How to Change Your Mood Instantly
Typically, when a bad mood strikes at work, you don’t have the luxury of sitting down to binge watch your favorite TV show, or cutting out early for an extended happy hour with friends.
You need a quick way to reset your mindset, so you can get back to work – and feel better while you’re at it.
There’s a lot that can stress out digital marketers. While stress can be motivator, for most of us, a bad mood is unproductive and distracting.
To avoid burnout, you need a way to boost your mood fast.
Here are seven ways to get your spirits trending up and to the right, just like the best kind of KPI graphs.
Meditation is a powerful thing.
It’s been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve sleep. It can even lengthen your attention span and prevent memory loss!
As a digital marketer, all of those are critical to your success.
Meditation does not need to be an hour long yoga practice. It can be simple and efficient. You don’t even have to say anything. Sometimes, just a handful of deep, slow breaths is enough.
With each exhale, imagine your anger, resentment, or frustration leaving your body. With each inhale, imagine coolness, confidence, and calm entering in.
SEJ contributor Ria Sankar recently wrote a great article on cultivating a personal meditation practice that promotes kindness and self-compassion.
Establish a few focusing mantras that work for you. Lean on these in times where you need to recenter yourself and cool down.
2. Get Some Fresh Air
Is there anything better than a deep breath of fresh air?
When a bad mood strikes, take it as an opportunity to leave your desk and go for a walk outdoors – around the office complex, parking lot, or even a nearby park or garden.
The fresh air and sunshine will energize you, making it easier to breathe in a new, better mood.
Ideally, you can practice this step in the great outdoors.
But sometimes that’s not always feasible. Maybe you work hourly and can’t leave before your scheduled break, or the weather looks even worse than your mood.
In that case, switch things up by leaving the room or desk where you’re currently sitting.
Get fresh air from another space in your office. Find a room you can sit in to meditate for a few minutes, or do a lap around the cubicles.
If you want to shake up your energy, you need to actually shake things up. In other words, you’ve got to get moving.
4. Laugh out Loud
You know that annoying advice people always give us when we’re in a bad mood?
“Smile! You’ll feel better.”
It’s annoying, but it works. 10X it by forcing yourself to laugh.
Is there a clip you can watch on YouTube that makes you crack up, every time, even when you’re alone? Perfect.
Same goes for your all-time favorite meme, beloved childhood comic strip, or hilarious photos on your phone. Have these on-hand and easy to access.
Bonus points if you make yourself a “laughter playlist.” This might be a YouTube playlist of different videos, or a photo album on your phone.
Each time you’re feeling bad, you can close your eyes and click on something random. You’ll laugh and you’ll get the extra element of a fun surprise.
5. Tap Into Your Other Senses
Part of what makes a bad mood so hard to beat is that it’s overwhelming. It’s hard to focus on anything else when your mind is going crazy.
That’s why you have to activate another part of your brain. Push your emotions aside and tap into your other senses.
Get something nice to smell for your desk, whether it’s a fresh plant, candle, aromatherapy diffuser, or incense.
Scents like lavender and peppermint calm the nervous system and relieve stress.
Take a mini song break. Groove to music that’s energizing, motivating, and just downright feel-good.
Too stressed to find something to listen to?
Put on one of Spotify’s Classical Music playlists. One study found that listening to classical music for a mere 10 minutes diminished negative mood.
Review photos on your phone or social media that make you happy, like ones with your best friends, pet, or places you’ve traveled.
Or, immerse yourself in a Magic Eye photo (honestly, just basking for a second in the ’90s glory of that site might be enough to lift your bad mood).
I’m not encouraging you to comfort eat here, but you can activate your tastebuds with something fresh and invigorating – like a piece of sugar-free gum.
According to studies, chewing gum can lift mood, relieve anxiety, and combat fatigue!
Even in a pinch, petting an animal can raise your oxytocin levels, boosting happiness and reducing stress.
If no friendly furballs are available, ask a friend for a hug, massage your pressure points (we tend to hold a lot of tension in our neck, feet, and shoulders), or squeeze a stress ball.
6. Do Something
Often, a bad mood stems from a lack of control. Your client did something frustrating, or you just got passed over for a big promotion or project.
Then, things worsen as your emotions take over.
Put yourself back in the driver’s seat by tackling something easy on your to-do list.
You may not be able to power through something major right now, but accomplishing something simple can help you stay productive, which will give you something to feel good about.
It can also keep you from spiraling out of control. Focusing on the task at hand, however small, takes your mind off what’s bugging you.
So, schedule that appointment. Catch up on a few emails. Clear up the area around your desk.
7. Break out the Gratitude Journal
I’ve saved this tip for last because it can not only bust a bad mood, it can prevent it from happening in the first place.
Maintaining a gratitude practice is one of the best ways to enjoy a happier, more optimistic and positive state of mind.
Gratitude journals help you sleep better, they strengthen your mental fortitude, and they make you likelier to be kinder (to yourself and others) on a consistent basis.
You’re probably too upset to write something grateful down now.
Good moods are for writing in your journal. Bad moods are for reading it – and reminding yourself of all the wonderful things in your life you have to be grateful for.
Go From Bad to Glad
Remember, nothing lasts forever – including your bad mood.
Feelings are fleeting, both the good and the bad.
The next time you’re feeling down, remind yourself of that. Allow yourself the reassurance that this too shall pass. Then, get started with one of the ideas above and go from bad to glad!