In my early to mid-twenties I was a bit miserable in my personal life.
Pretty much everything that felt like it went wrong would send me into a bad mood and end with me sliding down a wall crying like Bridget Jones (always in the bathroom… why?).
These days nothing much affects me in a negative way.
When I get angry, which is rare, I stay that way for about thirty seconds. Sadness, loneliness, frustration and the rest of the negative emotions also seem to flow through me like water. I recognised this more than ever yesterday when I found out that a plan that had been cultivated and set in stone in my excited mind was in fact turning to dust before my eyes. I literally went through every negative emotion, shock, bargaining, sadness and then acceptance and lastly, happiness. All in the space of about 15 minutes.
I have found that there are common threads linking my ability to let things flow and release myself of bad-moods and they are primarily of my choosing. Firstly so I live a life that is filled with more positivity, secondly so that those around me also get to experience me at my best.
I’m listing these for you below so you can refer to, or use right this very minute if you need to. They’re tried, tested and damn awesome.
Looking back at mid-twenties me, I would have done the opposite of all of these and it’s any wonder I lived in such an emotionally depressed state for so long.
These 6 tips also work to keep good moods flowing if you aren’t actually feeling flat right now, so can be used by everybody.
1. Get outside (in the sun) if possible. Breathing fresh air is absolutely wonderful at allowing you to literally breath in life-force and out all of the pent-up bad-mood-crap. There is nothing like looking around and realising how vast the world is to give you some perspective on your negative emotions and what feels like a problem to you at the time.
Please consider putting your body and noggin’ in the sun when possible for short bursts because sunlight is the only provider of Vitamin D for our bodies and most of us are deficient. Allowing the sun to create Vitamin D in our body gives us more energy, helps us to feel vital and is also a mood protectant.
2. Eat well. It’s no surprise that people who exist on a junk-food or fast-food diet often feel sick, anxious, depressed, bored, tired, moody and angry. Inside them are chemicals, toxins and over-processed synthetic ingredients that their body is simply trying to work out what to do with.
Too many processed grains and sugars will have the blood insulin level spiking and crashing, leading to mood-swings and crankiness. The vital nutrients real, fresh, whole and natural foods eaten regularly allow our body to thrive. They give us the best possible ability to properly function through times of stress and keep our moods soaring.
3. Sing, dance and act like a three year old girl at a Frozen-themed birthday party. There is nothing like a good dance to turn a frown into a crazy-happy smile. This is something I do a lot and that can turn me from feeling wretched to the happiest spark in the house. It’s like a drug. No surprising that a dance releases feel-good chemicals into our system similar to those that are released when we are in lurrrve. So turn that music up and shake whatcha’ Mamma gave you!
4. Don’t drink too much alcohol. While it may seem like a good idea at the time to drown your sorrows, you are going to end up feeling twice as bad the next day. Not only is alcohol a depressant, so will lead your mood on a roller-coaster while you’re drinking, your body will be become dehydrated, your brain may struggle for the right amount of oxygen and your sleep will be disrupted (even after two glasses of wine). Step away from the fridge.
5. Hang with your besties. I’m a bit of an introverted extrovert and I find that when I’m feeling a bit flat, I can tend to shy away from social situations, however when I go and hang with those people I love, I’m instantly happier, feeling more bright and laughing my head off. When you choose to surround yourself with great people they will inevitably rub their moods off on you. This is why if you hang with a group that are always complaining and talking negatively, you will be left feeling a little ‘less than’. Make sure you focus your friendship attention on those whose moods shine.
6. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Being in a bad mood is draining on the body. Your body does the majority of its repair while you sleep, so making sure you get a good rest each night is imperative to the way you function during the day and how you actually react to certain situations. I remember burning the midnight oil getting a website ready for launch and snapping at everyone around me each day (mostly those I loved) because I was just so exhausted. Rest, recuperate, rejuvenate, rock-on!
I wrote a post about a great way to shake off the bad feelings in a physical way – AKA a good solid dance. There’s some links to songs in there for you you may appreciate. The article is here.
If you feel like you are much deeper into an emotional depression or you haven’t been feeling OK for some time, make sure that you contact someone and have a chat about it. Perhaps you may need to look into further means of healing or you may find it’s just something you need to get off your chest. Don’t delay though. Beyond Blue is a great place to call in Australia.
Which tips would you add to this list?