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8 quick ways to get yourself out of a bad mood

Mood is a part of life, and while it’s normal to feel sad sometimes, it’s never pleasant and probably isn’t how you want to feel all day.


While you can’t just tell yourself to feel better, you can change the thoughts and behaviors that help affect your mood, according to Ruth EllingsonClinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon.

The first step in changing your bad mood is to identify what kind of mood you’re in, Ellingson explained.

“[It]sounds simple but actually involves being consciously aware of our current state,” she said. Ellingson said it’s common to ignore our emotions as we go through our daily lives, which can make it pretty much impossible to improve your mood. How can you feel better if you don’t know how you feel?

To determine your mood, Ellingson says she recommends doing a To check the temperature of the felt what is known as the felt thermometer. He said that a feeling thermometer has four areas –green (which represents comfortable feelings or a good mood), yellow (which is the next level up on the thermometer, indicating you might be feeling a little tired, for example), orange (which is another level up is, so nervous or frustrated) and red (that is very uncomfortable – like feeling sad, angry or any other negative emotion). This handy resource for determining your mood is an excellent tool for measuring your emotions.


Once you become aware of how you’re feeling, you can figure out what to do about it and take steps to control your mood before you get into that red zone. , he said, is an emotional state, and it is difficult to snap it out of it.

But if you’re in the yellow or orange zone, you can easily adopt some strategies to turn your mood around. Here are some ways to do this.

Try breathing exercises.


“The one thing we have at our disposal is using our breath ”to get out of a bad mood, said Gregory SullivanThe Program Director of the Positive Coaching and Athletic Leadership Masters Program at the University of Missouri, USA.

He recommends trying one of two breathing exercises the next time you feel down. An alternative is “physiological breathing,” which involves two quick inhalations followed by a long exhalation.

“What that does is it removes[carbon dioxide]from our bodies and makes us feel a little more relaxed,” Sullivan said.


This double inhale increases the lungs’ ability to fill with air and reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the body, explains Andrew Huberman, professor of neurobiology at Stanford Medicine in the US. told school podcast, According to Huberman, increased levels of carbon dioxide activate our body’s stress response, so being able to exhale carbon dioxide also reduces our stress.

And, Sullivan said, breathing has an effect on the body’s vagus nerve and “takes us out of that fight, flight, or freeze mindset.” So, that long exhale helps you relax,

You can also try the 6-7-8 breathing exercise, which involves breathing in through your nose for six seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and then exhaling for eight seconds.

When it comes to breathing exercises, Sullivan said they allow the body to control the mind rather than the mind controlling it. And “it takes our attention away from something that might be bothering us,” he said.

Turn to fitness.

you’ve probably heard many times That exercise is good for your mental health, and the same goes for its effect on helping you get out of a bad mood, according to Sarah SarkisAn Executive Coach and Senior Director of Performance Psychology exosA Corporate Wellness Company.

“Move your body for 15 (to) 20 minutes,” Sarkis said. “You’ll get a shot endorphin and adrenaline, which can help us change attitudes quickly.

When you’re not feeling your best, turn to a favorite fitness routine like running, yoga, tennis or indoor cycling. If you’re in a bad mood, you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself by doing a workout you don’t enjoy.

Westend61 via Getty Images

Exercise can help you refocus your energy and get you out of a bad mood.

Focus on others instead of yourself.

Shifting your focus away from yourself is a great way to lift your spirits, says Sullivan. He noted that one of the early contributors to positive psychology, Chris Peterson, emphasized the importance of other people in your mental health. Helping or making connections with others will only make you feel better (and help take that bad mood away).

“The simple thing would be to decide that during the day you’re going to do some random act of kindness or (ask) a coworker if they can help with something,” Sullivan said.

So, if you find yourself in a bad mood, you can try reaching out to a friend who is going through a hard time or donating items to an organization that needs help.

Sullivan said that taking the focus off yourself is one of the most powerful ways to defeat a bad mood.

spend time outside

study after study has found that nature is good for your mental health – spending time outside can lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and generally, just put a smile on your face.

“Nature can be medicine if we use it that way, and getting outside and changing your perspective can sometimes change your mood quickly,” Serkis said.

She added that adding music outside of her time can be even more beneficial and “iOnce we are in a ‘bad mood’ it disrupts the cognitive loop that sets in very quickly.

