We all get stuck in a funk at times. Here are some ideas for how to get yourself out from under that dark cloud of bad humor when it comes calling.
1. Sit in the sunshine.
It’s no secret that weather can affect our mood, and sunshine usually puts us on the upside of an ill temper. So don’t waste those sunny days indoors. Take your meals outdoors, take a walk or a hike, or head to the park.
2. Go for a run.
Running and other aerobic exercise can give our brains the same boost we get from therapy or antidepressant medications. Plus, we get the added benefit of feeling good about working up a sweat.
Gathering our thoughts, naming our feelings, and making sense of our own story can improve our understanding and our temper. As Richard Rohr says, “If we don’t learn to mythologize our lives, inevitably we will pathologize them.”
Whether it be making a delicious meal, gardening, taking photos, decorating your patio, or building a table, we all have a creative side. There’s something life giving about the process of forming something new out of raw materials.
Recall a funny memory. Watch a comedy. Ride a roller coaster. Call a friend who you know will make you laugh. It’s hard to stay in a bad humor when you’re laughing.
6. Set some goals.
Whether you plan a trip, create a budget, or set some career goals, having something to work toward and look forward to can lift our spirits.
7. Go somewhere.
Sometimes just a change of scenery can do us good. Even if it’s just the next town over or a hike on a new trail, going somewhere out of the ordinary can feel like an adventure.
8. Do something for someone else.
Loving others gets us out of our own heads and puts the focus on someone else, which may just be the cure for crankiness.
9. Do something for yourself.
Give yourself a break (and some grace). It’s okay to do something that makes you happy in order to get your petulance in check. Take a bath, sip a latte at your favorite shop, or take a nap.
10. Be quiet.
In our busy, noisy world, sometimes all we really need is space and time alone to be still without phone or email or the demands of life bombarding us. Find a quiet place to relax and let go of stress and frustrations. Change your thinking to change your mood.
Remember changing your mood is a CHOICE—decide on the option that uniquely fits you. We all know when we are “not in the best mood”, the question is do we have the willingness to try to change this condition. Practice a mood buster and make it part of your day to day, you might be surprised how often you can shake a bad mood for yourself or assist a loved one in finding a better day!
Angie Sumrall, LPC is a professional counselor at Thriveworks Counseling Marietta