There are more than 3 Ways to Shake off a Bad Mood, but not long ago, these 3 ways to shake off a bad mood really came to my rescue.
I was crabby for no particular reason. It wasn’t my hormones. It wasn’t that I hadn’t gotten enough sleep. And it wasn’t because something had offended me. Outside, it was a beautiful, sunny Saturday – but inside, a storm was brewing in my head. I woke up in a bad mood. The proverbial getting up on the wrong side of bed had happened to me and I didn’t like it one bit. A Snarky Saturday awaited me, and instead of recognizing that I needed to pray and meditate on God’s word until I felt better, I got mad. Mad that I was mad. Mad that I had chores to do. Mad that… well basically just mad about everything. Thankfully, I have learned to keep my mouth shut unless I have something positive and uplifting to say. But inside my head, gloom, doom and snarky thoughts had set up camp and were out scouting for firewood.
Just Push Through It
Sometimes, you just have to push through it. That means, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. For me, on that fateful Saturday, I kept doing the next thing there was to do, i.e., cleaning my closet, going grocery shopping etc. Remarkably, the more I focused on what needed to be done, the less my bad mood consumed my thoughts, and the better I began to feel.
Keep Your Mouth Shut
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. There is a lot of Bible and science behind this old adage. Our words have a profound effect on our brains ability to function. In his bestselling book, Words Can Change Your Brain, Dr. Andrew Newberg says, “When doctors and therapists teach patients to reframe negative thoughts and worries into positive affirmations, the communication process improves and the patient regains self-control and confidence. Indeed, just seeing a list of positive words for a few seconds will make a highly anxious or depressed person feel better, and people who use more positive words tend to have greater control over emotional regulation.” Perhaps this is why David, the great Psalm writer said, “Thy words have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” –Psalm 119:11
It may sound counter-intuitive, but worshiping God when you are feeling your worst is a very effective anecdote. Many of the Psalms start off with some kind of “woe is me” expression or a repentance/lament but end with praise and magnification of God. Psalm 32 , Psalm 102 and Psalm 83 are just a few of them. My solution to this on that crabby Saturday, was to play worship music while I was pushing through my chores. I literally had to make a conscience decision to turn the music on because I knew it would improve my mood – which would in turn soften my reactions etc. I really didn’t feel like it, but I did it anyway, and before long, my joy had returned.