17 Bad Mood Remedies

For instrumental music while reading, choose: hi-fi (broadband) or low-fi.

We all get in a funk occasionally. It’s part of living here in this playground of duality — light and dark, hot and cold, up and down. Without occasional bad moods, how would we recognize a good mood? Without feeling despondent occasionally, how would we recognize euphoria?

Recognizing the fact that you are experiencing a bad mood is the first step to getting out of it. Once you realize your spirits could use a lift, here are some tips to help make it as quick and painless as possible.

Find the Cause and Make Inner Adjustments

Negative emotions of any kind, regardless of what you call them, are there to bring you a message from your deepest inner self. The message is something like this: “Your current train of thought is out of sync with the personal direction held most dear by the best possible version of yourself.”

When your thoughts are in alignment with your sense of purpose, you infuse your life with happiness, enthusiasm and joy.

So step back from the mind and settle into the objective viewpoint. From this perspective of pure awareness, take a good look at the thoughts you have been thinking lately. (It’s likely more accurate to say, “your thoughts have been thinking you,” before you brought the light of pure awareness to the table.) Your funky mood is telling you those thoughts are not serving you well. They are not bringing you happiness, enthusiasm or joy . . . so make a decision right now, in this present moment, to change the color of your thoughts.

Do a 180-degree mental pivot, and deliberately point your thoughts in the opposite direction.

Replace despair with hope.
Replace worry with confidence.
Replace fear with love.

This kind of deliberate, directed thinking is a choice. It’s a personal decision based on understanding what you want and how to get it. If you’re tired of seeing your life through the dark lens of a funky mood . . . and are serious about letting the light in, change your thoughts.

Nobody can do it for you. Nobody else has to change in order for you to feel better. Nobody has to behave differently. All that needs to change is your attitude . . . the way you react to the events in your life makes the difference. Once you get a handle on that, you can maintain mental and emotional equanimity, regardless of outer circumstances.

“. . . the way that you choose to take it into view,
Makes it hell or a whole lotta fun.”
- from the song, “Hell or a Whole Lotta Fun” by Tupelo Kenyon (written in 1976)

3 Steps to Busting Bad Moods

* Notice how you feel.
* Examine your predominant thoughts.
* Redirect your thoughts, as needed, in sync with your highest ideals and your sense of purpose.
* Repeat as needed.

Accelerate the Process with Outer Adjustments

Once you’ve addressed the inner causes, here’s a list of 17 funk fixers:

1. Meditate — If your stinkin’ thinkin’ is responsible for your funk, and if it’s a challenge keeping your thoughts in a better place, try placing your attention elsewhere. Take a few deep breaths and relax deeper and deeper every time you exhale. Become still, and focus your attention on your breathing. Notice that you aren’t controlling it — just notice how the breath seems to be breathing you, without any help on your part. Allow stress to melt away as you become deeply relaxed. Look for the stillness between the breaths and between the thoughts. Be here, in the stillness, as you simply witness everything — your breath, your thoughts, sounds and other physical sensations. (See previous articles, “Simple Toning Meditation” and “Guided Meditation for Self-Healing and Personal Development.”)

2. Change Your Environment — Get out of the house. Go for a walk. A radically different environment can expedite a radical shift in the color of your thoughts. (This can help you get a fresh perspective on things, but going somewhere else is never the entire solution because . . . wherever you go, there you are.)

3. Exercise — Get your blood pumping. Increased heart rate and respiration sends more oxygen and endorphins to your brain, and that feels good.

4. Use Your Imagination
— Relive happy moments. Pull out an old photo album (or photo folder on your computer) and look for photos that feel good. Spend some time with them, wrap your thoughts around them, and allow the positive emotions to wash over you.

5. Gratitude — Have a personal gratitude party. You can do this alone or it’s fun to share it with someone you love. Notice (and feel deeply) all the things you are grateful for. To take this to another level, express your gratitude whenever you can. Look for opportunities to do that.

6. Be Here Now — Bad moods are often the result of worrying about the future or regretting something in the past. Refocus your attention on this present moment, and notice that, right now, all is well. The secret is to keep your attention sharply focused in this micro-moment. At this precise instant, I’m alive, I’m breathing, I’m not starving, and there are no wild animals gnawing on my leg. It’s good to be alive — it’s a priceless gift, and life is now.

7. Listen to Uplifting Music – Music touches us and transports us emotionally like nothing else. Pick your music deliberately to produce the desired result — happiness, enthusiasm and joy. (See previous article, “Benefits of Music for Personal Development.”)

