10 Ways to Change Your Mood…

20 Dec

1.) Moral – Do something nice for someone else. Apologize for doing something wrong. Donate some money. Doing good things make us feel better.

2.) Physical – Stop and take 10 deep breaths. Eat some fruit. Drink some water. Move your body. Work out. Do some jumping jacks. Change your physiology, change your mood.

3.) Theatrical – Watch a comedy movie that you haven’t seen before. Watch cat videos on YouTube (or other things that you find funny).

4.) Literary – Do some free writing about how you feel. Commit to at least 10 minutes (important) and don’t judge as you go (more important).

5.) Emotional (our normal go-to solution) – Do some shopping. Eat some ice cream. Not the best solution in the long run, but hey, sometimes it helps.

6.) Musical – Listen to upbeat music. Sing along. Loudly and badly. Force yourself to do it (you don’t feel like being silly, which is why you should).

7.) Behavioral – Just ignore your bad mood for the moment. Focus on the task at hand and just get it done. You might feel better once it’s over.

8.) Relational – You’ll probably already do this if you need it, but call someone for a quick chat. If it’s serious and you don’t have someone just call, go to http://www.befrienders.org/

9.)  Mathematical – “Pain + resistance = suffering.” You can’t control pain. It just happens. Maybe you should stop resisting it? Acknowledge how you feel and look forward to brighter days.

10.) Teleological – Where is this all going? Your life is a winding path and that means that some days are going to be awesome and some are going to suck. Take a long view and remember, that “this too shall pass.”

Above all, my rule of thumb about emotions is that you don’t want to spend too much time analyzing them. Now, if you have recurring problems, mood swings, negative attitude, then do some self-work or go see a therapist, but in general, the more time you spend thinking about your emotions the more powerful they get. It’s like feeding the fire with fuel. Instead, what you want to do is the exact opposite of what you feel like doing. Your mood is a reflection of something that is bothering you. Something that is making you feel vulnerable. It is a self-protective measure. So, in order to change your mood you need to remind yourself that the world isn’t nearly as scary and dangerous as you feel like it is. In order to do that you need to remind yourself that your mood is valid and then you need to move and act. It’s counter-intuitive for high-achievers, but when it comes to your mood, thinking too much about what’s bothering you often makes it worse.

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