Whynot? The final chapter is just that! It's part two of a two-part story about a fictional but very traditional American Family; A father, a mother, three children, ages 6, 11, and 14, and their family dog. In our story, Dad, Mr. Ted Goodsmith, just received a...
How to Get Out of a Bad Mood
So, you are in a funk which causes you to have a bad day. You naturally try to figure out how to fix it.
Is it the weather?
Maybe you didn’t sleep well?
Is it something astrological? A full moon, perhaps? Or that mercury in retrograde thing?
And of course, we can’t blame every bad mood on Covid anymore…
But what CAN you do when a bad mood comes your way?
A bad mood can be characterized as:
- Just kinda “meh, which I call the grumps
- Irritable, impatient and judge-y, and of course moody
We aren’t talking about feeling bad the day after an actual terrible thing has occurred. You can track that to just feeling your feelings congruent to a life event.
Either way, when you are in a bad mood, you are not feelin’ like your usual chipper self, and you can’t get yourself out of it with your typical go-to tactics.
Let’s first assess two potential sources of unknown bad moods. Two things to consider.
1. Are you just in a funky state of the grumps that is normal and natural, like weather patterns are normal and natural?
In which case, you can just let go of needing to know and needing to fix and accept that the mood will pass. We do not need to be “happy” and high energy all the time. Nothing is wrong with a passing mood that is simply moving through you.
2. Are you over-thinking, over-whelmed, and living out of tune with your body: aka in your head, barely breathing, rushed, feeling like you are running out of time, too much to do, and it’s all crashing down at you all at once?
In which case, you need to manage your mind, calm your body, and focus on what is controllable.
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” Zen
This quote says the times you think you don’t have time are the exact times when slowing down is the solution.
The first cause of a bad mood is the easier solution. Just like nature, there is ebb and flow, and a ton of variety happening all the time. Moods and emotions are not immune to natural variety, like notes on a piano or colors in a sunset.
Give yourself a break from expecting to feel 100% all of the time. That is inorganic and mechanistic – and you are not a machine. Embracing emotional variety is a healthy way to live.
Personally, when I just accept, “oh, I’m having a bit of a “meh” day. I just go along with my business and barely notice it anymore because I am not fighting it, making it wrong, or wasting brain cells on figuring it out and fixing it.
So, just stop all those “f’ words, ok? – fighting, figuring out, fixing.
When we are in example #2 territory, we have more tuning up to do.
You are most likely “Overwhelmed” – a state of stress from lack of presence, too many mental files open, and too few resources.
Overthinking is the cause of overwhelm. It is sneaky. It makes you think you need to keep ALL your mental files open just in case you:
- Drop the ball
- Forget something
- Let someone else down
- Make a mistake
- Basically, anything you would cringe at and beat yourself up about because you are too darn harsh on yourself when you are in this thinky-think state.
And then you know what happens?
You burn yourself out within the first few hours of the day because you exhausted your system. Which then makes everything feel hard. You innocently don’t know how to allocate your energy with intelligence, presence, choice, will, and trust.
Imagine going on a long hike, packing snacks, then eating all your snacks in the first 30 minutes just in case… just in case what? Exactly, there’s not a ton of validated logic to your over-worked brain either. Trying to fix all problems all at once and figure life out all at once will simply not work and make you super moody for sure. Update your mindset that keeping all your mental files open is NOT an effective strategy.
To be “helpful,” – your cute overworked brain overworks even more by trying to solve overlapping problems all at the same time. When, what it really needs is to be present to one thing at a time, which is how it operates best.
How do we help your brain refrain from overthinking?
- Breathe. Sigh, that’s better already, right?
- Write ALL the contents of your brain onto a piece of paper (don’t overthink, just write).
Initially, you might think, “I don’t have time for that?!” Just try it. You might think it could take a long time, but it will be less than 15 minutes and even less when you do it more often.
- Once you’ve laid out your thoughts- you can decide where to put your energy.
- Anything that you can’t get to today, just log it for the next day.
- It is important to celebrate the little things. The little errands and to-dos matter and take up brain space, so write them on there too.
- Don’t let the list run you; you use it to manage your mind and make clear choices one by one.
- Time block actions for even more efficiency and put things in your calendar to feel like everything will get done so your mind doesn’t need to keep all the files open- which we now know burns you out.
NOTE: If there are emotional files that come up, this is not about mind management; this is about taking the time to acknowledge and process your truth via feeling the sensations in your body and acknowledging them. This also does not require a lot of time once practiced and will enhance your energy even more. Emotions return back to usable energy when we let them move and stop shoving them down.
Check out my HEART BREATHING exercise to process old or gunked-up emotions quickly and easily.
When you can organize your mind and process your feelings in life will cease to feel so overwhelming.
Life only feels overwhelming when you overwhelm yourself.
Many life’s stressors are just about STUFF, just things to do, one after another.
When you think too much⏤trying to do everything at once⏤you leave the moment, you leave your capacity to think clearly and plan calmly. When you overwhelm yourself, you cannot access your naturally resilient resources- like your intuition, creative problem solving, breathing, etc…
The moment is where your power and intelligence live. The moment is also where you experience your life rather than just get things done.
Try the steps above.
You will turn that frown upside down in no time. Or at least you will turn your mouth’s frown into a nice straight line of acceptance, neutrality, and okay-ness, which is an amazing way to be also.
Either way, you will move the needle toward a better day.
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