How to deal with a bad mood


Although bad moods are unpleasant, they are not necessarily unhealthy. Bad moods shine a light on the parts of our lives we are dissatisfied with. In many cases, the lessons learned from bad moods can help us to improve our lives.

Not convinced? Let’s explore this idea in more detail.

Why do we experience bad moods?

According to Dr Rosenburg, bad moods occur when our sense of self is somehow threatened. In other words, bad moods suggest we should work on our self-esteem.  

Most bad moods are triggered by an event. This event could be big or small. Let’s look at an example:

You’re in supermarket queue waiting to be served.  A few members of staff are chatting rather than serving customers and this is holding up the queue. You can feel your mood starting to change.

What’s going on here? You may feel anger, helplessness, frustration, and/or shame. The shop assistants’ apparent lack of respect for your time threatens your perception of your self-worth. The weaker your self-esteem, the more likely their behaviour is to bother you.

Everyone experiences peaks and troughs in their self-esteem. So, even people with a generally healthy sense of self-worth will experience bad moods from time to time.

The link between body and mind 

According to Antonio Damasio, an influential neuroscientist, emotions begin in the body, not in the mind.

Imagine you are standing in the queue and being ignored by the sales assistants. Your heart starts pumping faster, your palms get clammy, and your eyes widen. This registers certain emotional responses in your brain such as anger and frustration. Before you know it, you’ve become really riled up.  

The reason we dislike negative emotions is that they can make us feel out of control. We are somewhat “out of control” because our physiological responses occur automatically. And these physiological responses then dictate our emotions (and our moods).

However, Dr Rosenburg says we can learn to “ride the wave” of negative emotions. If we can learn how to do this, our bad moods won’t last for very long.

What are you feeling?

According to Dr Rosenburg, there are 8 unpleasant feelings that can lead to bad moods. These include:  Sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, vulnerability, embarrassment, disappointment and frustration.

Next time you are grappling with a bad mood, ask yourself these four questions:

  • What event has triggered me to feel this way?
  • What emotions and feelings am I experiencing?
  • From my point of view, what did this event suggest about my self-worth?
  • Have I experienced similar events before?

Once you’ve understood the emotions behind your bad mood, it’ll be a lot easier to work through your feelings.  

Common responses to bad moods

When we are feeling low, we often try to avoid our emotions. Whether we turn to food, sex, videogames, or drinking, the distraction helps to numb our pain. However, distraction usually makes things worse in the long run, because it stops us from facing up to our problems.

Let’s take the example of the frustrated shopper. In his annoyance, he storms out of the shop and lights up a cigarette. The nicotine gives him a temporary release, but it won’t help him reach his long-term goal of trying to quit smoking.

Indeed, research shows that when people are in a bad mood, they prioritise immediate relief over long-term self-regulation. It’s almost as if the short-term pain is too hard to bear.

Dr Rosenburg argues that uncomfortable emotions aren’t too hard to bear. Many people think they are because they’ve never been taught how to emotionally regulate. Part of emotional regulation is learning how to “ride the wave” of difficult emotions.

Ride the wave of emotion

Negative emotions tend to come in waves, and each wave lasts around 90 seconds. Rosenburg advises clients to sit through their emotions, safe in the knowledge that the wave will pass.

In practice, riding the wave is similar to mindfulness meditation or action and commitment therapy. You acknowledge the negative emotion and try to sit with it rather than deny it or distract yourself from it.

If you can learn to “ride the wave”, negative feelings are less likely to result in severely low moods or depressive symptoms. Over time, you will also feel more in-tune with your emotions.

Making changes

In some cases, a bad mood can prompt us to make positive changes in our life.

Let’s return to our example of the frustrated shopper. So, this time, the shopper calmly leaves, resists the cigarette, and acknowledges he is feeling angry and upset. When he delves deeper, he realises he is angry because other people don’t seem to value his time. He spends a lot of time looking after friends and family and often feels taken for granted. The incident in the shop amplified these feelings and further attacked his sense of self-worth.