8. Watch a Good Movie — Choose something that will give you a lift. Pixar and Disney animations are good for a change of emotional scenery. Some fantasy and science fiction movies work well, as do romantic comedies. Anything funny breaks up the brittle edges of a bad mood and lets in a little fresh air and sunshine.

“What was significant about the laughter . . . was not just the fact that it provides internal exercise for a person . . . a form of jogging for the innards, but that it creates a mood in which the other positive emotions can be put to work, too.” – Norman Cousins (1915-90)

9. Play with Pets — Puppies and kittens are fun. Better yet, try to find a litter, and just hang out with them for a while. If you can find some youngsters, six to eight weeks old, that’s ideal for a good laugh and an emotional facelift.

10. Indulge Yourself — You deserve it. Take some time for you, and do whatever makes you feel good — a hot bath, massage, nice meal, etc. (See previous article, “Take Time for You.”)

11. Help Someone
— When we slide down into a funk, often it’s because we think, “It’s all about me,” or worse yet, “Poor me.” Be useful to someone else and get some perspective. Notice all the people in the world who, compared to you, have serious problems. Feel empathy and compassion, and do whatever you are inspired to do about it, but mostly . . . pause and be grateful for the blessings in your own life, as you help others. Get some perspective and blast yourself out of myopia by asking yourself, “Okay, really . . . how bad is it?”

12. Smile — Just the firing of those facial muscles can help lift your mood. It’s a psychological and physiological way to reverse engineer happiness. There have been impressive studies done demonstrating how this works. A smile activates the pressure points on both sides of the mouth, which triggers good feelings. So even a fake smile helps. Try it now. Paste a big, wide, cheesy grin on your face, and just hold it there for a few seconds. (You might want to do this while nobody’s looking . . . otherwise, they might give you something real to smile about.) As you feel the smile muscles exercised in your face, can you feel the subtle changes in your brain? Interesting, eh?

13. Enjoy Alone Time — If your life is full of juggling your schedule with lots of other people, get away for a day . . . or a week, and just be your own best friend. Remember who you are — not who everyone else thinks you are or who everyone else wants you to be. Get re-grounded and centered. Then you have more of yourself to offer others.

14. Be Inspired on Purpose — Whatever makes you feel good and enthusiastic is good medicine for the soul and poison to bad moods. Ask yourself what inspires you, and deliberately focus your attention on that.

15. Sing — Even if you don’t sing or haven’t sung for years, try it. Put on a favorite song or an album you are very familiar with, and sing along. When you don’t know the words, hum. Allow the magic to work on you. It’s almost impossible to remain bummed out while singing. Like the fake smile (tip #12), complex psychological and physiological factors come into play when your body is generating tones. (That’s why Tibetan monks chant.) Harmony, melody and breath are powerful. They revitalize your psyche and nourish the soul.

16. Visualize — Imagine how you want to feel. See it clearly in your mind’s eye. Once it’s identified and clearly defined in your brain, move it to your heart. Feel it. Imagination can apply to feelings too, so explore how you want to feel in great detail — mentally and emotionally. Once that’s done, guess what? You’re already there. Now just sustain it with the three steps offered earlier:

* Notice how you feel.
* Examine your predominant thoughts.
* Redirect your thoughts, as needed, in sync with your highest ideals and your sense of purpose.
* Repeat as needed.

17. Decide to Change Moods — Mean it. If you’re fed up with bad moods, make a conscious decision to do something about it. Personal resolve and commitment make it happen.

Banishing Bad Moods

Bad moods are unhealthy. They are stressful and take their toll on you. They also affect those around you who you love most. With practice, attention and deliberate action, inspired by your personal decision, you can make bad moods a thing of the past. You’re going to love how that feels. (So will your family and friends!)

While reading, did you choose to hear the relaxing instrumental music linked at the beginning of this article? To learn more about it, click here.

Listen FREE to the songs below . . . chosen to enhance the ideas in this article.

Related Songs
Trash Our Treasures
People seem to have a history of awarding seemingly insignificant details with places of prominence in our lives, while ignoring or even destroying the most important aspects.

May You Have Joy
Have you ever felt a warm appreciation for someone in your life, and just wanted to wish them well?

Who is the Watcher
Explores the silent witness within and the idea that life occurs in this present moment. Always.

A reminder of the importance of making it a point to deliberately live life in joy, reverance, and with a light-hearted spirit.

