Breathe in a tranquil scent. Studies suggest that inhaling a pleasant, calming aroma can help reduce anxiety and stress, increase positivity, and inspire a calmer demeanor. Light a fragrant candle. Put some fresh flowers around your environment. Slice up some lemons or oranges. Fill the air with the scent of vanilla or cinnamon.
Let the light shine. Get plenty of sunshine. Research has shown a strong link between positive moods and time spent outdoors in sunlight. If you can’t get outside, pull up your window shades and let natural light fill your environment.
Move your body. Moving keeps your blood flowing. Go for a walk. Take a dance class. Play horse shoes or bocce ball. Physical activity stimulates brain chemicals that have been associated with happiness and relaxation.
Take your mind off your problems. Listen to your favorite music. Watch a funny television show or movie. Sing, dance, and laugh. Really concentrate on what you are seeing, hearing, and doing. It’s hard to stay in a negative place when you are focused on something you enjoy.
Focus on things you can actually control. Ask yourself if there is a step you can take to change your situation for the better. If so, take that step. For example... If you are worried something you said or did might have made a friend angry or hurt, talk to the person and ask for their perspective on whatever was done or said. If you can’t afford to pay a medical bill, call the hospital’s billing department and ask to be put on a payment plan.
Talk with a loved one or friend. Find someone who is a good listener and a positive, empathetic person. Confide in the person about your bad mood and the reasons why you may be feeling down. Don’t keep your negative feelings bottled up inside where they can fester and grow. You may be surprised how quickly your mood lightens just by putting your thoughts and feelings into words.
Honor your feelings. It’s okay to feel down. Allow yourself to feel your negative emotions and think your negative thoughts without judgement. Acknowledge the feelings, accept that it is totally normal and okay to feel whatever it is you are feeling, and then try to let the negativity go. Some people find it helpful to imagine putting their worries, fears, sadness, etc. into a basket tied to a balloon and let the basket with all its cargo float out of sight.
Everyone has a bad mood from time to time. We have all been in a slump we just couldn’t shake off. Even the most positive, upbeat people have their down moments. After all, we are human… and human beings are programed to feel a kaleidoscope of different emotions. We are happy. We are sad. We are worried. We are calm. We are fearful. We are brave. We are enthusiastic. We are indifferent. We are human… and human beings have good moods and bad.
Most bad moods last only so long before taking an upward turn that makes everything begin to look better again. If you find you feel down in the dumps for long periods of time with no respite, please speak with your doctor. Persistent negative emotions may signal something more serious than just a “bad mood.”
You may find the following tips helpful the next time you want to lift your spirits and put a smile back on your face.