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9 Ways to Boost Your Mood

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.

walking

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.

9. Laugh

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.

  • http://www.yinvsyang.com Pete

    Absolutely great post. Just what I needed this morning. It’s like you read my mind :)

    http://yinvsyang.com/

    • http://www.pickthebrain.com Peter | Pick The Brain

      I figured there would be a few people returning to work today after a long weekend who could use a “boost”. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, and thanks Ali for the article.

  • http://successprofessor.ca/2008/07/19/a-wicked-example-of-customer-service/ The Success Professor

    It’s certainly amazing how individual a list like this can be. Our individual preferences play such a roll in “boosting our mood”. For me points number 1,3 and 4 would do nothing to boost my mood. For me reading “non-fiction” rather than fiction would make a difference. Listen to upbeat music would be another. And cleaning my workspace.

    Many of these items of course work against effectiveness, which is why I think #8 is my favorite.

  • http://www.melissathinksoutloud.com melissa

    Some great ideas here! Grooming is one of my favorite ways to be nice to myself. People wonder why I wear makeup on the weekends or when I’m never going to leave my house. They assume it’s vanity. Actually it’s just my way of being nice to myself. Taking a few minutes each morning moisturizing and playing with all my makeup and brushes makes me feel really happy. It is my favorite part of being a girl!

  • http://www.rebelzen.com Rebel Zen

    I think that anything that breaks the state of being a bad mood will work.

    Being in a bad mood is generally something that needs energy to maintain it. This energy comes from your attention. Turn your attention to something else, like having fun or remembering good times via a movie or book and the bad mood has nowhere to go. It just disappears, and has to be consciously chosen to come back

  • DrBurst

    The best thing I do to break a bad mood is play online games. Combat arms is a great, free shooter that is really fun and low stress to play.

  • http://writerdad.com Writer Dad

    Seven automatically takes me to nine. I love to watch an old television show that I know will make me laugh, then laugh.

  • http://shanelyang.com/blogs/articles/ Shanel Yang

    Activities that lift my mood (that are not already mentioned on your list):

    1. Watching badass women movies. See http://shanelyang.com/2008/03/17/100-strong-women-movies/

    2. Watching funny movies. See http://shanelyang.com/2008/05/16/laughter-is-great-medicine-100-funny-movies/

    3. Watching how-to-succeed in life movies. http://shanelyang.com/2008/04/30/70-movies-about-how-to-succeed-in-life/

    (I like watching movies!) : )

    4. Reading old diary entries.

    5. Writing new diary entries.

    6. Looking at old photo albums.

    7. Decluttering or organizing.

    8. Staring out the window and reminiscing about how much better my life is now than it has ever been.

    9. Looking up cute pics of puppies, kittens, etc. on Flikr, Google, etc.

    10. Looking up beautiful pics of beaches, mountains, etc. on Flikr, Google, etc.

    Works for me! : )

  • http://www.createbusinessgrowth.com janelle

    I definitely think that laughter is the best medicine for getting yourself out of a funk :)

  • http://www.peacefulprosperity.com/blog/ Find yourself with a smile…

    Nice Post!

    I think music would be a good addition to the list, as so many people use it to keep their spirits high…

    Personally, I like to just focus in, and pay a little bit more attention to where I notice the unpleasant sensations in my body. There is usually tension somewhere… when I find that tension and relax (into it or around it), I often spontaneously burst into laughter on the spot… (relaxing to laugh at myself as opposed to laughing at myself to relax…;^)

    keep smiling,

    ben

  • http://ullahennig.wordpress.com Ulla Hennig

    When I am grumpy I talk to good friends about my grumpiness. Makes me a) think about and therewith getting things clearer and b) makes me often laugh about myself, especially when I this good friend looking at me and saying “so why exactly are you in a bad mood?” Ahem.

  • http://www.warriordevelopment.com Jarrod – Warrior Development

    Then the bad mood returns and we repeat the cycle.

