By Amy Brightman, LCSW
Have you ever found yourself saying "I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today" and continued to feel that way all day? Moods come and go, and when they aren’t that good, we don’t like them. You might find yourself saying “I’m in a funk,” or “I’m having a down day,” or simply “I’m just in a bad mood.” You’re able to identify your mood, so why not manage it?
Moods affect our behavior and can color how we view situations and interact with others. Think about it: You wake up in a bad mood and what happens to your productivity? How do you interact with others? What’s it like if a problem occurs during the day or you need to make a decision? Our mood can impact our day, whether at work, at home, or just about anywhere.
If we can identify when we are in a bad mood, why not try to shake that mood? Recognizing a mood is half the skill. Try taking it one step further, recognizing and accepting your undesirable mood and also implementing strategies to manage it. If you can take steps to manage your mood, you can create more control over the rest of your day.
What Are Moods?
Think about your moods as a mirror of your emotions. Many factors come into play that can influence a mood, and those factors can influence people differently. For example, the weather, relationship problems, feeling physically unwell, hunger, tiredness, and even a crowded subway can all influence how we feel. Try to tap into what is going on in your life and what you are feeling. What contributes to your mood?
If we do not take the time to recognize and manage our moods, we risk letting our bad moods negatively impact our days. Here are some strategies for managing bad moods:
- Start by taking some time to identify the source of your mood. Identifying the source of your mood doesn’t need to take a long time, and can be even more important when we don’t have a lot of time. Moods warn you and let you know something is going on in your head. Check in with your thoughts.
- Take a break. Do some deep breathing, go for a walk, or take a lunch hour at work. Give yourself a little bit of respite from the day.
- Be mindful. Stay in the present, observe it, and don’t judge it. If you have thoughts about the past or the future, simply bring your focus back to the here and now.
- Use distraction. Call a good friend, watch a funny YouTube video, or try just to engage in an activity that's different from what you’re already doing.
- Refuel your senses. Have a healthy snack, listen to music, or use some of your favorite scented hand lotion.
- Tell yourself: “this isn’t permanent.” Picture your mood as a wave; it will build and eventually come back down. Your mood will pass.
Try using some of these strategies. Maybe you’ll find that all six are helpful or maybe just one of them. Either way, you are having some say in the rest of your day.
Amy Brightman, LCSW is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. Please visit cobbpsychotherapy.com to learn more about how Amy can help you deal with anxiety, depression, or a bad day.