Some days we begin with a smile on our faces, while others we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. But how much of a bad thing is having a bad mood? After all, it’s normal for us all to experience low points in our lives and to feel sad at times.
Where your bad mood can become problematic, though, is if you let it ruin other aspects of your life: your relationships with others, work projects you’ve been trying to focus on, or something else that matters to you at that given moment in time.
The good news is, you can lift your mood using the tipsI’m going to give you in this blog post. The bad news is, you have to put a little effort if you really want to change the state that you’re in.
Here’s how to lift your mood using these 5 tips:
1. Change Your Posture
The next time you’re feeling down, pay attention to your posture. Cognitive scientists claim that, when you feel sad or depressed, you are very likely to be slumped over with your neck and shoulders curved forward, and with your head looking down.
While you may be standing like that because you’re feeling sad… could you be feeling sad because you’re standing like that?
One of the reasons why you may be in a bad mood is because you’re not connected to the sensations in your body, or because you’re sitting in a poor posture that’s causing you physical stress and, as a result, emotional discomfort. If that is the case, it’s surprisingly easy to change it!
If you’re in a bad mood, you’re probably ‘in your head’ and focused on analysis, instead of ‘in your body’ and focused on movement. To change your mind, change your posture.
Think of it as standing like Superman: your head and body in a straight line, your chest high and forward, your stomach flat, your back straight and relaxed. Now relax, breathe in, and exhale slowly. Give yourself the gift of a few more deep breaths. You’ll be amazed just how much you can change your emotional state by changing the state of your body.
This posture will give you a feeling like you’re in control. Now that you’ve calmed down and lifted your mood, start moving! I like to have myself a little dance party, but you can also go to the gym, or take a long walk in the park. Whatever floats your boat, as long as it’s something that has to do with moving your body.
2. Write Down Your Thoughts
Like I said in a recent podcast episode, morning pages are a great way to get rid of your inner chatter. Whether you’ve woken up in a bad mood—or, somewhere along your day, somebody else ruined it for you—you have the ability to change your state at any time.
Here’s what morning pages essentially are: When you wake up, write down three pages with whatever is on your mind. It could be anything! The important thing is to not hold back and express everything that’s on your mind.
Morning pages is a practice that got introduced to me by Julia Cameron, the author of ‘The Artist’s Way’. Julia says that, by writing more than three-four sentences, you can shift your state of mind from thought to action mode. What does this mean? By writing down all the things bothering your mind, you will let them go and give yourself the chance to take action instead.
Now, I want you to try it out for yourself! And let me know in the comments below if it works out for you. It most certainly did for me 🙂
3. Do Something That Makes You Happy
We all have those small things that make us smile. If we’re in a bad mood, it seems like nothing can really affect that state, but the truth is that the things that we enjoy doing have the ability to change our outlook as well.
For me personally, singing, dancing, and writing are the three things that can actually get me out of any bad mood I’ve put myself into. Creative expression is my way of dealing with stress, anxiety, and mood swings. Any form of art calms me down and centers me in the present moment.
How about you? Imagine that you’ve got a day off from work and nobody else’s needs to think about, except for yours. What would you do? Where would you go? What would make you happy? Write down on a piece of paper 5 things that you enjoy doing and try to develop the habit of actually doing at least one of them every single day.
4. Take a Mindful Walk Outside
Very often, we end up in a bad mood because we spend too much time indoors: working, doing chores around the house, or turning into couch potatoes in front of the TV. I want to challenge you to step outside and take a mindful walk for at least 30 minutes.
If you go outside for 5 or 10 minutes, you’ll probably still be preoccupied with all the negativity that’s been going through your head, that’s why I would recommend you take a long walk. While you’re walking, try to be mindful of everything that you’re passing by. Pay attention to the people that you meet on the street, notice the buildings, the cars, the trees you’re passing.
Going for a walk with no end destination in mind will help you step back from your problems, calm down, and zoom out: that’s exactly what you need to put your attention on the bigger picture.
5. Put Some Uplifting Music On‘Without music, life would be a mistake.’ ― Friedrich Nietzsche Click To Tweet
Music is one of the best cures for a bad mood. If you play some energetic music that you really like and associate with something positive that has happened to you, your brain will magically take you there.
Actually, scientists have proven that listening to uplifting music causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical. And let’s not forget one added benefit – by listening to uplifting music you’re not only going to feel better but also (most likely) move your body while you’re doing it. So, it’s a 2 in 1 activity!
In case you tried all of these and none of them worked, or you’ve been in a bad mood for more than a few days, this may be a sign of a bigger issue. You can always talk to me and we’ll sort things out together.
And, last, but not least: a bad mood is not a sign that there’s something wrong with you. You can’t always be happy and bubbly, it’s perfectly normal to have days when nothing seems to work out for you. The important part is to notice your resistance and let it go.
Letting go of your own story will change the state you’re in. Click To Tweet
Stop telling yourself that you’re in a bad mood! Start taking action on improving it and you’ll soon notice some positive change in your state of mind.