It happens to the best of us. A bad mood can strike at any time. Sometimes there’s an obvious cause — you get stuck in a traffic jam, have a fight with a friend, or feel affected by another person’s negative attitude. And sometimes you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
Whatever the cause, a bad mood can be hard to shake. Instead of crawling back under the covers or throwing in the towel and giving in to the grumpiness, try these 10 tricks to beating a bad mood:
CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Your first order of business should be getting some distance between yourself and whatever is causing your bad mood. If a co-worker is bringing you down, get out of the office for lunch. If a stressed-out roommate is rubbing off on you, leave the house. Even if you there’s no obvious reason for your bad mood, a change of scenery can help lift you out of the doldrums and distract you from your current feelings.
TAKE A BUBBLE BATH
Or treat yourself to a massage, a special dessert, a new video game, some guilt-free TV bingeing, or whatever else self-care looks like to you. Don’t punish yourself for a bad mood. Instead, treat yourself with a little extra care and compassion.
HAVE A LAUGH
When you’re blue, laughing might seem like the last thing you want to do. Yet, a dose of something funny can help replace bad feelings, even if it’s just for a little while. Watch an episode of your favorite sitcom. Check out some silly online clips and videos. Listen to some stand-up comedy. Seek out whatever tickles your funny bone the most!
Doing something nice for someone else is often an instant mood booster. Helping others is rewarding, whether it’s a small gesture like holding the door open for a stranger or an act with more effort, like volunteering for a charity. Performing an act of kindness can help you take your mind off your problems or see them in a different light and
PHONE A FRIEND
Do you have something to get off your chest? Bad moods are more likely to spring up when there’s an unresolved issue on your mind, even if it’s buried deep. Talking to someone about what’s bothering you can be a cathartic way to work through your problems and look at them from a different perspective.
GO FOR A WALK OUTSIDE
As much as you may hate to hear it when you’re feeling low, but exercise really can cure a bad mood. It increases your endorphins, the feel-good chemical in your body. What’s even better is outdoor exercise, since spending time in nature has a lot of its own physical and mental benefits. Try a walk through a park or a hike in the woods.
CATCH SOME ZZZZ’S
Here’s some good news: napping is beneficial! A short power nap can help you shake off irritability and boost your brain function. Just make sure to keep it around 20 minutes — anything longer can put you in a deep sleep and might make your mood even worse.