how to get out of a bad mood


Ring a friend. A problem bitched about is a problem halved!

Exercise. A brisk walk out in the fresh air will make you feel better, even if you hate exercise normally. I guarantee this and I speak as someone whose idea of exercise is reaching over the cat to grab the remote.

Do something simple but constructive. Scrub the bath tub, bake some bread, hoover the whole house, take all the glass down to the recycling centre and throw it into the compartments with great force...

Dance. Even if you never do. Close the door so no one can see you, put some music on as loud as you dare, and jump around like a mad thing. Trashy pop like It's Raining Men, or I Will Survive, or pretty much anything by Britney Spears, works well for this. If what you are feeling is angst as opposed to boredom, try some metal -- Soundgarden or Linkin Park, for example. If you have to keep the noise levels down? Use a mp3 player and headphones.

Eat some carbohydrate. Carbohydrates -- such as brown rice, or wholemeal pasta, tortilla, or bread-- are good mood foods because they keep your blood sugar levels steady by releasing energy in a slow stream, as opposed to the fast rush of sugary things, so that you feel more relaxed and balanced. You'll feel even better if you eat something as soon as you wake up and then every three or four hours so that your blood sugar is stable throughout the day.

If the problem is to do with a person or an organization, try writing him, her, or it a letter. Explain exactly why you're annoyed in great detail. Tuck the letter away overnight. In the morning, re-read the letter... and then burn it.

If the problem is to do with a situation, try making a list of all the things you could do or steps you could take to resolve the matter, no matter how wild or unconventional. Tuck the list away overnight. In the morning, re-read it and see if there's anything you could get started on.

Take some vitamin B. Stress burns right through the body's vitamin B stores, which isn't surprising considering that one of the things your body uses vitamin B for is nerve maintenance and repair! You can spread some yeast extract on toast, eat fortified cereal, or take a supplement.

Take a bath. Fill the tub with hot water. Add something that smells good, like bubble bath or essential oil, and jump in after it. Anything that smells good and makes you breathe more deeply will work, but essential oils will be most effective. Lavender, neroli, or geranium essential oils work great for relaxation, while clary sage or lemongrass helps to improve your mood. Add a few drops of your chosen oils to a spoonful of carrier oil, such as almond or olive, before tipping them into the water. If you have sensitive skin, you could always diffuse the oil instead in a burner in the bathroom. Lie back in the hot water, inhale the gorgeous aroma, and wallow.

Try a mental exercise. Sit comfortably, breathe deeply, and close your eyes. Imagine that all your anxieties and worries are gathering together in a tight bundle. Imagine the bundle moving down your body, down into the earth, and dissipating there.

Groom. Brush your hair, get a manicure, or spray yourself with your favourite scent...

Curl up on the couch with tea or coffee, chocolate and a trashy novel.

Catch a movie. Go to the cinema, or make popcorn and put your feet up while you watch a DVD at home. Try a comedy like The Philadelphia Story; an uplifting film such as Groundhog Day or It's a Wonderful Life; an engrossing thriller such as L.A. Confidential; or even a disaster movie such as Titanic - things could be worse!

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