All of us have times when we just seem to be in a bad mood with the world in general. Here’s a few quotes from the last hour or two on Twitter:
- “People suck. I’m in a bad mood. Ugh.”
- “Wish I knew why I was in such a fowl mood. Nothing bad happened today, in fact it went rather well. I just feel like… bleh!”
- “Ever just *know* you’re going to be in a bad mood, like a weather forecast? Hoping tomorrow’s not a bad day.”
I’m sure you can think of some moments during the past week when you’ve felt exactly the same. I know I can. And I hate being grumpy: I snap at people unfairly, I feel a complete lack of motivation towards my goals, and I often end up spiralling further and further into a Really Bad Mood.
Gradually, though, I’ve found some things which really do help when I’m feeling like this. The hardest thing is actually doing them. When I’m grouchy, a big part of me wants to stay grouchy and fed-up, and I struggle to see the point of trying to feel better. So print out this list, or write your favourite ways on a big bit of paper, and stick it to the wall – and promise yourself that next time you want to kick the cat, yell at your neighbour and phone up your mom to whinge, you’ll try something from the list first.
1. Buy some candy that you loved as a kid
I’m putting this one first because it never fails to put a smile on my face. Head to the nearest corner shop and grab some candy, just make sure it’s one of your childhood favourites. (Mine is a Kinder Surprise – there’s no way I can be in a bad mood after one of them!)
2. Take a shower or bath
Sometimes, just a simple act of caring for yourself – like grooming – is enough to snap you out of a bad mood. It also has the advantage of taking you away from any innocent bystanders (family members/housemates) who might otherwise get the brunt of your bad mood.
3. Read a piece of fiction
I was the sort of teen who’d stomp up the stairs and slam my bedroom door (though not before yelling “I hate you all!”) One of my favourite past-times back then, though, was reading – and a few pages of something escapist, usually science-fiction, tended to make me forget whatever had put me in a bad mood in the first place.
4. Make a mug of tea/coffee/hot chocolate
If you’re getting into a strop with your work, a good way to get perspective is to step away from the computer and make yourself a soothing hot drink. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or various herbal varieties are all great – go with whatever you enjoy. I find that peppermint tea helps me to relax.
5. Take a walk
Exercise gets happy hormones flowing and inevitably improves your mood. If you’ve ever started off your gym session in a horrible temper but ended it feeling blissfully relaxed, you’ll know just how effective this can be. Walking briskly to work off some energy is an excellent way to bring yourself out of your bad mood – and, like getting a bath or shower, it means you’re taking yourself out of range of your nearest and dearest.
6. Write down five things you love about your life
I guarantee you won’t want to do this when you’re in a grump or a sulk. But force yourself. Grab a sheet of paper, write “FIVE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MY LIFE:” and list them. Doesn’t matter if they’re big or small. If you’re still not feeling better after that, make it ten things…
7. Watch an episode of your favourite TV show
Like reading a good book, watching your favourite show draws you into a fictional world and makes you forget whatever’s bugging you in the real one. Switch on a show that you really love, and enjoy it. Ideally, go with something light-hearted, funny or feel-good.
8. Get on with a chore that you’ve been putting off
Again, this isn’t something you’ll want to do, at all. But you’re in a foul mood anyway, so you might as well. Grab your cleaning stuff and get stuck in on one of those chores you’ve been putting off – cleaning the oven, scrubbing the bath, doing the washing-up, tidying. Whatever it is, you’ll be happier once it’s done and finally off your mental “should-get-round-to” list.
Finally, the simplest and best way to snap out of a bad mood is just to laugh. At yourself, at your kids’ antics, at the world, at the television – it doesn’t matter. Just laugh. It’s almost impossible to stay in a bad mood while you’re laughing. (Two sites that never fail to get me chuckling are http://www.bash.org and http://www.rinkworks.com.)
So how about you? Do you resort to one of the above methods every time you’re in a grump? Do you have your own way of snapping out of it? Or do you secretly enjoy being down and miserable?
Written by Ali, a writer and website creator (www.aliventures.com).
Photo by Todd Baker.