A healthy response would be to sit down with his friends and family and calmly explain how he is feeling. In addition, he might set aside one afternoon a week for himself – where he can try out new hobbies and interests.

If we take the time to decode our bad moods, they can reveal areas of unfulfillment and unsatisfaction in our lives.  As mentioned, bad moods often suggest we should work on our self-esteem.

Should we try to avoid bad moods?

Bad moods affect everyone at one time or another.  Rather than try to avoid them, you should try to become more attuned with your emotions. The quicker you can register and interpret your emotional responses, the sooner your bad mood will pass.

There is good evidence to suggest bad moods are not bad for our health. Rather, the way we interpret bad moods determines whether they will affect our health. If we consider bad moods to be helpful and constructive, they are less likely to pose a risk to our health.

So, next time you’re feeling low, the question should not be “How can I escape”, but “What can I learn?”.

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We find ourselves in our own world a lot of the time & lost in thought, even when talking to our loved ones, friends and colleagues. 💭

Mindful communication involves applying the principles of mindfulness to the way we communicate with each other, labelling our thoughts, feelings, and emotions to enhance our awareness. 

By being mindful about how we interact with others, we can become more empathetic, compassionate, and honest. 💗

Find out more ➡️ mindowl.org/mindful-communication/

#meditation #mindfulness #peaceofmind #compassion #selfawareness #wellbeing #mindfulmoment #dailycalm #mindfulcommunication #quietthemind #selfacceptance #practicemindfulness #mindfulmeditation We find ourselves in our own world a lot of the time & lost in thought, even when talking to our loved ones, friends and colleagues. 💭

Mindful communication involves applying the principles of mindfulness to the way we communicate with each other, labelling our thoughts, feelings, and emotions to enhance our awareness. 

By being mindful about how we interact with others, we can become more empathetic, compassionate, and honest. 💗

Find out more ➡️ mindowl.org/mindful-communication/

#meditation #mindfulness #peaceofmind #compassion #selfawareness #wellbeing #mindfulmoment #dailycalm #mindfulcommunication #quietthemind #selfacceptance #practicemindfulness #mindfulmeditation
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. 😊

If you want to be happy, practice compassion. 🤗

#quote #quoteoftheday #quotestoliveby #motivation #inspiration #inspirationquotes #livinginthemoment #mindfulmoment If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. 😊

If you want to be happy, practice compassion. 🤗

#quote #quoteoftheday #quotestoliveby #motivation #inspiration #inspirationquotes #livinginthemoment #mindfulmoment
One of the first steps you need to take in order to begin enjoying the simple pleasures in life is to slow down. 😊

Take a moment to stop what you are doing. 🚫

1️⃣ Draw your attention to your breath (this will ground you in the current moment).

2️⃣ Notice your breath entering and leaving your body.

3️⃣ Next, firmly plant your feet on the ground and draw your attention to this sensation.

4️⃣ Keep your attention and awareness directed at the breath or your feet on the ground, any time it moves away draw it back with patience.

5️⃣ Continue on with your day. 

This is a great way to introduce mindfulness into your life, you are simply making sure that your awareness is directed at the current moment. 🧘‍♂️

#presentmoment #selfawareness #innerwork #livinginthemoment #mindfulmoment #emotionalintelligence #wellbeing #wanderingmind #quietthemind #meditationsoul #livinginthenow  #calmthemind #livemindfully #practicemindfulness #mindfulmeditation #mindfulness One of the first steps you need to take in order to begin enjoying the simple pleasures in life is to slow down. 😊

Take a moment to stop what you are doing. 🚫

1️⃣ Draw your attention to your breath (this will ground you in the current moment).

2️⃣ Notice your breath entering and leaving your body.

3️⃣ Next, firmly plant your feet on the ground and draw your attention to this sensation.

4️⃣ Keep your attention and awareness directed at the breath or your feet on the ground, any time it moves away draw it back with patience.

