Ever find yourself in a bad mood? Stressed and ready to explode? Feeling trapped and ready to slap the next person who dares to make eye contact with you? I know, you personally never felt like this, and neither did I (cough… cough…), but in case you know someone who’s had this happen, just pass this along…
While it’s hard enough to deal with moods at home, when you’re in the public eye, especially in someplace like an office job, a bad mood can not only be inconvenient, it can also damage your rep at work or with others.
Unfortunately, I still find that moodiness for women can be more problematic than men, as we find ourselves being accused of PMS, having our periods or worse. Somehow we seem to have to be happy all the time?!?!?! What is up with that?!?! But I digress…
So how do we help ourselves when the mood monster is about to eat us alive? Here are some ideas to get you a bit calmer so that you can effectively deal with the situation in a calm/cool/collected manner:
1. Accept your bad mood. Instead of trying to stuff it down or gloss it over or pretend you just don’t have it, sit through it and allow yourself to feel it. I’m not saying go crazy wicher bad self but acknowledge your feelings (they are what they are) and be real with yourself.
2. Try to nail down why you’re moody. Look past your feelings and think about what circumstances or words from others got you to this place. Maybe you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, maybe you’re physically not at your best (tired, fighting a cold, etc.) and it’s dragging you down. Could it be the anniversary of a time when you had something happen that made you angry or sad? Hear an old song on the radio that took you back to a place you’d rather not have visited?
3. Talk it over with a trusted friend – NOT at your desk, but privately. Take your cell phone out to your car at lunch or on break. Sometimes you need to talk it out. And while you’re at it, if you’re in the car, a primal scream or two can sure let out a LOT of anger!
4. Take a walk away from the surroundings, even if it’s just to the ladies’ room. If possible, I always recommend going outside into the fresh air. Something about that never fails to calm me down and take me to a better mental place.
5. Take some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose for a slow count of five, hold for a slow count of five, and then blow out the air for a slow count of five through your mouth as if you were blowing out birthday candles. This kind of goes along with the old adage of counting till 10. It’s amazing what a few moments can do to clear your head and help you sort things out without blurting out words that can never be taken back.
6. Pray/meditate. When my moods are bigger than I know how to handle, I pray about it. I take it to Him who is much bigger than me or my mood! He always listens. If you prefer, meditate on a time when you were in a great mood, in a great place with happy memories. Remember how good you felt, what you saw, what you heard, the sounds and smells.
7. It may sound hokey, but take a moment to count your blessings. It doesn’t mean your mood isn’t valid or doesn’t devalue your circumstances. As my friend Karla says, “It is what it is!” But maybe it will help put things in perspective for you and let you get out of yourself and your circle of MOOP for a moment. I love my friend Marjory’s word “mooposity” – don’t park yourself on your Mount Everest of Mooposity. You’re there, you’ve visited, move on.
8. Finally, remember this too shall pass. I often find a good night’s rest is one of the best things to dissuade the mood monster.
One note – if you find that your bad mood continues on for days and days, please consider medical assistance. Perhaps you are battling depression and need a professional counselor or therapist to help you out of the rut. Been there myself, and I got some help – ain’t no shame, sweetie, we all need a helping hand now and then.
Ahhhh… I feel better just having written this blog entry. I hope your reading it will help you next time the mood monster comes to visit. Exercise your “step this way” and scoot him out the door!
Coach Linda Bush
Painting: Femme aux Bras Croises by Picasso