Some days feel like nothing will go right. The world looks gray, most things are meaningless and you just feel down and miserable. You don’t always know why – you just feel this way. We all get into bad moods. Eventually, we snap out of them. You don’t have to sit around and wait for the dark cloud to be lifted. There are steps you can take to figure out what is causing such moods and then change them.
Why am I in a bad mood today?
Rejection. This common emotional injury can take many forms. You might feel rejected by your partner in a sexual setting; this will have a great impact on your self-esteem since your partner is someone you love and is supposed to love you back. You might feel undesirable and unwanted, feelings that will have a devastating effect on your perception of your self-image and on the relationship in general. Tolerating or even accommodating such a situation will only make things worse and make you unhappier.
Talk to your partner, explain how you feel and make him/her aware of the emotional damage this is causing you. You will see that in the end, after an open dialogue, the situation will be understood and resolved. At least you will feel much better for having come clean.
Romantic rejections can have quite equally detrimental effects; you might respond to them by blaming yourself, pointing out all your inadequacies and character faults, and by kicking yourself when you are already down. Unfortunately, we have all been through this type of rejection and when things calm down we realise that most romantic rejections are a matter of character unfit, incompatible lifestyles and/or a lack of chemistry.
‘We all have a fundamental need to belong to a group. When we get rejected, this need becomes destabilized and the disconnection we feel adds to our emotional pain.’ (PsychologyToday)
It could also be due to wanting different things at different times, poor mutual dynamics or other reasons that just doesn’t allow for this connection. By blaming yourself, you will only worsen your emotional pain and make it harder for you to recover and heal.
A new type of rejection is rapidly growing within the list of possible rejection triggers; that of social media. Many people, today, give a lot of importance on their pictures’ ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ and the lack of those brings about feelings of anger, upsetness, and social rejection.
A study by two German Universities revealed that: ‘the most common cause of Facebook frustration came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was “lack of attention” from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends.
Both men and women feel pressure to portray themselves in the best light to their Facebook friends, but men are more likely to post more self-promotional content in their “About Me” and “Notes” sections than women, although women are more likely to stress their physical attractiveness and sociability.’ (TIME)
If you are one of those people too it is important that you don’t take things personally. Sometimes people check their Facebook or other social networks on the fly; they might not respond right away due to actually being busy. Others, still, do not react to Facebook pictures or statuses at all simply because that is not their thing. Seeking constant approval on social media is no better, and no worse, than seeking constant attention offline – not a particularly desirable trait.
Having a low self-esteem day. Maybe you had a bad night, you didn’t sleep well, or you woke up with a headache, thought of all your financial woes or it is just ‘one of those days’ that we wake up feeling bad about ourselves for no reason. Whether you have to go to work and can’t get out of it or run a hundred errands, try to take it easy.
We all go through days like these and by stressing out more, things will become worse. Work out, if you can to release some endorphins, or have a long and relaxing bubble bath, wear something that makes you feel good or talk to someone you feel good talking to. Talking to someone who actively listens is powerful therapy. Sometimes, a good listener is all you need.
Feeling socially disconnected. It is very easy to find yourself being caught up in life; parenthood, work and family commitments and everything else that takes up most of your time, ending up neglecting your social needs. Devote some time connecting back to the people around you and friends.
Arrange a coffee outing, send a text message, make that phone call or plan for a cinema night. Even brief social interactions have the power to improve your mood and get you smiling.
Unfinished tasks. You will never have enough time to finish all your tasks, activities, errands and to-do lists.
Rather than feeling doing or stressed for not being able to complete an outstanding task, make a plan instead and take it step by step. ‘Studies have found that just making a plan for tackling tasks is sufficient to eliminate the mental nagging and improve your mood. So decide when you’ll do the task, set a reminder on your phone or put up a post-it, and watch your mood lighten.’ (PsychologyToday)
What more can I do?
Listen to music
A study found that ‘music listening has specific efficacy in enhancing mood by reducing negative feelings and emotions’ Another research concluded that ‘participants with high blood pressure who listened to 30 minutes of classic, Celtic or Indian music while performing breathing exercises had significantly lower blood pressure than those who didn’t.’
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Music has been known to have ‘healing’ powers since the ancient times. ‘In ancient Greece, both Aristotle and Plato embraced its beneficial properties, writing that it could help people become better human beings and overcome emotional difficulties during the process of catharsis.
The first major movement in modern psychology, psychoanalysis, held that music could offer an effective means of sublimation—expressing inappropriate desires in socially appropriate ways—and greater access to a patient’s unconscious’, (The New Yorker)
Going for a nice long walk, or a ride on your bike, will lift your mood – nature does that. For the times when you wake up in the morning not feeling right at all, try visiting a park, take your dog for a walk or go swimming. Darlene Mininni, Ph.D, MPH, author of The Emotional Toolkit suggests that when you can’t do any of that then: ‘bring nature indoors by surrounding yourself with plants and flowers, getting a water fountain for your desk or getting a fish tank.’
Go along with your bad mood
No-one ever said that life will be easy or that we will always feel at our best. When you feel low and down, give yourself some time to process that. Acknowledge your feelings, accept your temporary state of being and give yourself permission to feel that way.
Spend the day doing nothing or things that relax you; take a nap, read a book, indulge in your favourite treats, have a glass of wine, get up to speed on your favourite games, or just enjoy a movie marathon. Always remember that it is OK to have a bad day – that too, will pass.
For more ideas and advice on what to do when everything goes wrong, read here.