10 minutes to a better mood!

We all have those days we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. We also all seem to be a bit (a lot) moodier now with pandemic fatigue, stress, lack of sleep and anxiety. All that can often manifest in a classic “bad mood.” And then that mood can escalate if we don’t make moves to change it right away. I know if I don’t take 10 minutes to do things to turn around my mood, it can last all day. Need some ideas? See if any of these work for you

Just breathe

As in deep, deep focused breathing. There are actually several styles of breathing. A few that work great for relaxing and moods are:

  • Box breathing. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4, exhale for 4 then hold for 4. Picture a pretty colored square as you do this and your breath drawing lines around it.
  • Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 4, then an exhale through your mouth for as long as it lasts (8 seconds or so).
  • Alternate nostril breathing. Cover one nostril, inhale through the other, then cover that one and exhale through the first. Inhale on that same side again, then switch again, and keep doing this for 10 minutes. This helps send calming signals to our nervous system and also helps us switch the focus from external things to internal.
  • Do one of the above for 10 minutes, or alternate a few styles.

Put on something funny

Grab your phone and search up something on YouTube that makes you laugh. It could be an old show you loved, funny videos, a comedy sketch you always loved, or bloopers. Laughing releases endorphins and it’s almost a guarantee to flip the bad mood to a lighter one. Sometimes you can shift your mood in a mere few minutes with a good laugh. It pays to lighten up, life is stressful enough, enjoy some good laughs.

Pour a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate

Sometimes little things like this do the trick. Indulge in a satisfying warm drink to sooth frayed nerves. Plus, caffeine can help if the bad mood is accompanied by a slump.

Turn up the music

If you’re in your car or at home, crank up those favorite feel-good songs. OMG does this help me, especially cruising on a highway. Sing along and watch your mood melt away. If you can’t play it loud, any music in earbuds is a mood-improving activity.

Call a friend

Sometimes even saying “I’m in a bad mood ” can be enough to release it and get a convo flowing. Before you know it, you might feel better, connected, and calm, and ready to take on the rest of the day with a brighter outlook. That’s what friends are for after all.

Take a walk

Whether alone or with the dog or a friend, a refreshing walk outside often clears what was causing the bad mood. If the walk can be in nature, all the better, to reap those calming benefits. Forest bathing ( in the woods) or near an ocean or any body of water works wonders on our emotions. Even if just 10 minutes around the neighborhood or a quick stop at a local park, this is one of the best ways to release stress .

Write down what is bothering you

Journaling can help release feelings. Or If you’re not even sure exactly what it is, write “bad mood go away” or “no more stress” on some paper. Then burn it in the fireplace or over a sink. Or just rip it up and throw it out ceremoniously declaring that the mood is now over. Mind over matter right? Or get this awesome journal from Silk and Sonder and join their club

Exercise or do some yoga

Not only will the endorphins get flowing, but your focus on exercise also shifts the focus off whatever was bothering you. It’s good for the mind, body, and spirit.

Put on a meditation app

Practice along with a guided meditation. I love the Calm and Breethe apps. There are plenty on YouTube also. One 10 minute meditation can make you feel like a new person!

Take a shower

Did you ever notice how people come out of the shower a new person? Something about that water and time alone washes away the mood. A hot shower is so soothing. Some people prefer a cold one to wake up and increase alertness. Either way, it’s pretty certain your bad mood will be washed away. At least somewhat.

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