Blue Water
Water and the sea are such perfect metaphors for the larger reality we are all immersed in.

Celebrate Life
Create your own personal celebration of life by your choices, rather than allowing life to be something that merely happens to you, or around you.

Do What You Love
Discovering what we have a true passion for, and then figuring out a way to build a life around that passion is one of life’s greatest feelings of accomplishment.

Just One Step
Just begin. If you will just get underway, the project itself gains momentum and carries you along to its completion.

Hell or a Whole Lotta Fun
Nothing to do? How about too much to do? Our attitude seems to make the difference.

Songs by Tupelo

Related Links

Related Articles

Simple Toning Meditation
When it comes to meditation and contemplation, all we really need is a simple technique that produces obvious results. Celebrate life through this easy method of calming the mind and getting in closer touch with your inner being.

Guided Meditation for Self-Healing and Personal Development
It’s helpful to have a helping hand once in awhile. I was fortunate to have friends show me how to meditate. It was just friends showing friends something cool . . . because they could. Or maybe it was some kind of big brother / big sister program for the spiritually ripe. It was easy. It was casual. It was a life-changing experience.

Benefits of Music for Personal Development
All music is not created equally. This article takes a look behind the scenes to catch a glimpse of how the intent of the composer translates to the feeling evoked in the listeners. Many links are included to streaming mp3s. Celebrate life through music!

Take Time for You
Don’t put yourself at the end of the list. You deserve to be first, at least some of the time. Don’t let your entire life slip by with everything else (and everyone else) getting preferential treatment over your most important priorities. Their needs are important, but yours are important too. Celebrate life by taking time for YOU!

How Do You Feel – About Inner Guidance?
Is it a hunch? Is it a voice in your head? Is it something you feel? Don’t confuse what you feel with who you are. Once you are able to access this awareness of pure being and identify yourself with it, you won’t get carried away by whatever emotional cloud happens to be passing by. Celebrate life through one of the more subtle forms of communication available to us – inner guidance.

Integrity Through Self-Reliance
When you live your life as if the whisperings from your soul really matter, you are living life in your own way, on your own terms, based on your own realizations on what is right . . . what is good . . . and what is true for you. You are tuned into your own station. The signal you are receiving and the message you are broadcasting with the story of your life are both on the same frequency. You are joyfully and gratefully choosing your favorites from the buffet of life.

Life Drama as Blockage to Personal Development
Some people seem to relish drama in their lives. They go from one catastrophe to another. They thrive on it as if drama is what makes them feel alive. You may be able to see that they are attracting these experiences by their daily thoughts and feelings. But, they don’t recognize it from within the narrow confines of their personal drama. To someone immersed in drama, the idea that they are creating it is completely foreign. With intent, practice and mindfulness, what was once considered drama that snowballed out of control becomes simply examples of the contrasts of life to help you sharpen your preferences and shape your desires.

Six Killers of Individuality and Personal Independence
Is the course of your life determined by your own internal road map or by a map made by someone else? Each of us can choose our direction deliberately and live a life custom sculpted. Each life can be as individually unique as the person living it. If you pattern your life after someone else, exactly what is it you have to offer?

Self-Discipline in 3 Easy Steps
Why is it so difficult to follow through and accomplish what you set out to do? Usually, there is one important missing ingredient: personal discipline. For most of us, the idea of discipline is an external force – it’s something that comes from the outside. For instance, we discipline our children. Most of us are familiar with discipline as a verb (something we do to someone else), but we’re not so familiar with the concept as a noun – something we cultivate from within and apply to ourselves.

Relax and Rejuvenate for Balance and Productivity
Whatever you do, taking time to relax and regenerate helps you to do it better. If you don’t pause occasionally, shift your mind into neutral and recharge your batteries, your productivity plummets and you may not even realize it. You need time to let your mind wander – time to imagine new possibilities – time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life – time to nurture soul. Life is more than an endless to-do list, and many of its most important gifts come when you allow yourself to put the daily details on pause and just experience the simplicity of life in the moment with nothing in particular on your mind that needs to be done.

Appreciate Here and Now
No matter what’s going on in your life right now, there’s something to appreciate about it. The act of appreciation rivets our consciousness to this present moment. With our attention focused on the here and now, we are living life fully, since right now is the only time there ever is.

Articles by Tupelo

This is the end of the article entitled 17 Bad Mood Remedies published by Tupelo Kenyon on May 2, 2008 at 5:00 am | In Awareness, Discipline, Inner Guidance, Meditation, Productivity, Self-Image - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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