What a day!!
We’ve all been there. We can all remember a day in the not too distant past where it seemed you were doomed from the start. I’ve had that kind of day today. From smashing a plant just as I was on my way out, to my laptop freezing and refusing to do anything, to the hot water tap not working in my bathroom when I felt like the only thing that would help is a bath. Today, so far, has been a bit of a rollercoaster. This got me thinking. I want to get off this rollercoaster. That, I realised, is the first step to turning things around when you’re having a bad day. Press stop and make the decision to take back control. Taking a step back from the path you’re on is important. We tend to say to ourselves – well, this is my lot, I’m going to be stuck with this bad day, all day. We then make the decision to stay in a rotten mood about it. But what if, instead of that, we say – woah, ok, enough is enough lets try something new. I reckon that bad day or those difficult few hours are about to get a whole lot better.
What can I do?
You know what works for you, but I’m going to share a few things that help me. I hope that these resonate with you. Maybe there might even be a few ideas on this list you could try that you haven’t before.
Top Five Tips to turn your mood around:
Connect with your breath
It seems like a simple, obvious one. However, when we’re stressed or irritated, we tend to forget our breath. Breathe in slowly through the nose and release the breath through the mouth. Try to make the outbreath longer than the in breath. Do this for two minutes (or more, if you can). Hopefully you’ll feel more centered. Key thing – you have to want it to work!
Accept and let go
It’s important to take a few moments to accept that recent events haven’t made you feel good. Breathe in. Try saying to yourself, in your head, or out loud – ‘I accept that ‘x, y, z’ have happened. I give myself permission to let go.’ Breathe out. Visualise letting go. Imagine ‘x, y, z’ as a spiky red ball in the centre of your stomach. As you breathe out, in your mind’s eye, let this spiky red ball travel up and out of your body. Expel it from you on the out breath.
Make a cup of tea
Taking a little time out of your day to make a cup of tea is sometimes all the TLC we need to get our mind back on track. Tea making can be such a mindful practice. However, I’m not talking here about putting the kettle on, tidying up whilst it’s boiling, dumping milk, teabag and water in the cup at the same time, and hastily gulping it down. Instead, see it as a kind of ritual. Try taking the following steps:
- Pick your favourite cup or mug. My personal favourite is a little mug with a kitten languishing in a hammock on the front. The words next to it are particularly restful to me – life is hard, and then you nap.
- Put fresh water in your kettle. As it boils, select your favourite tea. Place the bag in the cup, or leaves inside your teapot/strainer.
- Once you pour the water into the cup, let it brew for between 3-5 minutes. As you watch the water change colour, connect with your breath.
- Add milk, lemon, honey, or as you prefer, and sit to sip your tea. Savour the flavours and its warmth. Don’t rush. Enjoy this peaceful time.
Go for a walk
Physically removing yourself from your current location can actually help encourage a mental shift. You don’t even have to walk for that long. Why not try taking a twenty minute walk, somewhere new or somewhere loved, where you tune into the natural sounds around you. Also take this time to tune into your body. Listen to the rhythm of your footsteps. Listen to your breath as it rises and falls. Simply be.
When I first tried laughter yoga, even though I was alone, I felt really silly. However, I’d heard lots of good things about it and I was determined to push through the feelings of silliness. I’m so glad I did. I can’t tell you enough what a difference it makes to your mood when you complete your favourite yoga routine, and then, when you’re lying comfortably, laugh. Out loud. It might sound a little strange at first, but then, when you think about how strange it is, it makes you laugh more. Until you’re really laughing. Giggles, big laughs. It doesn’t matter. Once you stop, the release you feel is amazing. I found that any tension I was holding in my body had dissipated. My stomach felt less knotted and my face felt more relaxed. Give it a go. You won’t be disappointed that you did!
Turn that frown, upside down!
There are many other methods to help you get off that rollercoaster, but the important thing is to try a number and find what works for you. We have one life. Let’s not waste time getting stuck in a bad mood. If you find it difficult to remove yourself from a certain situation or let go, be kind to yourself. It might take a bit longer. You may not manage to on some days. But don’t give up trying! You’ll get there.
I’d love to hear your own stories. How did you turn around those tricky few hours or the beginnings of a bad day? Feel free to comment below.
With love and light