Bad moods happen. Even for those of us who usually wake up on the right side of the bed. Circumstances out of our control – a traffic jam on the way into work, a printer jam right before a meeting, strawberry jam spilling from your sandwich onto your grey skirt – can cause frustration, panic, crankiness, the blues. But there are those rare
freaks of nature people who really aren’t flustered by unfortunate situations they now have to deal with – a nail that breaks, a brake lamp out on their car, etc.
I’d like to be one of those people who let’s things slide, who doesn’t lose their cool. Chances are, you do too! I think the place to start is to have a strategy for stabilizing your mood on any ordinary day of the week. That way, when “bad” things happen, we can easily recall how to keep unwanted stress from bursting our bubbles. Here are ways to create a “happy place” for yourself.
10 Tried and True Mood Boosters
1. Listen to your favorite music – one song, 10 songs, it doesn’t matter, as long as the tunes put you in a happy state of mind.
2. Move your body – walk, run, dance, whatever gets those endorphins flowing is said to be a mood booster.
3. Treat yourself – to ice cream, movie night on the couch, a manicure or anything for yourself that will turn your thoughts positive.
4. Relax – in the tub or with a good book to release any thoughts and tension.
5. Put others first – baking cookies for your elderly neighbor, for instance, will take the focus off of you for a while.
6. Write it out – putting thoughts to paper in your diary is cathartic and a healthy strategy for releasing and healing.
7. Recall good times – photos, scrapbooks, postcards, home videos from your childhood…they’re all sure to make you smile.
8. Get cookin’ – making your favorite dish or dessert will awaken your pleasure senses…there’s a reason you love the smell, taste, texture.
9. Make a date – getting together with a pal, significant other, family member or good company of any kind will no doubt make you happy.
10. Write a list – of what makes you happy, everything you’ve accomplished, all your blessings, things to look forward to, etc.
3 Mood Boosters You Haven’t Thought of Before
1. Get lost in someone else’s story – the obvious is to pick up a good book and get lost in it, but calling a friend to ask how her kids’ school play went (even if you thought you didn’t care) or writing a letter to a distant relative to ask what he’s been up to the last 10 years is a reminder that the world is spinning in other people’s lives too.
2. Tackle that which you wouldn’t normally enjoy – you know, like cleaning the toilets, folding laundry, grocery shopping…believe it or not, crossing something off your list lightens your load, and isn’t that going to lift your spirits?
3. Do something that scares you – schedule a sky diving excursion, sign up for that hot Yoga class, introduce yourself to the new girl in town. It might sound counterintuitive to go from stressed/sad to scared, but if this doesn’t get you to take your mind off of something negative, then I don’t know what will. It shifts your energy from helplessness to empowerment. You’ll feel on top of the world!
What strategies do you have to boost your mood?