Anger is a normal reaction. This strong emotion is a part of human nature and happens when we don’t get what we want. Being in a bad mood can feel awful, and the people around are also affected. What can we do to get ourselves out of this rut? While it feels like we can’t control ourselves when we are angry, it is possible and doable — it just takes effort. You have to be committed to getting over your emotions and not let it ruin the rest of your day. It takes practice to do this and here are 10 ways you can overcome anger or a bad mood:
Be aware of what you are feeling
Don’t fall trap to common pieces of advice that claim that it is best to ignore your anger or bad mood. Suppressing your feelings can become unhealthy for your emotional and mental wellbeing. It almost always doesn’t work anyway, because you will end up bursting with negative emotions or end up getting into bad habits such as substance abuse and alcoholism, feeling lonely (because you feel like you need to protect yourself so you build this emotional wall), or even physical pain where our bodies experience headaches, digestive issues, and a host of other health problems.
Instead of ignoring negative emotions, acknowledge them, and give them a name. Embrace the emotion and this exercise can be as simple as stating that you are in a bad mood. Be mindful also of what you’re physically feeling, like if your heart is racing or if your stomach is in knots.
Know the “why”
Being in a bad mood doesn’t happen randomly. There is a trigger and you need to be aware of that trigger to be able to avoid repeating the negative emotion. When you are calm enough to reflect, try to gauge how long you felt angry, how often, and what are the common causes. Write them down or talk to someone you trust. Sometimes simply opening up helps a lot but for some people, seeking the help of a professional therapist is the answer.
Incorporate exercise into your lifestyle and feel your heart pumping. Exercises also release happy chemicals like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. You don’t have to do a workout routine. Doing jumping jacks or running in place is enough. Plus, it becomes a great distraction.
Eat your heart out
Sometimes your bad mood can be caused by something physical, such as hunger. You may be overworked and have forgotten to eat a meal. Grab a healthy snack and watch your mood go from sour to sweet in a matter of moments.
Be mindful and present. This practice can help your mindset whenever something doesn’t go your way. You can begin by sitting quietly for five minutes and take deep breaths, or you can lay out an intention you want to achieve that day. It is all about shifting your focus from the bad to the good.
Smile more often
The physical act of smiling can trick your mind into thinking that you are actually happy. Smiling will help your body release endorphins, the happy chemical. Whether the smile is forced or not, your brain won’t know the difference!
Visual cues help
Write down small notes that you can spread around your home that says encouraging words, like “You got this!” or “Don’t forget to take deep breaths.” These notes will act as reminders when you are in a bad mood; seeing such positive statements can shift your emotions.
Call a friend
Call a trusted friend and let off some steam. Letting it all out to someone you know who has your back can do wonders. Chatting with a friend has another effect — you’re distracted by the new experience and will most likely forget about your anger.
Learn to let it go
Sometimes what triggers negative emotions aren’t just simple nuances, but it can be a negative past experience that you relive over and over again. Break the habit and learn to let it go. Learn to realize that not everything is under your control. Do something that will help you release the anger, like writing down how you felt about the experience or a particular person and burn the paper.
Seek professional help if you need it
If the feeling of anger and negativity is always getting to you, it might be time to seek the help of a therapist. If you have been lashing out on others repeatedly, have been in a bad mood for several weeks, or if your negativity is beginning to interfere with your relationship with others, then it is time to book an appointment.