What Can You Do To Change A Bad Mood?

Good moodDid you get up on the wrong side of the bed?” It’s a question my mother would ask me when I was a child when she sensed I was feeling angry or upset about something.

Just hearing the question was often enough to make me smile and come out of my mood. One reason for the smile was that my bed was up against the wall and there was only one side I could use to get out of it!

Now as an adult I am on my own. What do I do when events during the day leave me frazzled, overwhelmed and out of sorts? It happened many times when I worked a full time job and came home to two demanding children who wanted my immediate attention as soon as I walked in the door.

During that time I established a half hour rule. Leave me alone for a quiet peaceful half hour and then I will answer all your questions. In the peace of one quiet half hour I regained my equilibrium and good humor.

Do you have a half hour rule? What happens when you feel agitated, angry or just plain down in the dumps? How do you let it go so you can be fully present to family, colleagues and/or friends?

The importance of mood was brought home to me recently when I enrolled in a marketing class called Authentic Promotion. ™ During the class we spent some time discussing mood.

Mood plays an important role in the way individuals market and deliver their products or services. Who wants to buy something from an angry service provider or an unhappy marketing person!

Even when you think you are good at covering up your mood, it slips out subtly. Maybe the giveaway is the way you phrase something or your lack of energy when you speak. It is possible your posture or facial expression give you away.

So what can you do to keep yourself in a good mood or shift into one if necessary? First think about the circumstances that cause you to be in both a good and a bad mood.

Notice how each feels in your body. Do you feel the mood in your stomach, your chest, your neck? Do you want to move or sit quietly? Notice your facial expression, your breath, your posture. Now see if it is possible to shift the feelings in your body that you feel when you are in a bad mood to the ones you feel when you are in a good mood.

Another approach is to think about something that always puts you in a good mood. For me the one thing that can change my mood in a minute is singing. I’ve told many people that there is no way I can be sad, angry or upset when I am singing.

What works for you? Clients have told me looking at a picture of their child or just remembering something their child said or did works for them. Others have told me they recall something funny a friend told them. Still others play a game of basketball or tennis or just go for a walk.

One person told me her husband had surgery two months ago and was in a bad mood continually after that. He never wanted to go out or do anything. Some moods just feed on themselves and the person gets into a downward spiral.

At first of course his wife was kind and caring after all he had just had surgery and was in pain. But after a month when she knew he knew he had recovered she told him she was getting sick of the moodiness and was signing him up for tennis lessons. He was annoyed with her but went along with it.

After the first lesson he thanked her and told her how much better he felt. The responsibility of changing your mood is yours. Someone can talk to you about it and even sign you up for something to help you. In the final analysis though you are responsible for taking action to change your own mood.

There are several reasons for wanting to stay in a happy mood. One is that scientists tell us that it is healthier for us to feel cheerful and the second is that it is pleasanter for everyone around you and definitely makes life easier for you. (Good moods feed on themselves too!)

Understanding yourself and what triggers your moods is an important key here. When you see a negative trigger coming, zap the bad mood by using one of your strategies for recovery. As the song says, “Keep your Sunny Side Up” **

Take action:
1. Keep a mood log. Note your mood several times during the day. After a week just begin to notice times of day and mood changes. Keep the log over a month and be very curious about the changes-when and why do they occur.
2. Make notes of how you feel when you are in a good mood. What are the feelings in the various parts of your body?
3. Begin to experiment to find ways to get those feelings of a good mood at different times during the day.
4. Notice how you feel when you are in a bad mood. What are the feelings in the various parts of your body? Can you learn to shift your mood and get the feelings you had in #2?

Copyright © 2013 Parker Associates. All rights reserved.

*On the Sunny Side of the Street is by Dorothy Fields, and Jimmy McHugh
**Keep Your Sunny Side Up is from Good News by Ray Henderson B. G. DeSylva
Lou Brown

In March of 2003 I wrote a list entitled Ten Ways to Help You Recover from a Bad MoodIf you enjoyed this article you will enjoy these 10 tips too.

Coaching Opportunity                                                                                                  

Puzzled about what causes your bad mood?  Sometimes it is difficult to identify what it is that changes your mood from good to bad.  When you are able to do it though it is easier to make a change in yourself not just the mood itself.  As a coach I help my clients to dig deeper and see what really is bothering them.  Often it is something they can control or fix.  It took me a while to figure out how to deal with leaving a high pressure job at the end of the day and moving back into family life.  My children told me to quit my job because it made me crabby.  Since this was impossible I found another solution.  I’ll help you to find your own unique solutions to your bad mood triggers too.  Let’s talk about it.  You can get your no obligation free session by calling me at 781-598-0388 or emailing me at asparker@asparker.com.

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