How to Banish a Bad Mood

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Bad moods may surface when you’re least expecting them. Although they’re often triggered by events that seem incidental, they can disrupt relationships and negatively impact your daily life. Most bad moods are gone as quickly as they appear, but some of them can stick around for days. Either way, you’d be better off without them. Here are some strategies that might help.

  • Explore the outdoors. Even when the temps are frigid, spending some time outside does wonders for your mental health. So reconnect with nature, take in the sunshine and Vitamin D, or just let the snowflakes melt on your tongue.
  • Start moving. You’re heard about endorphins and how they can trigger positive feelings and boost your mental health. Your body naturally releases these chemicals when you exercise, so you immediately start to feel better.
  • Disconnect from the digital world. From too much time on social media to spending long hours hunched over a laptop, the digital world can be draining. Make a conscious decision to unplug for periods of time, and reconnect with the world around you.
  • Help someone. Committing an act of kindness not only helps someone else, but it can produce some positive mental returns for you as well. That’s a win-win worth pursuing.
  • Listen to your favorite tunes. Some songs are guaranteed to improve your mood. You know what they are, so crank up the sound and start singing. A few dance moves can’t hurt either.
  • Get some shuteye. When you’re feeling tired and cranky, that’s an invitation for a bad mood to ruin your day. Mom always said that things look better in the morning, thanks to a good night’s rest.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. When you’re upset about something that happened, it’s easy to constantly replay the scene in your mind. Sometimes what took place is a big deal—but often it’s not. So distract yourself with an activity that you enjoy, and stop stressing over the incident.
  • Learn to cope with rejection. Whether the situation is professional or personal, it’s hard to deal with rejection. It might be something big, like not getting the job you applied for. Or it could be a smaller rejection, like not being invited to a party. Either way, try to move on and focus your attention on other more positive aspects of your life.
  • Be thankful. Bad moods tend to make us self-centered. Turn that thought process around by thinking about the many things you can be grateful for, and your frame of mind will rapidly improve.

David Lowenstein, Ph.D. is a psychologist and the clinical director of Lowenstein & Associates, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to providing therapeutic services to individuals and families, he offers training and consultation to numerous associations, schools and agencies around the country. Additionally, he is a frequent radio and TV guest and a resource and contributing writer for numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide. Contact Dr. David Lowenstein at 691 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43206 or by phone at 614.443.6155 or 614.444.0432.