Are you having a bad day...or week? Here are some useful strategies to turn it around:
• Identify what has gone wrong or why you are in a bad mood. Sometimes recognizing that you’re in a funk will be enough to pull you out.
• Examine your emotions: What is beneath your immediate emotional reactions?
• Practice looking for the silver lining. Our brains are evolutionarily wired to look for threats which means that modern day minor annoyances (e.g. traffic!) can be interpreted as threats which leads to a negativity bias where we are focused on things that go wrong. To break free of this neural rut you can train yourself to notice when things go right. This can take form in many ways - many find it useful to use a gratitude journal where they write down a few things each day that they are grateful for.
• Create a practice of empathy and give others the benefit of the doubt. For example, if someone is giving you a hard time, imagine what their stressors might be - maybe they have a sick child, money problems, or something else.
• Cut yourself some slack! Personal change takes time and practice. Try using your bad moods to practice some self-compassion. Try to regularly check in with yourself throughout the day, and ask, "What do I need most right now?" It's possible that a glass of water or a quick walk may be all you need to raise your mood.
• Zoom out! Take a look at your past experiences of bad moods, days or rough patches. How did they end up working out? Remind yourself that this is temporary.