It would be pretty amazing if we were all in a good mood all the time, but life doesn't work that way. Moods are a natural part of life and we all get into bad ones sometimes. While you can’t just tell yourself to feel better and actually feel better, there are things you can do to make you feel better when you’re down.
Ruth Ellingsen, a clinical assistant professor in the University of Oregon’s psychology department, explains that you can change the thoughts and behaviors that influence your mood. And the first step to turning around a bad mood is identifying what kind of mood you’re in. To determine your mood, she suggests doing a feeling temperature check using a “feeling thermometer.” It has four zones:
- Green for a good mood and comfortable feelings.
- Yellow is the next level up, for when you’re not quite good, like when you’re just a little tired.
- Orange is the next level, indicating you’re nervous or frustrated.
- And finally red is for when you’re very uncomfortable, like feeling sad, angry or another negative emotion.
If you’re in the red zone, Ellingson says that’s an emotional state that’s hard to snap out of. But if you’re in the yellow or orange zones, try these strategies to turn your mood around:
- Breathing exercises - To help you relax try the 6-7-8 breathing exercise, where you breathe in through your nose for six seconds, hold your breath for seven, and then exhale for eight.
- Turn to fitness - Get your body moving for 15 to 20 minutes so you get a hit of endorphins and adrenaline which can help us quickly shift perspectives, according to executive coach Sarah Sarkis.
- Focus on others instead of yourself - Turning your attention to others, like reaching out to a friend in need or doing an act of kindness, can make you feel better & defeat your bad mood.
- Spend time outside - Study after study shows nature is good for mental health, as it can lower stress levels, ease anxiety and probably put a smile on your face. And if you listen to music while outside? Even better to boost you out of a bad mood.
- Grab an ice pack - Ellingsen notes that cooling the body down by putting an ice pack on your forehead can bring a sense of relaxation and kind of tricks you into being calm.
Source: Huff Post