Everyone gets into a bad mood sometimes. Maybe a mistake has caused problems in your work, that now you have to fix. Maybe there’s been a misunderstanding that’s led to a rift between you and a friend. Or maybe these negative feelings just struck out of nowhere, seemingly without provocation.
In any event, the longer you hold on to these feelings, the worse they’ll get. But what can you do to keep them in check? Here are three mood fixes you can try, to help you get out of a rut quickly.
- Take a Walk
When you’re feeling low, one of the best things you can do is to get out of the house and go for a walk. It can have a number of benefits. Physical activity of any kind helps to stimulate your body, producing endorphins, which enhance your mood. Fresh air and nature can also help to clear your mind.
But even walking on a busy street, or indoors, can still help. Studies show that just a 12 minute stroll can counteract a bad mood, regardless of where you take it. And 30 minutes of walking per day is recommended by many medical experts as a way to improve not only your mood, but your general health in a variety of different ways.
It doesn’t matter where or how you walk, whether it’s a mountain hike or half an hour on the treadmill. The physical activity has been shown to have a tremendous positive effect on your health and mood, both immediately and long term. When dealing with negative emotions, the worst thing you can do is sit around inactive.
- Eat Something
If you’re busy and stressed, it can be really easy to fail to make time to eat. You’re so caught up in fixing this problem at work that you forget to eat lunch, or think you simply don’t have time. You might not even notice that you’re hungry, but it has a noticeable impact on your mood. Your anxiety can go through the roof, and you may even find yourself lashing out in anger at the people around you—which in turn puts them in a bad mood as well, and negatively affects everybody’s productivity.
In situations like this, a simple snack can work wonders. Skip the junk food, though. Go for something high in protein, like hummus, or a handful of nuts. A little dark chocolate is OK too, as it’s a proven mood enhancer. Just be sure to pair it with something more substantial. Try keeping some trail mix with you, with nuts, raisins, and M&Ms. Also be sure to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is another way to improve your mood.
- Seek Out Friends and Social Interaction
Often, when you’re in a bad mood, the last thing you want to do is hang out with other people. Your instinct is to shut yourself in your room alone and wallow. Unfortunately, in many cases, this is one of the most detrimental things you can do to yourself.
A little bit of alone time can be good, even necessary for some. If you’ve spent the whole day around crowds of people, then curling up on the couch and watching Netflix by yourself can be a good way to spend the evening. But continuing to avoid contact with others will only end up making things worse. So even if you don’t feel like being around anyone, call your friends and see if they want to do something.
Even just talking to someone on the phone can be helpful. But even more beneficial is getting out of the house and doing something active with people you care about. You might not feel like it at first, but by the time you’re done, chances are you’ll be glad you did—and you’ll be in a much better mood.
These are just a few of the things you can do to give your mood a boost when you’re having a bad day. Be careful, though. They’re quick fixes, not permanent solutions. If you’re suffering from depression, or find that these negative feelings are becoming a regular thing, then seek help from a mental health professional, who can aid you in finding a long term answer to the problem.
In the short term, though, these few quick mood fixes can help brighten your day, make you more productive, and get you feeling better all around. Be sure always to care for yourself, body and mind, and you’ll be a better, healthier, happier person.