Bad moods happen to all of us every now and again – and usually we can’t put one single mopey finger on WHAT got us here, WHO did this to us, WHEN we’re going to feel normal again, HOW to snap out of it, or WHERE we can hide in the meantime. All we know for sure is that, if our mood had a color, it’d be gray.
One of my daughters put her own spin on it once as she came through the kitchen. I asked her how she was doing and she said, “I think my face has forgotten how to smile today.” Draggy.
Whenever your face has forgotten how to smile, try one of the Ten Mood Lifters below. These are 10 sure-fire ways to snap out of your bad mood fast. You’ll get an instant lift and – heck if you do them often enough, your face might just forget how to frown.
- Go outside. A little fresh air, combined with natural sunlight is a sure-fire Pick-Me-Up. Even if it’s smack in the middle of winter, bundle up and walk around your yard for about 10 minutes. There’s something invigorating about the outdoors and it’s a quick cure for the droops.
- Take a stretching break. Stand up and stretch your hands toward the ceiling, then bend over and touch the floor. Next, stretch slowly from side to side. Repeat the entire cycle several times – breathing deeply the entire time. It’ll refresh your mind and mood. Just be sure to take deep breaths – a lot of the feel-good power in stretching lies in the breathing.
- Spend some time with a pet. There’s something profoundly peaceful and fun about petting a furry loved one. The love you give comes back and, let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to do anything but smile when you’re looking into an animal’s loving eyes.
- If possible, elevate your heart with a little exercise. Aerobic activity is one of the best ways to slap a good mood on your psyche. Take a walk, pick up sticks in your yard, or clean your house with gusto. Get mooving and grooving. If you do it with some really upbeat music, the effects will be even better. My favorite music to listen to when at times like this are 80’s and Motown – you just can’t stay draggy when Smokey Robinson’s Cruisn’. No way, no how.
- Recall a time when you couldn’t stop laughing. It was probably a time when laughter was unacceptable, right?! That usually seems to be the case. In high school, my best friend, Randy, and I would break out into fits of laughter all the time. Sometimes we’d be on the phone and there’d be no sound at all except laughter for 5 minutes. When we thought we had it under control, one of us would fall victim to the giggles again, then the other would crack up. I can still hear the sound of his laugh in my head and it still makes me smile. He’d love to make me laugh at the most ridiculous times – in the middle of class was his favorite opportunity. He got me so bad once during a college lecture that I thought I’d pass out. Actually, passing out would have been less embarrassing. My youngest daughter, Stephany, may have gotten my ticklebox at THE most inappropriate time, ever, though. When she was around 2, we were listening to a sermon… a long, long sermon mind you… at a church we didn’t normally visit. She fell asleep halfway through the sermon. After about 30 minutes she sat up, and IN A FRIGHTFULLY quiet auditorium said, “He’s not through yet?!!” One of her sisters (Brittany) fought giggles off with me – and about 40 other people – but her other sister (Emily) looked more mortified than anyone has ever looked! When I need a good laugh, I think back to each of their three adorable faces at that moment.
- Watch a favorite sitcom, stand-up routine or movie. Laughter really is the best medicine, especially when it’s your mood that needs a remedy. If you can’t get to a television, don’t underestimate YouTube. Enter the name of a favorite old sitcom, comedian, or bloopers to a favorite show.
- Change things up! If you’re able to, change what you’re wearing. Brush your hair, brush your teeth, and even wash your face. Your mind “gets” that you’re trying to start fresh and it welcomes the idea. If you’re at work, straighten up your desk, readjust your clothes – maybe even untie and tie (or unbuckle and buckle) your shoes. You know how you “refresh” a webpage if it hasn’t “loaded” properly? Same premise. Refresh and try again.
- Talk to someone who lifts your spirits. All of us have at least one person who seems to make our life a better place just by being around. They always seem to know what to say and what not to say. Their attitude and humor act as a tonic. If you’re feeling low, search them out – take them to lunch or out for coffee. Let them work their magic on you.
- Do something special for yourself. Whether it’s a trip to Starbucks or a bouquet of flowers (some days call for both), do something that’ll bring a smile to your face.
- Do something special for someone else. I saved the best for last. When you bring a smile to someone else’s face, it’s impossible to feel anything but joy and happiness. By the same token, making your cat purr or your dog wag its tail will also bring about great contentment. When you create happiness for others, you create it for yourself as well.