A bad mood often goes together with ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. In many cases, a mental problem has a physical solution. In other cases, the solution lies in changing the way you think. In this video, I’ll show you six quick mood enhancers that have helped me to go from grumpy & sad to good-tempered and happy.
Let’s dive in.
It’s common knowledge that physical exercise like walking, running or strength training elevates your mood. Especially if you let the blood pump through your veins you’re likely to experience feelings of euphoria afterward.
Active people are happier in general and the secret lies in the movement. Any movement. This could be from running a marathon to walking from your office chair to the coffee machine.
I think there are different factors at play here, like oxygen and blood circulation, a change of scenery and that movement will more likely tether you to the present moment. Also, movement is a way to progress; whether it’s cleaning your room or training for muscle growth. Humans like progression.
If you feel down or depressed, try this: undress, turn the shower to cold and jump in.
Taking a cold shower has many benefits. If you take a cold show for a few minutes you will experience an instant mood increase.
Cold showers can be excruciatingly uncomfortable. And that’s the very reason why they work. The simple idea behind this is that comfort grows out of discomfort. To feel great, you need to feel like crap first.
You basically shock your depression away by exposing your body to cold water. The euphoria that comes after the cold shower will make you feel better.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a treatment based on the ancient philosophy called Stoicism. It’s a mind hack that makes you feel better by changing the way you think.
When you’re thinking about the past or worry about the future you create a huge amount of excessive thoughts. Excessive thinking can become very problematic, to the point of deep depression, psychosis, and even suicide. I have made a video about this called ´4 Dangerous Effects Of Overthinking´.
The thing is: thoughts are not real. Thoughts are either fantasy about what could happen in the future and memories which are perceptions and reflections of past events. Neuroscientists discovered that memories are highly adaptive and reshape themselves in order to fit new circumstances. In other words: memories are not reliable.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy hacks into the brain’s distorted thinking patterns and attacks them by using logic and reason. It will challenge the negative and delusional stories you’re probably telling yourself and reshapes these thoughts into rational thinking. This way, you’ll expose the crap that you’re feeding yourself that makes you feel miserable.
Another problematic phenomenon about excessive thinking is that we are inclined to hold on to our thinking patterns and, sometimes, we are utterly immersed by them. Like spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle once said and I quote: “many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness, as well as of disease.”
The Buddhists call this the ‘monkey mind’, in which the mind recklessly jumps from subject to subject.
A way to dissolve these excessive thinking patterns is listening to your thoughts without engaging in them. You can do this by sitting down and observe your thoughts closely. This way, you create room between you, the observer, and the stream of thoughts. What do they say? What do they want?
By listening closely to your thoughts without engaging with them, you’ll notice that you are not your thoughts. They simply come and go. Don’t fight them, and they will pass away peacefully.
By accepting the mind instead of fighting the mind, it calms down. A calmer mind means a better mood.
Another way to lift your mood is by talking. Feeling like crap? Having a lot on your mind? Just throw it out. If you talk about what bothers you and how you feel you’ll experience a sense of relief.
However: don’t overdo this because talking too much about how bad you feel will possibly work counterintuitively. Also, pick wisely whom you talk to. Some people are chronically miserable themselves. Talking to them will only make it worse. You know what they say: misery loves company.
The trick is: you don’t necessarily have to talk about your problems. The act of engaging with other people and the human connection that comes from that is often mood lifting. Of course this depends on the people you communicate with. I’d say: seek out positive, uplifting people – the ones that have a track record of making you laugh – and avoid the negative, cynical ones.
If nothing of the above helps I think it is a good idea to give this one a shot. A bad mood can very well be because you are sleep deprived. Especially if you have been working or studying a lot lately. Or maybe you are an athlete and your muscles did not get enough rest. Even a small nap can do wonders for your mood.
As I mentioned, a mental problem often has a physical solution. When it comes to your mood, a lack of sleep can be absolutely detrimental. I have experienced that when I feel down or anxious, it’s often because I didn’t sleep well. That’s why I prioritize sleep over everything else nowadays.
I hope this video is useful to you.