Ever feel lousy, bored or even downright depressed? We all have our moments, but how do you take a bad turn into a negative emotional state and flip it around? I believe that the overall amount of happiness you experience in your life isn’t based upon how much pain you are dealt but how you recover from it.
I’ve found three methods for quickly getting back into a good mood. Although there may be deeper underlying problems that are creating your trip to negativity land, I’ve found that these three methods help me recover back into a good mood almost all of the time.
Even if your problem isn’t solved, sometimes using these techniques can put you into the right frame of mind to solve your problem. I’ve noticed that my crushing and overwhelming problems suddenly appear to be fascinating new challenges when I get back into the right state.
1) Boost Your Energy
From my own personal observation, bad moods are caused 50% of the time simply because of a lack of energy. When you have lots of energy your mind moves faster, you get more done and you feel happier.
This may sound a little crazy, but it simply amazes me how often this is the problem. I can be all caught up in some seemingly important issue that is bothering me, but a simple boost of energy and I feel great again. Try this out for yourself, the next time you feel down, stop trying to think your way through it and instead boost your energy.
How can you boost your energy? I wrote an article about ways you can boost your energy, but here is a couple things you can do immediately when you’re feeling down:
- Physical Exercise – Doing some light exercise creates a huge boost in your physical energy.
- Think Faster – Games, brainstorming or other thinking exercises boost your mental energy.
- Drink Some Water – Hydrating yourself can give you a boost of energy.
2) Get New Input
A bad mood is characterized by a repeating pattern of negative thoughts. This loop will continue until something moves it onto a new trajectory. Getting some new input can spur you back into a good mood.
You may notice that often when you are in a bad mood you don’t do very much. Depressed people, aside from feeling a lack of energy described earlier, often perpetuate their mood by remaining in the same environment.
When you lack a new input, your mind tends to follow a cyclical pattern. Generally when it gets into a negative state, that pattern feeds upon itself until you feel awful. By getting new input you interrupt that negative pattern and have the opportunity to replace it with a positive one.
Going to see friends, watching a movie, reading a book, even doing the errands and chores that need to be done, are all methods of getting new input.
I know it sounds corny, but feeling grateful is an easy way to get out of a bad state. Just ask yourself what you are thankful for. If there are any parts of your life that have improved? Simply visualizing the difference can give a small boost to your mood.
Why do you feel good when you achieve things, at least temporarily? Because your mind is comparing the two situations and sees how this situation is preferable. That momentary comparison makes you feel good.
Gratitude works backwards by comparing the situation you are currently in compared to the situation you used to be in or the situation you could be in. Being grateful isn’t something you should do out of moral duty but simply because it makes you happier.
The next time you are feeling lousy, try these three steps and see if they boost your mood. I would say that a good ninety percent of all my bad moods are fixed by taking these three steps. In the other ten percent, I generally feel better and it helps me take a clearer look at the underlying issue.