    More important is to be able to recognise the onset of a bad mood before it ensnares us.

    What is a bad mood? Generally I find it is a composite of emotions and repetitive thoughts on a theme.

    If we can recognise these as they occur then we can avoid falling into a bad mood.

    Prevention is the best cure :)

  • http://www.cindysense.com Overcoming Lifes Obstacles

    How about Fake it til you make it?

    Act happy, laugh and you’ll soon feel better.

  • http://www.reachingmypotential.com Tracy Crowe

    It sounds like the basic idea is to treat yourself kindly when you are in a bad mood. Do something that brings a smile to your face. I think that’s why everyone’s list would probably be different, because we all have different things that make us smile. I like the idea of doing a chore that you’ve been putting off while you’re feeling lousy anyway. Exersise is important (I guess that explains why I love to go for a walk so much). A simple act of caring for yourself is a great idea. Most of these things are the kind of things you would do to cheer up a child who was feeling sad too. We all need comforting now and then. When you’re an adult, often the only person who can do that is you.

  • http://www.e-motivate.com EMotivate

    I had to laugh at the first one…but I do have to say that it works. Better yet, if you have kids, share that candy or treat or whatever with them. I dont know why, but that always lifts me up.

  • http://www.balancedexistence.com Stephen – Balanced Existence

    I especially like the last point – laugh. I recently wrote an article on my blog where I talked about the feedback loop that exists with our physicality. If one felt down and depressed and then sat up straight, put a big grin on one’s face, and hummed a happy tune within 60 seconds of doing this continuously one is guaranteed to feel much better. Taking on the physicality of being happy feeds back into actually feeling happy which also feeds back around into a strengthened physicality of happiness, and so on.

  • http://www.somedaysyndrome.com Alex Fayle

    My bad moods are mostly food related – not eating enough, or eating too much of the bad stuff (wheat/sugar). I often find munching on a carrot or eating something with protein will snap me out of a bad mood.

    Of course, having a boyfriend who makes me laugh until I cry works too.

    • http://www.balancedexistence.com Stephen – Balanced Existence

      I agree with you Alex. There has been some research that shows eating some protein with every meal helps keep depression away.

      Also the hit of sugar that is processed wheat or just sugar itself causes an insulin spike and subsequent blood sugar crash. When that happens irritability is not far behind.

  • http://www.etavitom.com etavitom

    great post! i usually practice some yoga or go for a long walk. listening to some zen music is nice as well.

    all the best,

    brad

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  • RaAr

    Ok article, some of points are usefull & commonly many may do given tips. Also look in why mood is off & look in that what are benefits from like if boss rised sound on you look what mistake you done so that you have scope for improvement so try towards it make a positive approch about it so mood turns from negetive to positive. When working hard also mood get down than go to some enjoying places or meet some or do something that bust your mood. Meditation also one of the good way to bust your mood

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  • http://www.moodboostdrink.com mood boost

    great post and I use some of those when I feel down a bit. I find #2,4,5 to be the most helpful.

  • Rafivovaka

    good very effect ful thanks

  • http://analyfe.com/ Erin McNaughton

    I love this list! It’s definitely the simple everyday things that can boost your mood and make your day. :)

  • http://goodrelaxation.com/ Good

    Hello
    Great post – love your tips. For me the best way to boost my mood is to visualize happy moment or dream about positive future. Visualization is very easy to do and the best thing is that it is free. And it really works instantly. In case your mood is down, try visualization and you will see the positive effect immediately.
    Best Regards
    Marca Good

  • http://www.herbcyclopedia.com/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=item&item_id=30&Itemid=193 HERBCYCLOPEDIA

    Chocolate is not only good for mood, dark chocolate contains Polyphenols and 
    There is scientific evidence that dark chocolate consumption may improve vascular health.

  • Renee Star

    ok thnkx i didnt do any of that stuff reading it made my bad mood fly away……….