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5 Tips to Turn Around a Bad Mood

by BetterSleep
May 12 • 4 min read

We all have bad days and sink into bad moods. Sometimes, there’s a very good reason for it. On other days, you just seem to be in a funk without explanation. Knowing how to get out of a bad mood fast is helpful. Whatever the cause, a few simple steps are all you need to turn it around, change your attitude, and have a better day.

1. Find a Distraction

If your bad mood has an identifiable cause—a difficult coworker, a fight with your partner—distraction can be a powerful tool. While it’s important to deal with the negative situation, dwelling on it isn’t always useful.

Especially if the situation is out of your control, find something to distract yourself from the negative, cycling thoughts. Studies indicate this is a powerful way to cope with distress. Listen to a podcast, delve into a work project, or go for a walk.

2. Question All or Nothing Thinking

The perspective you take on a bad situation or a negative mood has a major impact on how you feel. All or nothing thinking is black and white. It leaves no gray area for a different perspective, which is harmful to mental health and detrimental to mood. It’s an example of irrational thinking common to people who struggle with anxiety, but you can change it.

Reappraise the situation you’re in and find the gray area. Was that fight with your partner this morning relationship-ending? The answer is usually probably not. You have a difficult coworker you clash with often, but does that mean you need to quit? Rethink the situation and shift your perspective to feel more positive about it.

3. Distance Yourself from the Situation

If it’s something you can walk away from, do so. If not, try what’s known as temporal distancing. This means imagining yourself in the future and deciding how much today’s events will matter then. For instance, if you’ve had a setback at work, consider if it will be important one year from now. The answer is almost always no.

4. Find a Way to Laugh

Humor is an immediate mood booster. Call a friend or visit with a coworker for a few minutes to share stories and laughs. Watch funny videos online or view a show by your favorite comedian. Researcher has shown that laughing relaxes the body, lowers stress, releases endorphins, and changes your mood, fast.

5. Take a Few Minutes to Meditate

Meditation is good for mental health in so many ways. If you’re having a bad day, a short session is a distraction, a way to shift your perspective, and of course, a mood booster. Meditation helps you focus your thoughts inward and on the present moment, which researchers have found is a potent stress buster and effective for calming minds and racing thoughts.

Emotional regulation is a skill to learn and practice. The more you pay attention to your moods, reactions, negative thoughts, and feelings, the easier it becomes to gain perspective and shift your attitude. For an additional tool, try the BetterSleep app with guided meditations and other activities that promote emotional awareness and regulation.

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