From time to time, we all find ourselves in a bad, brooding mood.
Whether it’s there when we wake in the morning, or triggered by a comment, thought or incident throughout our day, the sullen state of mind and feeling we’re left in is pretty icky.
We get stuck in a temporary cycle of deep thought that makes us feel heavy, unhappy, angry or worried. It affects not only our own vibes — but the energy around us.
Eventually, to our relief (and the people close to us) we snap out of it.
Though it’s completely normal to have a range of emotions and not be 100% happy all the time, you don’t have to sit around and wait for the cloud to lift.
Instead, here are a few ways to actively let go, overcome a bad mood and get on with your day.
How your body functions and moves plays a large role in how you fee — both physically and mentally.
If you’re feeling fairly so-so, it’s possible to change your physiology to improve your frame of mind.
Anthony Robbins is a big proponent of this one.
“Change your physiology, change your state,” he says.
So, if you find yourself feeling grumpy, run-down, or unmotivated, take stock of how you’re moving your body or carrying yourself in that moment. Straighten your posture and refine your stance. Change your gestures and body language. Smile. Laugh.
It’s probably the last thing you feel inclined to do, but force yourself to get moving. Whether it’s as simple as doing some light stretches, or sweating it out in the gym, exercise is one of the most powerful ways to improve your physiology — so get those endorphins buzzing!
Focus on your breath
Bad moods are the product of the thoughts we have — so when we distract or train our thoughts to take a different shape, we can uplift our spirit and sense of ‘suffering’.
There are plenty of breathing exercises available, but you can start with simply closing your eyes and taking long, slow and full breaths.
Allow yourself to focus inward and reset the rhythm of your mind — and your day.
Also, you don’t necessarily have to wait until a bad mood strikes before you implement some good breathing techniques. Sitting in stillness and focusing on your breath, on the regular, can help you avoid these bouts of negativity in the first place!
When you’re feeling stuck in unpleasant circumstances, using some creative visualisation can help you change the picture, and ultimately the situation, in your mind.
To start, have a think about your current situation and what’s causing the yucky-ness. Then, conjure an image of how you’d prefer to feel. Start at the beginning, and mentally work through the situation until you reach a better outcome in your mind — the way you really want things to go.
For example, if you’re having a rough day at work, picture yourself with a smile on your face and a spring in your step while checking off your to-do list with ease.
If you’re overwhelmed by deadlines and paralysed by fear of failure, picture yourself kicking your goals, churning out an awesome end-product — and celebrating your success at the end of it all.
If you’re in a generally bad mood and you’re unsure why, it can be as simple as thinking about someone you love or a happy memory — anything that makes your feel all warm and fuzzy — to kibosh those bad vibes.
Another simple visualisation technique is to imagine yourself becoming immersed in a beautiful, warm, golden light and a corresponding sense of happiness and freedom.
It may take some practice to shift your feelings to match this new mental picture, but it works!
Change your internal speak
When you’re feeling sorry for yourself, it’s easy to stew and cling to the internal story that keeps you in a negative mindset.
Brooding perpetuates bad feelings.
“I can’t believe she said that to me.”
“I wish I didn’t do that.”
“That was so embarrassing.”
“I’m so inadequate.”
“I feel so…bleh.”
Over and over and over.
Instead, start telling yourself a different story — shake up that voice inside your head.
Try repeating some positive affirmations.
“I am in control of my happiness.”
“I am happy, I am well.”
“I am full of energy.”
“I feel beautiful.”
Or, as you practice the techniques we shared with you in point 2, add some positive words to your breathe.
As you breath in, think to yourself, “In with happiness.”
As you breath out, think to yourself, “Out with negativity.”
Change your environment
Sometimes, it can be as simple as removing yourself from your current surroundings.
Whether it’s the people around you causing your bad mood, your own company or your physical environment, get away from where you are — if only for five minutes.
Walk away from your desk. Get off the couch. Get some fresh air into your lungs.
Drive somewhere that makes you happy.
Temporarily leave the stagnant environment you’re in, and you’ll in turn get rid of the stagnance in your mind.