5️⃣ Continue on with your day. 

This is a great way to introduce mindfulness into your life, you are simply making sure that your awareness is directed at the current moment. 🧘‍♂️

#presentmoment #selfawareness #innerwork #livinginthemoment #mindfulmoment #emotionalintelligence #wellbeing #wanderingmind #quietthemind #meditationsoul #livinginthenow  #calmthemind #livemindfully #practicemindfulness #mindfulmeditation #mindfulness
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Whether it's sport, writing, drawing or even cleaning, flow states are a great reminder that mindful living doesn't always mean regular deep meditation - mindfulness is everywhere. 🍃

Read more ➡️ mindowl.org/effortless-meditation

#mindfulness #meditation #selfawareness #selfcompassion #innerwork #practicemindfulness #livinginthemoment #selflove #selfcare #mindfulmeditation #mindfulliving Flow states are moments when you are deeply connected & engaged in an activity, and therefore living in the present moment. 🧘

Whether it's sport, writing, drawing or even cleaning, flow states are a great reminder that mindful living doesn't always mean regular deep meditation - mindfulness is everywhere. 🍃

Read more ➡️ mindowl.org/effortless-meditation

#mindfulness #meditation #selfawareness #selfcompassion #innerwork #practicemindfulness #livinginthemoment #selflove #selfcare #mindfulmeditation #mindfulliving
There are a number of breathwork exercises that aim to make you feel more energised. 🏃

These types of breathwork include the Wim Hof Method, the 5-3-3 technique, and ‘Breath of Fire’. 🔥

Energising breathwork practice is far more healthy than using caffeine or sugar to liven yourself up. 🥤

So put down that cup of coffee, and give the incredible power of breathwork for energy a go. 💪

🔴 mindowl.org/breathwork-for-energy

#breathingexercise #breathing #mediation #exercise #mindbody #motivation #happiness #meditationsoul #selfcareseries #inspiration #mindfulnessteacher #wellbeing #mindfulmoment #wellness #mindfulmeditation #practicemindfulness #mindbodysoul #groundyourself #learn #breathworkmeditation #breathdeeply #yoga #zen
Putting in the maximum amount of continuous effort isn't always the answer, besides what society tells us. 💭

The art of effortless meditation is about stopping the search for "more" and instead focusing on what you already have. Stop worrying or waiting for something greater than what's happening right now. 💗

Wu Wei closely relates to the goal of effortless action. ✨

Find out more ➡️ mindowl.org/effortless-meditation

#mindfulness #meditation #innerwork #selflove #practicemindfulness #livinginthemoment #selfcare #mindfulmeditation #quietthemind #effortlessaction #artofdoingnothing
We understand selfishness as lacking consideration for others and being concerned only with personal gain and pleasure, yet doing the things which contribute towards a genuinely happy and meaningful life, can be intelligently selfish. 

Doing what's best for others is the same as doing what's best for yourself. ✨

This can be practiced through Tonglen Meditation, which helps cultivate an inner peace of mind by extending compassion towards others. 🙏

Find out more ➡️ mindowl.org/tonglen-meditation/

#meditation #mindfulness #peaceofmind #compassion #selfawareness #wellbeing #mindfulmoment #tonglenmeditation #quietthemind #selfacceptance #practicemindfulness #mindfulmeditation #dailycalm We understand selfishness as lacking consideration for others and being concerned only with personal gain and pleasure, yet doing the things which contribute towards a genuinely happy and meaningful life, can be intelligently selfish. 

