With age I’ve definitely become far crankier than I once was, and I now find I’m using my arsenal of tricks for ending a bad mood much more often than I used to. It seems like every little thing has the power to potentially send me into a downward spiral of moodiness. Sometimes I let myself go with it and don’t even make an attempt to get my mind back to a positive place. I’ll tell ya one thing — everyone around me becomes immediately frustrated with my behavior, and rightfully so.
However, most of the time I try my hardest to stop, take a deep breath, and do something that will calm me down and get me back to a happier mindset. According to Psychology Today, there are many common reasons why we land ourselves in a terrible mood. Some of these include feelings of guilt, rejection and failure. Other times we simply perceive there to be an abundance of annoying things happening to and around us, and we let them build up, according to Psychology Today. Before we know it, we’re in a downright awful mood. Once we’re there, we can either let ourselves waddle in it, or do something about it. There are some quick and easy ways to break out of that irritable mood. The best part is… they actually work!
Here are six tricks for getting yourself out of a bad mood. Try some of these next time you’re feeling irritable, and you might just be pleasantly surprised with their outcome.
1. Eat Something
According to a Psychology Today article by Guy Winch, Ph.D., one of the top mood killers is hunger. This is the phenomenon many of us these days refer to as “hangry” — super hungry and super angry. According to appetite behavior expert Paul Currie, a professor of psychology at Reed College, hunger can make us emotional, which can then lead to feelings of stress and anxiousness. That said, Winch recommended if you’re cranky and haven’t eaten in awhile, try having a snack. Also worth mentioning is that there are certain foods to consider eating when trying to break free of a bad mood according to science. Dark chocolate, for example, has mood-boosting benefits, according to Eat This! Health. So do Greek yogurt, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes, just to name a few.
2. Get A Little Sun
Have you ever heard the idea that Vitamin D (which our bodies get from sunshine, in addition to certain foods) can make you happy? Great news — there’s validity to it, according to Mirror. According to the news outlet, sunshine increases the levels of serotonin in our bodies — a natural happy hormone. If you have the time for a run in the sun, that’s all the better. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
3. Make A To-Do List, And Get Things Done
I’d say seven out of 10 times that I’m in an awful mood, it’s because I have a lot going on and don’t think I have the time to complete all of it. Stress and anxiety definitely have the power to change our mood for the worse, according to Health. As a means of quickly fixing this, try pausing your day to make a fresh to-do list. If I’m ultra-stressed I make mine incredibly detailed — prioritized by what things need to be done first, a “deadline” for each task, and a smaller set of bullet points at the bottom of things that aren’t urgent/can be done later or the following day. It may sound sort of anal, but it works wonders.
If you don’t want to get as granular as I do, in a Health article, Winch suggested keeping your list simple. He said, “Research shows that just jotting down quick ideas for tackling things is enough to eliminate mental nagging and improve your mood.”
4. Turn On Your Favorite Play List
Music can positively change our mood, according to Healthline.com. Healthline reported on a study that shows listening to music can not only lift your mood, but lead to greater quality of life, as well. Open your iTunes and put on your favorite play list, or head to a streaming service and choose a genre you enjoy. Just listening to a few tunes you like could take you from miserable to happy in no time.
5. Do A Nice Deed For Someone
It’s no lie that doing positive things makes you feel positive, too, according to Prevention. Volunteering is a prime example of that. Prevention noted researchers believe volunteering increases empathy, therefore making us appreciate all of the good things in our own lives. That said, incorporating some sort of regular volunteer duties into your week might be a great idea. If you’re looking for a quick fix to your bad mood, you can try doing something nice right now. According to New York Magazine, your good deed doesn’t have to be something huge. If that bad mood is completely overpowering you, consider a simple, kind deed you can do some someone around you. Maybe go for a coffee run and offer to pay for the person in line next to you, or help an elderly person cross the street.
6. Take A Power Nap
According to an article by Shelby Harris, doctor of psychology, written for Psychology Today, naps can improve mood and stress management abilities. If your surroundings allow, try to catch a quick snooze, especially if you think your sour mood might be due to a lack of sleep. You don’t need to rest for hours, make it quick. Harris said short, 20-minute naps are effective.
Next time you’re in a horrible mood and don’t know how to break it, try some of these tricks. You might find your mood improves very quickly — making for a happy rest of the day for you and those around you.
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