isn’t to say you should dwell on it all day long, but if it’s something you need to work through, you’re better off doing it now than letting it fester.