Once you're in one, it can be tough to get yourself out of a bad mood. Not only does it ruin your day and make you feel awful, but your crankiness can drag everyone else down with you. So if you're feeling like there's a dark rain cloud hovering overhead, or like you may scream at the next person who looks at you funny, you may want to find ways to improve your mood. And quick.
Sometimes there's no telling what put you in a bad mood in the first place. It can be obvious, like being stuck in traffic, or walking behind a group of people who are taking up the whole sidewalk (my personal pet peeve). Maybe you got into an argument with a family member, or a friend of yours keeps canceling your plans. These are all obvious bad mood triggers.
Other times, a bad mood can have a less obvious source. Maybe you just woke up like that, or have the worst cold ever, or are going through a tough time in life that you don't want to talk about with anyone. Fair enough.
Whatever the reason, you're totally entitled to your bad mood. Wallow away or go punch your pillow, but then consider some ways to start cheering yourself up. When you're ready, here are some nice things you can do to help kick your bad mood to the curb.
1. Go For A Joy Ride While Singing Loudly
It's impossible to be sad while cruising around town and belting out your favorite tunes. It doesn't matter if you are off key or get the lyrics wrong; it'll feel good to let it all out. So go hop in your car and turn up the stereo. (Bonus points if you keep shamelessly rocking it even at stop lights.)
2. Spend Time With Your Pet (Or Other People's Pets)
Go grab yourself a dog and reap a bunch of health benefits, including a better mood. According to WebMD, hanging out with animals is scientifically proven to improve your mood. That's because they give you a sense of belonging, which eases stress and loneliness. It makes sense — your dog is always happy to see you, even when everyone else in the world is being totally lame.
3. Pause Everything & Go Take A Nap
If you can sneak away and take a nap, do it. Napping will help reset your brain, according to a study reported by the New York Times, and hopefully allow you to wake up in a better mood. If science says it's the right thing to do, that should be enough to justify crawling into bed.
4. Go Play Outside
If you're currently sitting at your desk scowling out the window, then you should probably get up and go outside for a bit. Taking a walk around the block may be all it takes to make you feel better.
5. Throw On Something Nice
If you're feeling cranky, it can be tempting to sit on your couch all day in rotten old sweatpants and a dirty shirt. Maybe you're in such a bad mood that you just don't change out of that look for a day or two... or three or four. Whatever. Go for it if you want to, but it's only going to make you feel worse. Instead, do the opposite of what you're feeling, and dress up for your day. Putting on a nice outfit may trick your brain into being in a better mood.
6. Make Yourself Laugh
Go do something weird that will make you laugh. It can be anything. For instance, chin faces. When I was little, my brother and I would draw eyeballs on our chins and talk to each other upside down, à la this video. Now that is weird, but it cracked us up for hours. And it's impossible to be mad when you're laughing.
7. Flip Through Your Photos
Take a walk down memory lane and go through some old photos. It'll be nice to reminisce over past vacations, parties, and that bizarre haircut you used to have. It's even nicer to go through photos with someone who was there — like your parents —so you can get the skinny on just how weird you were when you were five. Seeing how far you've come since those mullet haircut days is bound to put a smile back on your face.
8. Try Some Funky New Makeup
Go through your makeup bag, pull out your brightest colors, and see what new looks you can come up with. Try a bright red lip, or some multi-colored nails. Experimenting with cheerful colors, and then heading out for the day with a new look, may help distract you from feeling down in the dumps.
9. Listen To Your Old Favorite Music
Go through your music library, or dig out your old iPod, and listen to the stuff you used to love a few years ago. It'll be like a time machine, transporting you back to college or high school, where hopefully you have some nice memories that can bring out some positive vibes.
10. Find Your Favorite Comfort Food
If you're in a bad mood, now is not the time to force yourself to eat a salad, unless that happens to be your favorite meal in the world and what makes you feel the best. If it would make you happy to waltz down to the corner store and get a milkshake, then do it. If you want a big bowl of noodles, then for the love of God, have some noodles. Comfort food is where it's at when you need a pick-me-up. So have at it.
It's no fun to be in a bad mood, but there are so many things you can do to make yourself feel better. Take some time to do something nice for yourself, and hopefully you'll be back to feeling normal again soon.
Images: Pexels (11)