Do you sometimes have a case of “The Mondays?”
This phrase became popular in this 1999 movie classic, Office Space. The movie had a humorous way of making light of the fact you can become tired, irritable, or distracted after enjoying the weekend and then returning to work. The case of “The Mondays” in plain words means you are in a bad mood.
Being in a “bad mood” in not something most people strive for, but all of us have had those moments. When we find ourselves in an unpleasant mood, it can be hard to shake it. Some moods come on for what seems like no reason and others are induced by events such as having to go back to work on a Monday.
There is a big difference between an occasional bad mood and a mood disorder that can negatively impact your work life, school life, and intrude on your personal relationships. If you suspect that your mood is out of control it may be beneficial to use a mood tracker and talk to a professional about your symptoms.
Moods can trap you
You forget to set your alarm and wake up late. Feeling overwhelmed, you start to rush around the house to get ready for work. Next, your children ask you to help them with something in a whiny voice and you proceed to spill coffee on your new outfit.
The irritation gets the best of you and you snap at one of your loved ones or co-workers. From there, the guilt then produces a sense of shame and you think “I should have better control of my emotions, but I just can’t seem to get it together right now.” The bad mood has already set in and you feel doomed for the day.
This is just one scenario in a million that can cause our days to take a turn for the worse. Therefore, bad moods can come when we get news we don’t like, when someone else takes an undesirable tone with us, or we get overloaded with work or obligations. Even a stubbed toe or spilled milk and can set you up for irritation and frustration.
AT SOME POINT YOU JUST HAVE TO LET GO OF WHAT YOU THOUGHT SHOULD HAPPEN AND LIVE IN WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Life often unfolds very differently than how we imagine it will. The next time you feel in a bad mood, it may help to just accept the current reality. In other words, there are times in our lives when the problems we have cannot be solved and we must make the best of the situation we were dealt.
Could it be that you have some unrealistic expectations? For example, do you expect others to have the same values as you, like compassion or loyalty? Maybe you believe all your friends should send you a card on birthday or check in daily? Disappointment sets in if these things don’t happen. Is what you expect of others realistic? If these outlooks are ruining your day then your expectations about the world around you may be too high.
Take time to examine your expectations of yourself and others. Can you see things in a different perspective so that you don’t miss all the good things in life that are worth celebrating? For instance, if things are not going your way, how can you find the silver lining? Perhaps you didn’t get the promotion at work like you thought you would. Could it be a sign that you need to go in a new more exciting direction that fuels your soul?
If the door doesn’t open, it’s not your door!
How in the world do we get out of this dreaded bad mood when it sets in?
The fact that your day starts out badly, does not mean you have to decide the whole day is a waste. You can try to turn things around when you realize that you are in a foul mood, instead of wallowing in it. Perhaps your negative mood sticks around too long. You notice it’s interfering with the way you deal with the people in your life. It may be time to figure out how to put those negative feelings in the recycling bin to turn them into something new.
Focus on others: Doing a good deed for others can help lighten your mood, if you have had some bad news or just a bad morning. Buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line will brighten your day and their day!
Other ideas for small acts of kindness:
- Hold the door open for someone
- Send a friend a card to let them know you care about them
- Let someone go ahead of you in line
- Donate clothes to goodwill
- Do a chore for someone without them knowing
- Compliment a friend, stranger, or family member
- Smile at everybody, it can be contagious
Put your own life in perspective: Each one of us has problems and we use a yardstick to measure our issues by the people that surround us. We all know people that have it worse than us or better than us (in theory). Is the feeling of envy of what others have that you don’t have gotten the best of you?
Look at the bigger picture, you may realize how fortunate you are. Do you have access to food, shelter, and safety? Do you have love in your life? Is there a sense of accomplishment in your life? You may start to realize you have more than you thought you did.
Humor is a powerful tool when you want to shift your mood: Laughing helps get the good endorphins in our brains working. Life is just better when you are laughing, and it can literally stop a bad mood in its tracks.
3 ways to laugh at yourself:
- Throw a pity party: Imagine sending your friends and family an invitation that says “Just spilled the whole carton of milk! I am very angry at myself, and that has thrust me into an unpleasant mood. Please join me at 7PM (at the site of the incident) and dress in your most formal attire. This pity party is sure to be unforgettable!” Make the pity party as ridiculous as possible to put humor into the situation. Grab a party hat and a family member and ask them to join you.
- Start talking in a silly voice or accent: This can seem like a ridiculous thing to do but it works! You may not want to use this with your boss at work but if you are still at home when the bad mood sets in, it can be a surprisingly useful tool. If you are alone, you can narrate what you are doing in a British accent to make yourself laugh. If you have kids, they will think it is funny if you tell them to put their dishes away in a funny voice or in the voice of a character on TV. Making someone else laugh can be a mood lifter also!
- Take a funny picture of yourself: Get out that selfie stick and smile big! Bring some joy and smile big for the camera. Take a picture of what your face would look like if it is overjoyed! It may look a little ridiculous but that is the point. If selfies are not your thing, use an app or photo editing software to alter old photos to make something humorous. Go one step further, send it to a friend and tell them you are trying to improve your mood. That way you can share the laughter.
“DON’T JUDGE. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT STORMS SOMEONE HAS JUST WALKED THROUGH.” – KRISTEN BUTLER
In conclusion, if you are human then you have had bad moods, and that is normal. It is when we get stuck in bad moods for long periods of time and can’t shake them that it becomes a problem. Try using a mood tracker to see if you may need to talk to a professional to get a handle on where the problem is stemming from. Happiness could be at your doorstep with a few tweaks. To quote Office Space, “Didn’t you get the memo?” – you deserve to feel good!
Check us out on www.turningstonecounseling.com!