We all have times when we fall into a bad mood. The kids won’t stop bickering, your boss just dumped a huge project in your lap at the last minute, your husband left his dirty socks out in the middle of the living room, again. In every area of life, little things can set us off and before long we are snapping at everyone, brooding, glaring, and annoyed at all the things.
Oftentimes we let our bad moods last all day. We think we’re upset about our circumstances, so until things change we can’t possibly be in a good mood. Or maybe we think, tomorrow is a new day, hopefully, I’ll just wake up in a better mood then.
But what if we decided to change our mood today? Right now even? What if we recognized that our circumstances don’t need to have a say in how we feel? We get to choose how we feel. And we can choose a better mood.
If you’re ready to reset your bad attitude and lighten your mood now instead of waiting for a new day or better circumstances, then this list is for you. Try one or a handful of these ideas to find your way to a better mood.
1. Make a Gratitude List.
There is always, always something to be grateful for. Challenge yourself to fill up as much of a blank page as you can. Focus on all the good in your life and you’ll realize the bad might not be so bad.
2. Go Outside.
Fresh air, sunshine, change of scenery, beautiful views of nature.
3. Find Silence and Breathe.
If you have to lock yourself in the bathroom, do it. Just find some place where you can spend a few minutes in quiet. Close your eyes and listen to your own breathing.
4. Listen to Worship Music.
And be sure to sing along, praising God for all He has done for you.
5. Go for a walk (or run).
Get your blood pumping. It will release all the feel good chemicals in your body to help your brain reset in a better mood.
6. Give a Hug.
If you’re not a hugger, skip this one. But for those of us who enjoy physical contact, a hug can fix so many things. This is often the number one way to help my kids when they are in a bad mood.
7. Dance Party.
Turn up some good music and just dance it out.
8. Reverse Your Thoughts.
You’re probably in a bad mood because of the things your brain is dwelling on. Write down your negative thoughts in a list, then go through the list and write the reverse, positive thought about your situation.
9. Get a Warm Drink.
A mug of coffee, a cuppa tea, or a warm apple cider in the fall. Mmmm. I feel better just thinking about it.
10. Do Something Nice for Someone Else.
Pay for the person in line behind you, give a compliment, offer to do something your coworker hates doing, shoot off an encouraging email.
11. Find Something to Laugh About.
Go to YouTube, watch funny cat videos. Repeat as necessary.
12. Phone a Friend.
Actually, I hate the phone, so I would text a friend. But the point is to reach out to someone you can rely on. Vent, ask for advice, or just listen to a friendly voice.
13. Clean Up Your Space.
Sometimes it helps to just pick up some clutter and make the area around you a little less chaotic.
14. Do Something Different.
If you’re annoyed and frustrated with the project you’re working on, give yourself a break. Work on something else for a little while to give your brain a break. It will be waiting for you when you are feeling more refreshed.
15. Write a Letter You’ll Never Send.
If your foul mood is because of something someone did (or didn’t do), write a letter to them explaining exactly how you feel. Be brutally and truthfully honest. This can help you vent out your frustrations and move on or it might give you the clarity you need to have a calm and productive conversation with the person to resolve the issues. Once you’re done, toss your letter in the shredder.
16. Look at Pictures of Something Fun.
Pull out your phone and look at pictures of your last vacation, that fun adventure you did over the weekend, or your friend’s adorable new baby. Sometimes it helps to visually see the good things in our lives.
Annoyed, angry, frustrated feelings can often lead to tight muscles in our bodies which just exacerbate our mood. Take some time to do some stretches to work out the areas where you are holding the tension in your body.
I should have put this one first. Lay your annoyances and frustrations in God’s hands and ask Him to improve your outlook.
19. Read the Bible.
You probably want to skip books like Leviticus and maybe Job. But reading through the Psalms or Proverbs can be very encouraging.
20. Light a Candle or Diffuse Some Uplifting Essential Oils.
The calm glow of a candle and a fun and energizing scent can do great things to help improve your mood.
21. Get a (Healthy) Snack.
Maybe you’re just hangry. Go eat an apple.
22. Let the Sun Shine In.
Open the curtains and let some sunshine in on your day.
Whatever the cause of your bad mood, recognize that you get to control how you think and how you feel. You may need to try a few things to help your brain shift gears, but a better mood can always be found.
Today’s Action Step
Try out one of these tips to help improve your mood. Even if you’re having a great day today, it never hurts to add a little more goodness to your day.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are in a foul mood?