Experiencing different moods on a daily basis is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, it’s a massive part of life.
However, while it’s normal to feel down from time to time, no one can argue it’s anything close to pleasant.
That being said, if you find yourself in a bad mood more often than not, you are probably looking for ways to make yourself feel better quickly, as to not let it affect your life and well-being.
Unfortunately, managing feelings, especially bad ones, is quite tricky, but that’s not to say there aren’t some behaviors and thought patterns that can help influence your mood to a certain extent.
Clinical assistant professor at the University of Oregon, Ruth Ellingsen, mentions that the first step you can take is to identify the kind of mood you’re in.
″[It] sounds simple but really, it involves being mindfully aware of our current state. It is fairly common to ignore some emotions as we go through our daily lives, which makes it quite impossible to improve your mood. How can you feel better if you do not know how you are feeling?”
As soon as you correctly identify how you are feeling, you can start to find solutions and apply them in order to snack yourself out of a bad mood.
With that being said, here are some of the things you can try!
- Breathing Exercises
Professor Gregory Sullivan, from the University of Missouri, says that whenever you experience a low point “The one thing that is at all of our disposals is using our breath.”
Sullivan goes on to recommend a couple of breathing exercises, one of them being a so-called “physiological sigh,” which consists of 2 quick inhales and one long exhale.
“What that does is remove [carbon dioxide] from our body and make us feel a little bit more relaxed,” he explains.
Professor of neurobiology at Stanford Medicine, Andrew Huberman, says that this method works because it increases the lungs’ ability to fill up with air and therefore reduces the amount of carbon dioxide present in the body which tends to increase the body’s stress response.
The second breathing exercise is known as ‘6-7-8’ and refers to breathing through the nose for 6 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds and then exhaling for 8 seconds.
- Go Outside
Studies show that spending time in nature is really good for our mental health as it can lower our anxiety and stress levels.
Furthermore, to make your time outside even more rewarding, you can add some music to the experience as it can interrupt that cognitive loop that happens when in a bad mood.
- Get an Ice Pack
Ellingsen stresses that you can actually trick your brain into being more relaxed by doing some specific things.
“One thing that is actually quite effective, particularly if you are really angry … is to literally cool down your body, so taking an ice pack and putting it on your forehead. There is something about the physical cooling effect that brings on a sense of relaxation.”