Anyone who knows me can attest, I am an emotional rollercoaster. If I'm up, I'm WAAAAY up and if I'm down, it is actually the end of the world and there's nothing you can say to convince me otherwise.
Moody is my middle name and because of that, I've wasted more time than I care to admit letting other people's behaviors or actions or the circumstances of life dictate my mood. As someone who is prone to emotional imbalance, I can confidently say that there are ways to truly keep your emotional balance and maintain a positive attitude when life gets you down. Or you want to drop kick some dummy but aren't allowed because that's "not work appropriate behavior." Whatever that means.
I started making these back in August when I was having a bad day and texted my mom asking for advice, to which she replied, "Count your blessing, that should take a while." I admittedly rolled my eyes and then thought, you know what? That's not a bad idea. Thus, the gratitude list was born. I've found that gratitude is a much more powerful tool in changing your bad mood than simply ignoring it or "thinking happy thoughts". It goes back to the fact that happiness is a choice. When anger or sadness or frustration strikes, take a few minutes and write down the things you're grateful for. See here for a great method to make gratitude a daily practice and how to get the most out of your lists.
Focus on Others
Altruism, i.e. unwarranted or selfless acts of kindness, have long been hailed as a way to make yourself happier too. Read the science behind it here and here. It doesn't have to be anything major. I find that even just checking on a friend I haven't talked to in a few weeks can shift my perspective enough so I'm not so focused on my own bad mood. Now I'm focused on them, how they're feeling, how they're doing and how I can help.
Get outside. Go on a drive if you have time for it. My mood usually changes at work (weird, right?) and I'll go for a 5 minute walk to clear my head or go stretch for a few minutes if the weather isn't great out. Find a way to physically remove yourself from the space you're currently in and get a change of scenery for a few minutes. I have zero science on hand to back this one up, but I promise you, it has worked for me more times than I can count.
I don't have a ton of answers. But I don't think this is one of those situations that more options lead to better results.
I think you need to find the thing that grounds, centers and uplifts you. It's not about ignoring or suppressing the negativity you feel--it's about feeding positivity.
This is a life-long practice and these are just tools to use when life smacks you in the face and you say, "Well today is sh*t and I hate everything." Because that is most definitely going to happen. It's not about never having a bad mood or a bad day, it's about being prepared for that to happen and making the most of the situation when it does; and I hope that these tools prove as helpful and powerful for you as they have for me!
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