Just last week a co-worker pointed out to me that I was in a bad mood. Okay, it was my husband, Steve. But still . . . maybe he was right.
Do you ever find yourself getting cranky? Or suddenly feeling down without knowing why?
We all have moments, or even whole days, when things simply don’t go according to plan. Life’s ups and downs get to us. We feel out of sync and our attitudes s(t)ink.
Steve and I work together pretty closely. People ask us all the time how we do it. Needless to say, it’s not all moonlight and roses. I admit that I have been known to accuse him of putting me in a bad mood.
It’s easy to get trapped in an awful mood when we’re feeling stressed, frustrated or overwhelmed. A grouchy mood does little to serve or benefit us. But even worse, it can adversely affect the people around us. The sad truth is that bad moods are contagious.
When we’re feeling out of sorts or distressed, we’re not at our best. Sometimes we say things or do things that we wouldn’t normally say or do. That doesn’t make us bad people. It just makes us human.
A mood can crash over us like a huge wave of irritability. Or quietly seep into our spirit like a meandering stream. Either way, it starts in our mind with a negative thought. Before you know it, we’ve created a full-blown arsenal of self-defeating “stories” that fuel our downward spiral.
We think, think, think about it.
Our “crabby” feelings respond to our thoughts.
Say hello to our no good, horrible, very bad mood!
Understanding the connection between our thoughts and our moods can really set us free. Our thoughts are actually harmless even though they seem very real. Thank goodness we don’t have be ruled by them.
Regardless of how bleak life may seem at times, we can put a bad mood in perspective. We can boost our feel good forces in 3 stages. It’s okay to take as much time as we need. There’s no pressure to “just get over it.”
Stage 1. Own it.
Accept that you’re in a mood. No reason to defend or deny it. It’s okay. Our feelings and moods are a wonderful built-in thermometer. They help us know when we need to ease up on ourselves. Negative emotions can be warning signals that things aren’t going so well with us internally. Try not to judge or critique yourself. Moods are universal to everyone.
Stage 2. Embrace it.
That’s right. No need to fight it. Hug it! Go through it, not around it. Just be in your mood for a while. Take advantage of low moods and negative feelings to gain personal insight. Your mood is reminding you that something is not quite right. Appreciate any valuable lessons to be learned. Identify any common thought patterns that might help to prevent future mood swings.
Stage 3. Let it pass.
Okay, you’re through wallowing now. Reshape your thoughts by filling your mind with good and pleasant things in your life. With renewed strength and character, wait patiently for your mood to lift. Moods are ever changing so you probably won’t have to wait long. Happy thoughts will eventually transform and empower you.
Moods serve a purpose. They’re a normal part of our human experience. But even though we know they’re normal, it sure doesn’t make them fun.
While grumpy moods don’t blend very well with trying to live with An Island Perspective, knowing that we can pull ourselves out of them does.
Whenever you feel a lousy mood settling over you, remind yourself that you will soon be back on the path to living with joy and exhilaration.
Like the waves on the ocean, our moods will ebb and flow. Let them wash over you. Soak in them for a bit. Then remember, “This too shall pass.”