Eliminating the cloud of a bad mood

Bad moods become bad days, which become bad weeks, which become bad months and years. Before you know it, you’re living an unhappy life and you probably think this is normal. It’s a shame, because life can and should be wonderful. You can transcend the circumstances that are pulling you down you need only to learn how. Brenda Anderson

Everyone has good moods and bad moods. While a lot of us know it affects the people around us, not many of us are aware of how we can stop it from bringing others down around us. Research has shown that moods are contagious – but psychologists have said they don’t need to be. Let’s look at how you can prevent someone else’s bad mood from getting you down, how you can take responsibility for your bad moods and avoid getting other people down, and give some quick tips to getting out of a bad mood quickly.

How to prevent someone else’s bad mood from getting you down

Emotions are contagious. Carl Jung

Just as there’s happiness, there’s also clouds of depression that effect people and while it’s hard to watch the people we love suffer, it’s important not to let it affect us. Emotional or mood contagion is scientific theory whereby people ‘catch’ bad moods from other people. According to prominent social psychologist, Dr. Elaine Hatfield, it is impossible to ‘turn off’ the contagion effect completely, but simply being aware of the infectious nature of emotions can help you avoid undesirable moods. Remember, there is no benefit in you and your friend or lover both being in a bad mood, so here’s how to try to avoid letting someone’s bad mood affect you:

Be aware of their mood
While it can be very hard to be around someone when they’re in a bad mood, sometimes it is unavoidable. In this case, you first need to acknowledge their bad mood and accept it. Don’t talk to them about it, don’t point it out, don’t make them feel any worse than they already do … just accept it. Remember: no one actually enjoys being in a bad mood.

It’s their problem – don’t analyse it
Sensitive people tend to instantly assume responsibility, so avoid doing this. Keep the distance by telling yourself that their bad mood is their problem – then step back and let them solve it. Avoid wasting your energies on thinking about it, analysing it (or helping them to analyse it), or coming up with solutions to fix it. Anyone seeking a solution will find it themselves, when they’re ready.

Avoid reacting to it
Try to remain cheerful and reflect your happiness back onto them. Generally if we can catch a bad mood from someone, they can also catch a good mood – however, some of us are more emotionally aware than others. So if this fails, don’t take their mood personally and shift your focus to something you enjoy. Positive self-talk is particularly important in these situations, so try some affirmations to keep your energies heightened, avoid looking them in the face when they are being negative (it’s been proven that the person’s expression will impact you more than what is actually said), and distance yourself when you can.

Take responsibility for your moods: avoid getting people down

Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day. Unknown

Question your bad mood
Don’t accept the way you are feeling and ruin your day – you only live once – start questioning the way you are feeling. How and why did this mood come about? Are you doing something you shouldn’t? Did something happen that you’re uncomfortable with? By identifying the cause of your bad mood, you will increase your self-awareness, will be in a better position to address and correct your bad mood and will be able to deal with things differently in future.

Avoid other people
The best way to deal with a bad mood and not let it affect the people around you is to excuse yourself for the day and have some time by yourself. Spend the day doing activities you enjoy – watch a movie, listen to music, go for a walk/exercise etc. If you can’t excuse yourself, then try to enjoy the situation you’re in for what it is. Break everything down. Don’t think too far ahead – keep things simple. Remember: your mood will pass.

Talk to yourself
Don’t talk to others about it – talk to the person hurting and the one who matters, talk to yourself. Be aware of your self-talk. Keep it positive. Do some affirmations. Tell yourself the mood will pass. If it is caused by something that has happened outside of your control, accept it – there’s nothing you can do about it, but think about how you will respond. Be positive – focus on how to get yourself feeling good again, not the fact that you are currently feeling bad.

Take responsibility
Don’t expect someone to solve the mood for you or come up with solutions. When you’re ready to come out of the dark cloud of your bad mood, you will. Look at how you are coping with your mood and strive to find better ways to cope with it.

Watch what you say and how you act around others
You may feel lame at the moment, but this mood won’t last. As Robert H. Schuller says: “Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” Be open to changing your mood. Watch what you say – optimistic people act and talk in certain ways, using certain words which affects their mood and energy levels. Changing your words can actually change your attitude and feelings. It’s important to be conscious not to bring others down in what you say – because if you make people feel bad, they’ll think twice before hanging around with you again.

