Bad Mood? Here's What You Can Do About It
There comes a time in our lives where we feel a sudden wave of unexplainable sadness. Doing things such as getting out of bed becomes hard. Additionally, we lose our appetite, and we are easily irritated. It's important to realize, moods good or bad are cognitive and are part of what makes us human. However, doing certain things can alleviate the constant negative emotions and make us feel excited about life again. So, here are 10 things you can do to get over bad moods:
Go for a Walk in a Quiet Place
Walk away from traffic noise and sound pollution to a peaceful place where you can enjoy nature. The first thing to remember is to not think about what’s making you feel bad. On the contrary, the goal is to breathe clean air and appreciate your environment. Undoubtedly, walking is good for your physical and mental health. Scientific evidence shows walking can increase the ‘feel good’ effect, self-esteem, cognitive functioning, positive mood and quality of life (Mulley, Gebel & Ding, 2017).
Make Your Favorite Comfort Food
Food is good for the soul. For instance, chocolate which has a strong effect on mood generally increases pleasant feelings and reduces tension (Singh, 2014). Dr. Minati Singh believes that comfort food can provide some relief, but keep in mind, it may have adverse effects if it's used as a coping method for a long time (2014). There’s no shame in rewarding yourself with food that increases your serotonin level on condition that you consume it in moderation. In sum, don’t let food be the only thing that pleases you.
Listen to Music
Dr. Teresa Lesiuk's research indicates that music increases positive mood, work quality and it shortens the time needed to perform a task (2005). As a matter of fact, people who listen to sad music to feel better, may experience sadness as enjoyment and not as an unpleasant feeling (Lesiuk, 2005). Check out this playlist on Spotify called Calm Down.
Do Your Favorite Endorphin-Releasing Activity
Obviously, this is different for everybody. Some enjoy running, hitting the weights at the gym, doing yoga at home, riding a bicycle or swimming. Do whatever gets your happy hormones going because regular exercise is associated with significant improvements in total well-being score and especially in the well-being components of mood, sense of coherence, fortitude, stress and coping. (Edwards, 2006).
Take a Warm Shower
Scientific literature illustrates people tend to self-regulate their feelings of social connectedness through use of physical warmth experiences including taking a hot shower or bath (Bargh & Shalev, 2012). Often, all you need is a break from the outside world to feel better. In other words, taking a warm shower or a bath can re-energize you and help you de-stress.
Have a Romantic Date - with Yourself
You can go out to get ice-cream, pizza or stay-in and watch a movie. Be your own best friend. It’s equally important to learn to love your own company. Being alone might have a positive effect. Theorists have proposed many benefits related to time spent alone: freedom, creativity, intimacy, and spirituality (Manalastas, 2011).
Re-Organize Your Home
Your environment is critical to the way you feel. Therefore, create an atmosphere where you can feel good. Change up your space around. Move the furniture to a new place, hang up new art, new pictures. Switch up little decoration items. Burn candles with new scents. Get rid of things you don't need or use anymore. Dr. Ralph Ryback says the human body is organized internally, from the nervous system till the atomic level - our biology is well-organized (2016). Therefore, it's no surprise that research shows cleanness and neatness are good for our health. “It helps us feel better about ourselves, it keeps us productive, and it may very well keep us physically fit" (Ryback, 2016).
Adopt a Pet
Animals bring so much joy and companionship to our lives; some are even smart enough to know when something is wrong. There's a sad, abandoned, lonely animal out there waiting for a home and to love someone unconditionally. Having a pet will give you purpose, one of the most important things you need to be happy again.A study done by Mcconnell, Brown, Shoda, Martin & Stayton reveals well-being benefits were more pronounced for people whose dogs filled social needs relating to belongingness, self-esteem, meaningful existence, and control (2011). Also, they demonstrate that owners enjoyed better outcomes (2011). For example, they experienced less depression, less loneliness, greater self-esteem, greater happiness, and less perceived stress (Mcconnell, Brown, Shoda, Martin & Stayton, 2011).
Surround Yourself with People
We are social beings from the day we were born. We thrive in the company of others. If you have the option to be with a friend, a colleague, a family member - do so. Even though we sometimes get into a state in which we don’t want to see or talk to anybody but push yourself to do it. Well-being can increase greatly due to better quality human social support (Mcconnell, Brown, Shoda, Martin & Stayton, 2011).
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge; there are degrees of sadness. But if those feelings don't subside within weeks and are interfering with your life, talk to your doctor. There's no shame in asking for help. There are 300 million people who suffer from depression (WHO, 2017). On the other hand, there's a plenty of resources to take advantage of. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it’s curable. With this in mind, you can find happiness again.
Bargh, J. A., & Shalev, I. (2012). The Substitutability of Physical and Social Warmth in Daily Life. Emotion, 12(1), 154-162.Depression. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/Edwards, S. (2006). Physical Exercise and Psychological Well-Being. South African Journal of Psychology, 36(2), 357-373. Lesiuk, T. (2005). The Effect of Music Listening on Work Performance. Psychology of Music, 33(2), 173-191.Manalastas, E. J. (2011). An Exercise to Teach the Psychological Benefits of Solitude: The Date with the Self. Philippine Journal of Psychology, 44(1), 95-106.Mcconnell, A. R., Brown, C., Shoda, T. M., Martin, C. M., & Stayton, L. E. Friends with Benefits: On the Positive Consequences of Pet Ownership. PsycEXTRA Dataset. Mulley, C., Gebel, K., & Ding, D. (2017). Walking: Connecting sustainable transport with health. Bingley: Emerald Publishing.Ryback, R. (2016). The Powerful Psychology Behind Cleanliness. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-truisms-wellness/201607/the-powerful-psychology-behind-cleanlinessSingh, M. (2014). Mood, Food, and Obesity. Frontiers in Psychology, 5.