We all get in a bad mood from time to time and need a little emotional sorcery to get out of it.
One of the main differences between people who are generally more happy and those who are often in a more negative emotional state, is the ability to shake a bad mood.
You may not be in charge of what got you down, but you CAN have the power to get yourself back up.
Because I think this is such an important life skill, I recently sent a request to my family, friends and readers, asking for their favorite methods of shaking a bad mood. So far, I’ve collected ninety ways.
Here are ten of my favorites. I hope you like these too.
Easy Way to Change Your Emotions and Shake a Bad Mood
Smiling interrupts bad mood neural pathways and strengthens the brain’s ability to keep a positive outlook. When you’re alone, you can just put on a little Mona Lisa smile.
I’m doing this now as I write this article.
And, if you smile more at others, other people are more likely to smile back. Wouldn’t it be nice to be responsible for making a happier world?
Next time you’re in a public place, try smiling more and see what happens.
Yawning is an amazing tool because it does so many beneficial things. It lowers stress, relaxes your body and enhances pleasure and sensuality. It even helps you think and remember better.
To start yourself yawning, open your mouth as wide as you can and begin imagining a yawn.
You have to try a little to make it happen at first, but the “real yawn” soon takes over.
I’ve noticed that I’ll yawn repeatedly when I’m discharging emotion or releasing stress. I also yawn like crazy when I’m doing EFT tapping and it’s working. When I read the book How God Changes Your Brain, by Andrew Newberg and Mark Waldman, I learned the science behind yawning.
3. Say YES!
It’s hard to be grumpy and say yes at the same time.
From energy testing, I’ve learned that saying no weakens us, while saying yes strengthens us. When people say “no,” their energy gets weaker and they lose strength. When they say the word yes, their energy comes back and they test strong.
It’s pretty amazing to witness the power of a single word.
It can really help you get into a positive state to simply say “Yes.” Here’s what I recommend.
You can write, say or even just think your questions. If you’re going to think them, I recommend counting on your fingers, so you’re sure to get ten questions in.
Ask yourself ten questions you can answer yes to. Start easy, like “Am I sitting down?” “Yes.”
Get more enthusiastic as you go, asking questions that make you happier and happier.
Am I a creative, resourceful person?
Do I have the capacity to make my life a little better every day?
This one can be nice to do before even getting out of bed in the morning.
Have you ever noticed how everything gets tainted and nothing seems good when you’re in a bad mood?
If you can make just a little change from negative toward positive, it can begin to change your emotional state and outlook on everything.
Just look around wherever you are and find one thing to appreciate. Say or silently think of a reason you appreciate it. Then think of another reason. And another. And another.
Then move on to another object. You can do this any time, anywhere. Here’s an example.
I appreciate the chair I’m sitting in. It’s so comfortable. It’s held up me and my family for decades. The upholstery is so durable. I appreciate the craft person who designed such a long-lasting chair. I appreciate that my mother had the good taste to buy such a high quality chair all those years ago. I appreciate that I’ve had the use of this wonderful chair for so long.
With this exercise, as with the others, it’s not the topic of what you’re feeling good about that matters. It’s that you’re changing your emotional state, your mood, your vibration. That’s what makes the difference.
So appreciating absolutely anything is a good thing to do.
Our body’s energy system can get stuck in a negative emotional state and a limiting pattern of thinking.
Tapping stress points, some of the same ones used in acupuncture, can clear the negative pattern of thoughts and emotions and turn a bad mood into a good one. This simple process is called EFT tapping or Emotional Freedom Techniques.
Emotional tapping is one of the mind body emotional methods I turn to often. I can’t imagine how I ever navigated the emotions of life before I learned EFT. You can learn EFT tapping in about ten minutes with this free EFT manual.
For EFT to be effective in the moment, you don’t need an elaborate set-up or any special wording. Just vent, gripe and complain as you tap whatever points you can easily tap.
It can change your mood from lousy to lovely in as little as a minute.
6. Just 5 Minutes
Often we feel stuck about getting started with something we’re dreading. It seems overwhelming because we’re imagining the entire task – which may take hours, days, weeks or months.
One way to get out of the inertia of dread, overwhelm or procrastination is to give yourself permission to just do something for five minutes.
Set a timer for five minutes and start, however small. When the timer goes off, you have full permission to quit. I usually find that I’m actually enjoying the new task and want to keep going.
It changed my emotional state and created new positive momentum. (I use this method to get started on difficult writing projects and on tasks I don’t much enjoy, like doing dishes, working on my taxes or packing up my house.)
When we are stuck in a negative emotional state, we’re often stuck physically too. Moving your body is powerful method and can free you in multiple ways.
Move your body and stretch in any way that feels good. Standing or laying down, reach way up overhead. Stretch from your toes to your fingertips – up, down, sideways. Stretch your arms, legs, torso in all directions. Twist around to stretch your back. If you know yoga, do some of your favorite moves.
You can stretch in a slow, fluid movement or hold your stretches for 20 or 30 seconds each. Whichever you choose, imagine yourself loosening up and releasing what no longer serves you. You can even do this in a chair or while laying down.
Stretching is a way to get body fluids moving and releases stagnant energy. It can change your thinking and mood as well as your body.
8. What Do You Like About Your Life.
Have you noticed that when you’re in a crummy mood, your whole life seems crummy too? But if you stop to think about it, you can usually find many things you like about your life.
Say, think or write a list of ten things you like about your life. If you’re really in a bad mood, start small. Notice how your mood changes as you think of things you like.
Sometimes when I’m on along walk or when I’m swimming laps, I’ll continue a list of things I like about my life for the entire walk or swim. I just get happier and happier.
The more positive you purposely think, the more positive you train your brain to think when you’re not directing your thoughts.
Set a timer and do a short 3-5 minute meditation. One of the easiest meditations to do is to tune into your body.
Notice the sensations of your clothing against your skin, the pressure of the chair on your back, butt and legs. Notice your belly moving as you breathe.
10. Get Moving.
Take a five-minute vigorous movement break.
A quick brisk walk, running in place, doing any kind of vigorous exercise can reset your emotional state to a higher one.
If you have more time, it’s great to get into nature for a walk or jog. Swimming or bicycling are other wonderful ways to get your blood moving and improve your mood.
11. If I Was Feeling Happy…
OK, I meant to stop at ten ways…
…but I just couldn’t resist adding this #11. I came up with this one the other day when I was swimming laps and noticed I was in a truly bad mood. The thought occurred to me to make a mental appreciation list to get in a happier state, but I was feeling too grouchy to even be appreciative about one thing.
So I came with this method. It tricks your mind into thinking more positively. You say to yourself…
If I was feeling happy right now, I might be happy about…
and fill in the blank with something in your life or your immediate environment.
My mental list went something like this…
If I was feeling happy right now, I might appreciate the blue of the sky.
If I was feeling happy right now, I might appreciate how good this water feels on my body.
If I was feeling happy right now, I might appreciate the convenience of this club.
If I was feeling happy right now, I might appreciate the long lap lanes in this pool.
If I was feeling happy right now, I might appreciate the way they use something other than chlorine to clean this pool.
If I was feeling happy right now, I might appreciate that my body is strong and healthy enough to be swimming laps.
Keep going that way. If it works for you like it worked for me, you’ll soon be able to name things you’re happy about without the mind trick of “If I was feeling happy…”
I had fun writing this. Hope you enjoyed it too.