How to get out of a bad mood

When I wake up in a bad mood, I try not to stay in one. Learn to make the best of what you have. Faith Hill

– Take some time out to be alone and get on top of your bad mood. Use this time to get to the root of your bad mood – start identifying what has put you in this mood, brainstorming on a piece of paper may make this easier
– Acknowledge your bad mood with the people around you – don’t pretend you’re ok
– Complete this sentence “I’ll feel better when I…” and then action it
– Be proactive in fixing your mood – get outside and do something. Take a walk. Work in the garden. Play with your pets. Do some stretching. Get some sunshine!
– Listen to music that could improve your mood- Meditate. Concentrate on positive visualisation and calming breathing exercises. Spend some time reflecting and keeping calm. Add some incense or aromatherapy to heighten your senses
– Watch a comedy or look at funny/positive and distracting pictures that will boost your mood – YouTube is always a winner here or looking at pictures from happier times will always help
– Talk to someone who cares. If there is a problem – nothing will help more than a kind listening ear and a loving heart
– Make a list of self-soothing ideas and things that will make you feel better in your next bad mood. Action some of these now to assist you – never underestimate the power of self-care, we all need time to ourselves and to treat ourselves
– Consciously change your attitude – it’ll change your day
– Do some kind of exercise – star jumps, push ups, sit ups, weights or a brisk walk around the block should boost your endorphins
– Eat a small piece of dark chocolate, it’s been medically proven to act as an anti-depressant in small doses
– Once you’re open to changing your mood and feeling more social, hang around positive and uplifting people
– Change your posture to change your mood: unhappy people shuffle their feet, taking tiny steps, walk slowly and slouch – BUT! Happy people take big steps, walk faster and stand taller. They exude an endless supply of energy
– Give yourself a break. Don’t be down on yourself, you’re feeling bad enough as it is. Accept your mood – everyone has bad moods, and don’t let it wreck your day
– Sleep it off. Sometimes the only way out of a bad mood is just to catch up on some sleep
– Book something to look forward to. Maybe it’s time to plan a holiday, a nice weekend away or just a decent night out on the town. Start planning something special you can look forward to – your mood could be a result of burning out, in which case, it’s a well-deserved reward
– Get some perspective. Avoid concentrating on what you don’t have and can’t do, and concentrate on what you do have and what you can do. Look at the bigger picture
– Look after yourself: listen to your body and address those needs. Are you hungry? Do you need more sleep? You may be too hot or too cold? Dehydrated? Make yourself as comfortable as you can
– Make it a goal to live more and stress less: start actioning that
– Avoid people who add stress to your life, surround yourself with positive people that love you and who will boost you up (not that it’s their responsibility but it comes naturally to them)
– Remind yourself that you are in control. Happiness is a choice – as is this bad mood. What are you going to do about it?
– Dance like no one is watching. It may be time to crank up the tunes in your room, stand in front of the mirror and just dance like a crazy person to rid the negative energy
– Do something for someone else: donate to charity, write a letter, buy someone flowers, cook for someone, write a thank you note, send a friend an email
– Change your appearance to make yourself look better. If you look good, you’ll feel good
– Watch what you eat: avoid fatty, battered food – try to eat fresh, healthy food for the day – concentrate on what you put into your body – a healthy body equals a healthy mind. Have a seafood feast – stock up on some Omega 3s to make you feel better – eat plenty of fish. Definitely avoid alcohol while you feel like this – it’s a depressant
– Try to make someone’s day: sometimes boosting other people up around you is enough to boost yourself up. Give a compliment, tell someone they’re special to you, do something kind for someone, go out of your way for them, show someone you appreciate them with a gift
– Set out to achieve something. Set a small goal for the day and plan a way to achieve it
– Watch the decisions you make today. Anything you decide to do will either make you feel better or make you feel worse. Try to make decisions that will help you feel better – the sooner you’re feeling better the sooner you’ll be back to your usual self!

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Happiness Weekly encourages readers to proactively work towards a successful, happy and secure existence. Just like happiness – Happiness Weekly is for everyone.

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