Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To Overcome A Bad Mood

Admit it, this happens to you sometimes! Whether you're male or female (although females have the extra curse of moody hormones), and no matter what your life circumstance, we're all going to have down days. My philosophy is that every bad mood has a SOLVE-ABLE reason. And I will become a detective and track it down, trial and error until I find it and correct the problem.

Bad moods can snowball and become horrible moods and a long string of bad moods can equal clinical depression. Try to solve it right away so that it doesn't grow larger. Bad moods can cause strife in your family or workplace. It may be more comfortable to stay in the mire of a bad mood, but it is costly! Are you really willing to pay the consequences of not working to fix your grouchiness?

There are so many things I could put on this list. I'm sure I'm going to think of more after I post this, but for now, I will just stick with my top 10.

Here is my "Go To" list of things that help with bad moods:
  1. Take 5HTP OR read The Mood Cure to find out if you have a different amino acid deficiency, and take the corresponding supplement. And if the bad moods are not solved by that and come around way too frequently for your comfort, be sure you try to find an integrative physician. You'd be surprised what basic vitamin deficiencies they test for and how much better you can feel.
  2. Get out your light therapy lamp. This usually always helps me, especially if the bad mood occurs on a dark, rainy day. If you struggle with insomnia, make sure your light therapy occurs before lunch. Here is the model I own. I got a small one since we live in such a small home! I find it works great. But my sister owns one that is giant and huge and she calls it her "sun." :) You can also rent them instead of buying them. I'm not sure where, though, other than doctors' offices that specialize in sleep disorders, and in those cases, your health insurance might help out, too. Here is an article about light therapy.
  3. Listen to music that you like. Don't obsess too much about WHICH music. (Fellow OCD people?) :) Just put your music player on shuffle or random, and if the song makes you unhappy SKIP until you find one that makes you happy. Music accesses the pleasure centers in your brain.
  4. Call someone, especially if you know of someone who can make you laugh. I talked to a friend the other night that I have not talked to in a long time. It was SO REFRESHING to just laugh! Even though I was venting my problems, we were both laughing a lot. I went to bed happier that night than I have been in a long time.
  5. Go for a walk, do yoga or any type of exercise or as Flylady calls it, "loving movement." How many times have I come back from a walk or a work out feeling so happy and exhilarated.
  6. Write down your problems and see if you can guide yourself into either an action item to solve the specific problem that is bothering you or write down corrections for any illogical, distorted, exaggerated thoughts.
  7. Contrary to common advice out there, I don't find it very helpful to PRETEND I'm happy. Smiling in the mirror or being completely "fake" cheerful to others is just more than I can manage. Instead, I have to trick myself into smiling by watching funny TV or listening to a funny podcast. Once I catch myself "accidentally" laughing, it's easy to become more and more cheered up.
  8. Sleep. Could the cause of the bad mood be sleep deprivation? Take a nap. I give you my permission not to feel guilty about it. If a nap is not an option, I hate to say this, but I actually advocate a teeny bit of caffeine. My religion prohibits coffee, but it's amazing how much better I have felt on some days after a little soda or chocolate. If this becomes a daily or prolonged problem, you definitely need to see an integrative physician (see item #1) or read The Mood Cure's chapter on the supplement, L-Tyrosine. I don't like soda in general or caffeine in general, but once is not going to kill you.
  9. Find some spiritual uplifting reading. Search for specific topics that will make you feel hopeful and renewed. Search for "hope," "peace," "daughter of God," "happiness," "joy," or if the reason you are in a bad mood is that you need a do-over, search for "change" or "repentance.
  10. Treat yourself in some way. This again addresses the pleasure centers in your brain. Ok, if it's a dessert, I again give you permission, as long as you are not doing it every day and being in denial that it's a larger problem than just a 1-day bad mood. (Again, see item #1). If your budget allows, treat yourself to a massage, or some earrings, or something else that makes you feel special. We feel guilty about treating ourselves, but look at it this way- bad moods can ruin relationships & hurt the feelings of those around you. Wouldn't you rather get a small lift out of your funk and buy the $10 earrings than scream at your kids when they get home from school?
OK- I knew I would think of more than 10. Here are some honorable mentions:
Will you please share your ideas with me in the comments on how to get over a bad mood?

1 comment:

The monkey bunch said...

exercise and then eat chocolate! Two proven endorphin producers and since you just exercised you don't feel bad about eating the chocolate!