Practice gratitude.

“The most powerful and helpful of all positive emotions is gratitude – being grateful makes us happy,” Sullivan said.And being happy and in a bad mood is certainly inconsistent behavior.”

He said that to understand your inner gratitude, think of two or three things in your life that you are grateful for. These don’t have to be big things, it can be something as simple as the smell of a new candle or the weather.

You can practice gratitude at the beginning or end of the day, although Sullivan said he prefers to do it to end his day.

“Thinking about gratitude helps me sleep,” he said. Bonus: Sleep is an important tool for warding off bad moods.

Stay in the moment

“Often when we’re in a bad mood, we’re thinking about something that happened in the past, or we’re worrying about something in the future,” Ellingson said.

“IExperts agree that about 90% of the things we worry about never happen,” Sullivan explained. So, most of the worrying that contributes to your mood is usually pretty pointless.

“We can do something behaviorally to intentionally bring ourselves into the present moment, whether it’s deep breathing or just tuning into our senses, to really remove ourselves,” Ellingson said.

in other words, practice conscious It’s a good idea to take these moments, which could mean doing the breathing exercises described above or trying meditation.

When you're in a bad mood, deep breathing and meditation are great ways to be present and free yourself from your worries.
When you’re in a bad mood, deep breathing and meditation are great ways to be present and free yourself from your worries.

Another way to get rid of anxious thoughts about the past or future, Sullivan said, is to reason with yourself. So, let’s say you’re nervous about an upcoming conversation with your boss. Instead of giving into those thoughts, question why you feel that way. On top of that, remind yourself of past interactions with your boss that went well. This can help calm you down.

If you’re sore, take an ice pack.

According to Ellingson, you can do things that affect your body chemistry and trick yourself into calming down.

“One thing that’s really effective, especially if you’re really angry… is to really cool down your body, so take a ice pack And putting it on your forehead,” she said.

Ellingson said there is something about the physical cooling effect that brings about a sense of relaxation.

Pay attention to your muscles.

Ellingson says you can also try progressive muscle relaxation. To help improve your mood.

For this, you practice tensing and then relaxing certain parts of your body — so, you might start by making a fist and then lifting your shoulders up and relaxing and then letting them go, she said. .

“Again, this can trick your body into resting mode,” Ellingson said.

And don’t minimize your unpleasant feelings—they’re normal.

“While getting out of a bad mood can be really helpful in the short term, learning to accept both positive and negative emotions may be a better strategy,” Sullivan said.

“Positive psychology is the study of well-being, and while being happy is part of well-being, well-being does not mean that we are happy all the time,” he adds.

According to Sullivan, a key aspect of well-being is the ability to accept the full range of human emotion—from euphoria and joy to boredom and pain.

“It is also important to note how ephemeral (our feelings) are; They come and go,” Sullivan said. “Knowing that is a big step in dealing with bad moods and negative feelings.”

Meaning even if you feel upset, you won’t feel that way forever.

What’s more, Sullivan said we are genetically predisposed to negativity, which goes back to our caveman ancestors who used negativity to stay safe from real threats.

To an extent, it still keeps us safe today, “but at times, we can get overwhelmed by that negative bias. Finding a level of emotional harmony is important, and this is where interventions created through positive psychology and research can really help,” Sullivan said.

In the spirit of listening to your moods, Sarkis said that “moods don’t have to hijack your day if you practice … how to move through your moods in an emotionally healthy way.”

This may mean following some of the practices above, such as breathing exercises, fitness and general mindfulness, to better equip you for all the moods – unpleasant and not – that come your way.

While it’s normal to be in a bad mood sometimes, you should be aware of some warning signs.

For some people simply getting out of a bad mood is not a reality. “Mood can also be affected by other psychological factors, such as a diagnosis of a mood disorder,” Serkis said.

Let’s say you feel sad all day for at least two weeks. In that case, it is worth talking to a therapist, Alayna El ParkHe is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, USA. first told HuffPost,

or, if you’re feeling frustrated or tired or have lost interest in activities you once enjoyed, you also need to find someone to talk to. But, again, it can be more than just a “bad mood” and can’t be fixed using the above tips alone.

If you want help from a professional, mind uk There are a great resource on how to find a therapist.

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