Some days, I think I just wake up in a bad mood. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I went to bed worried or upset, or perhaps I dreamed of dreadful events. In any case, there are times when I simply don’t feel like it’s going to be a good day. I can’t always turn my bad mood around, but I have found that there are many things I can do to try to improve my state of mind. Here are a few:
1. Drink coffee.
This has become sort of a joke on my Facebook page. Every morning I am greeted by the latest coffee memes on my Facebook wall. This alone cheers me up. If you know me at all, you know I am very fond of coffee (okay, “obsessed” is probably a better choice of words). It gives me an energy boost and helps me to concentrate and think more clearly for certain, but I simply enjoy the taste, and I love the way it soothes my throat and warms my hands. It is a great little mood-changer first thing in the morning.
2. Talk to others – or my bird.
Sometimes, it helps to chat with people who are not feeling so down or angry. The good mood of others can be infectious. “Venting” to others about my problems can also be helpful. When I feel like I have been heard and understood, I am more able to let go of my hurt, anger, and bad feelings. It helps when others tell me that they have been where I am and that whatever problems I am having can be overcome. And when people fail me, I always have my trusty bird to fall back on. (See previous blog for details.) It is nearly impossible to remain in a bad mood when my African Grey, Grover, is cheering me on with “You’re funny,” or “I love you. You’re a good, good bird.”
3. Listen to music. I challenge anyone to listen to the following and NOT feel better:
4. Go for a walk/change the scenery.
Sometimes literally having a different view can give me, well, a different view! A change in scenery can often change my perspective on whatever problem, hurt, or conflict is causing my bad day. Taking a walk around my neighborhood, in the park, or at my local zoo or gardens lightens my mood because it breaks my hum-drum routine and exposes me to fresh sights – which often result in fresh ways of thinking.
5. Busy myself with chores.
Anything that takes my mind off my own situation seems to improve my disposition. Even menial jobs distract me from my bad mood. If I am paying bills, folding laundry, or organizing my files, I am forced to concentrate on the task at hand and I tend to forget the problems of the day.
6. Focus on helping others.
I tend to forget my own problems when I am centered on helping others, especially those in my support groups. This not only takes my mind off of my own issues, it also makes me feel better about myself and my circumstances. It reminds me that others are struggling and could benefit from a listening ear and a kind word. It reminds me that I have a purpose from which I should not be distracted.
7. Give myself some sort of treat or reward.
When I am feeling particularly down, treating myself to a movie, a good book I have been meaning to read, a visit to a nearby attraction or interesting event, or even a much-needed nap often elevates my mood.
8. When all else fails, sit down and analyze my situation.
When none of the previous tactics seem to be making a difference, it is likely time for me to engage in some good self-analysis. At times, my bad mood stems from something a little more serious, and unless I get to the root of the problem and work it out, I cannot seem to move on. I sometimes need to ask myself if I am lonely, tired, angry, hungry (and the answer is always “yes” to this), or worried? Is there anything I can do to “fix” this? Often times, I can change my bad mood by resolving the underlying circumstances that have caused it to begin with. This might not be a simple or quick fix, but it is frequently quite effective. If my problems are ongoing, it is difficult to move on until I have sorted them out and done my best to deal with them. Some problems simply demand attention and cannot be ignored forever.
Changing my frame of mind from “down” to “up” is sometimes difficult and other times relatively simple, but in either case, it can and should be done. A positive attitude makes for a happier day, and being in a good state of mind allows me to focus on the things that really matter in my life – my loved ones, purpose, and goals – rather than the problems that serve to burden me.