Doing what's best for others is the same as doing what's best for yourself. ✨

This can be practiced through Tonglen Meditation, which helps cultivate an inner peace of mind by extending compassion towards others. 🙏

Find out more ➡️ mindowl.org/tonglen-meditation/

#meditation #mindfulness #peaceofmind #compassion #selfawareness #wellbeing #mindfulmoment #tonglenmeditation #quietthemind #selfacceptance #practicemindfulness #mindfulmeditation #dailycalm
Change is inevitable. It is important to focus on our relationship to change, one of the certain elements of life. 💭

To move with the fluctuation of life, change has to be embraced. We can choose to swim with the tide, or against it. 🧘

#mindfulness #meditation #selfawareness #selfcompassion #innerwork #practicemindfulness #livinginthemoment #selflove #selfcare #mindfulmeditation #inevitablechange Change is inevitable. It is important to focus on our relationship to change, one of the certain elements of life. 💭

To move with the fluctuation of life, change has to be embraced. We can choose to swim with the tide, or against it. 🧘

#mindfulness #meditation #selfawareness #selfcompassion #innerwork #practicemindfulness #livinginthemoment #selflove #selfcare #mindfulmeditation #inevitablechange
There is so much more to life, so much to experience when we simply notice. Don't let life pass you by, be present and be human. 💗

#quoteoftheday #quote #quotestoliveby #mindfulness #meditation #mindfulmeditation #livinginthemoment #quietthemind #mindfulmoment #livinginthenow #selfawareness #inspirationquotes #inspiration #innerpeace There is so much more to life, so much to experience when we simply notice. Don't let life pass you by, be present and be human. 💗

#quoteoftheday #quote #quotestoliveby #mindfulness #meditation #mindfulmeditation #livinginthemoment #quietthemind #mindfulmoment #livinginthenow #selfawareness #inspirationquotes #inspiration #innerpeace
We live in such a busy and fast pace environment, that we look past the beauty around us. In every moment of life there is something to be grateful for, you just need to look to find it. 🌞

Slow down and appreciate the small things in life. This can lead to an overall feeling of contentment day-to-day. 

Write down three things you are grateful for every night before bed, and watch your life transform as you train your mind to see the positive in each moment. ☕️

#mindfulness #selfcareseries #meditation #gratitude #practicegratitude #mindfulsoul #mindfulmoment #peacefulness #selflove #selfcare #presentmoment #groundyourself #livinginthemoment #mindfulmeditation #reflection
It’s important to follow some practical steps when seeking to achieve an intentional life. 🏃‍♀️

Start by making more Towards moves, and less Away moves. Towards moves are healthy habits that align with the sort of person we want to be. 🤸‍♂️

Away moves are ineffective and unhelpful; they hook us to difficult thoughts, emotions and behaviours. 😔

Consciously implementing intentional living can help reproduce more towards moves. 🧘‍♀️

🔴 mindowl.org/intentional-living

#mindfulness #happiness #inspiration #intentionalliving #lifestyle #wellbeing #selfcare #mindfulmoment #presentmoment #innerwork #learn #practice #calmthemind #peacefulness #groundyourself It’s important to follow some practical steps when seeking to achieve an intentional life. 🏃‍♀️

Start by making more Towards moves, and less Away moves. Towards moves are healthy habits that align with the sort of person we want to be. 🤸‍♂️

Away moves are ineffective and unhelpful; they hook us to difficult thoughts, emotions and behaviours. 😔

Consciously implementing intentional living can help reproduce more towards moves. 🧘‍♀️

🔴 mindowl.org/intentional-living

#mindfulness #happiness #inspiration #intentionalliving #lifestyle #wellbeing #selfcare #mindfulmoment #presentmoment #innerwork #learn #practice #calmthemind #peacefulness #groundyourself
Tonglen meditation is a type of ancient practice focused on compassion. It is a type of visualisation that enhances feelings of compassion towards others. 😌

The word Tonglen is Tibetan for "sending and taking" which is exactly what this practice aims to do. It allows you to focus on the wellbeing of others, stepping away from the usual self-centred approach of our busy daily lives. 🧘‍♂️

Follow this exercise to cultivate the power of Tonglen Meditation. 

Find out more ➡️ mindowl.org/tonglen-meditation/

#meditation #mindfulness #compassion #selfawareness #meditationexercise #tonglenmeditation #innerpeace #quietthemind #meditationmoment #healing #wellbeing

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