I wrote recently about the importance of working to make yourself happier and maintain a positive outlook. And whilst I definitely try to remain upbeat and optimistic, I am of course only human and am prone to a good ‘ole strop now and then, as I’m sure my family would be only too keen to testify!
So finding ourselves in a bad mood is completely natural and happens to the best of us. We can’t change that. Things will happen in life which will wind us up. But what we can change is how we react when we find ourselves in a bad mood – we can choose stew on it or snap out of it.
Let’s take the first option: you can find yourself in a bad mood because the traffic was bad so you were late home from work, then you broke a nail and managed to superglue all of your fingers together which then made you even later for the gym than you had been before and you found yourself apoplectic with rage at the fact that you needed to hoover the stairs and landing because no one else was going to do it for you (true story). Choosing to stew on it tends to lead to you finding more things to become annoyed about and to you inevitably becoming even more annoyed. Before you know it, a minor irritation has become a full-force strop.
But what if we choose to snap out of it? Acknowledge that you’re feeling in a bad mood, for whatever reason, and do something to distract yourself from it – in much the same way as you would try to distract a toddler who was teetering on the edge of a tantrum.
Personally, I find doing something physical to be most effective: listening to upbeat music whilst doing housework is particularly effective for me (although, I’d avoid angry rap music as experience has taught me that this has the opposite of the intended effect) or doing some kind of exercise like going for a walk whilst listening to an entertaining podcast.
So the next time I find I’m late home from work, I’m going to get myself straight to the gym without ending up fuming about all of the household chores I’m going to need to do for the rest of my life. And I’m definitely going to leave the superglue alone.
What strategies do you use to help yourself to snap out of it? Let me know in the comments section – I’m always looking for new strategies to try.
Thanks for reading,