Tag: Bad Day

How to Talk Yourself Out of a “Bad Mood”

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We’ve all experienced a “bad day.” Even people who always seem to be in a good mood have days where they have low energy and aren’t seeing the world in their usual positive light. There are a million reasons why we might have low spirits, but the common denominator is the kind of thoughts we are having prior to and during a period of negativity. What are your thoughts (aka self-talk) when you are in a “bad mood”? Perhaps this line of inner conversation sounds familiar:

Wow, what a crappy day. I feel terrible; I can’t seem to concentrate on anything. I’m never going to get anything done today. What a waste. Why can’t I snap out of this funk? There must be something wrong with me. Great, another thing I have to worry about. I don’t need this. Why can’t things go my way? Ouch, my neck really hurts. Why does this have to happen now? I should probably do some yoga or stretching. Ugh, I’m so tired. I should start eating better and working out more. Who am I kidding, it’ll never happen. It’s just too hard. I don’t have any discipline. Whoa, where has the time gone? I never have enough time! I just want to crawl back into bed. I wish this day would end.

Yikes! This self-talk would put anybody in a bad mood!

Often, the shift from a not-so-good mood to a good one is triggered by something great happening to us. And suddenly, we’re in high spirits! How did that happen? We interpreted the stimulus we experienced as positive and began having a different conversation in our heads. Our thoughts changed from being down on ourselves to telling us how awesome we are and that things are going our way. We feel more confident and happy, body pain fades or goes away completely, and we have so much more energy. We literally talked ourselves into a good mood!

As I tell my clients, sometimes the shift from negative thinking to positive thinking is as simple as changing the words you use:

Eliminate these words: Replace with these words:
should it would be better
have to I choose to
ought to I could
must what I prefer is
can’t I can
don’t I will
weak empowered
supposed to  

It works best if you write the positive words on post-it notes and place them everywhere…on the dash of the car, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and so forth. Seeing the positive words will remind you to be aware of your self-talk, and adjust it if it’s not supporting you.

We have the power to change our state of mind in an instant by using positive self-talk to flip our perspective. How empowering to know we don’t have to wait for our external world to show us something positive…we can talk ourselves into a positive outlook!

For added support, here are some other posts that relate to positive thinking and lifting your spirits:

How to Shift Your Unconscious Beliefs and Create the Life You Want

Support Yourself Through Transitions by Changing Your Thoughts

Shifting Your Perspective to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Anger

Living in Abundance


Shifting Your Perspective to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Anger

Photo by Kristin Rath

In this…world

Nothing is the truth or a lie.

Everything depends on the color

Of the crystal through which one sees it.

― Pedro Calderón de la Barca

When the unexpected crosses our path or things don’t go our way, it is natural to react with feelings such as irritation, fear, anxiety, and anger. However, if we allow these emotions to go unexplored, we will be allowing our perspective to be restricted and possibly negative. When we continue to view the world from this state, it can color our perspective for hours, even days, later.

The great news is we can change how we view a situation by recognizing when we think, feel, and/or act in a way that is not beneficial. By asking ourselves some questions that will shift our thinking we will change our current viewpoint.

For example, perhaps you have a long to-do list, and have been worrying about getting everything accomplished. The worry grows throughout the day into guilt as you know you can’t possibly get X, Y, and Z done. Now you’re in full stress mode, feeling irritable/emotional/anxious/etc. You’re on autopilot, reacting to what comes at you. Nothing seems to be going your way, you can’t seem to do anything right, and the day is generally not enjoyable. What if you had known how to stop the worry in its tracks when it first crept into your thoughts by asking yourself a few questions to gain clarity on the issue? Perhaps the worry would have only lasted a few seconds instead of ruining your day!

Here’s how you can put a perspective shift into practice: Be aware of when you feel anger, anxiety, fear, or any kind of stress. Mentally say, “Stop!” and then visualize a stop sign. This will halt the body and mind from continuing to circulate non-constructive thoughts and feelings. Take a few deep breaths while you ask your body to release any tension. Then ask your mind a few of the questions below that are relevant to your situation. Check in with yourself and note any changes in mind and body. With practice, these steps will become effortless.

  • Is there really a problem? Or do I perceive a problem? In relation to the example of the to-do list, ask yourself what items are priorities and what are not? If a task is a priority than you can choose to complete it; if it is not you can allow yourself to choose to put it off for a day until it is a priority. Keep in mind that plans are fluid and can change. When we shift our perception, the thoughts and emotions that don’t serve us have the freedom to slip away. You might surprise yourself with how much you can get done with the energy you used spending on worry and guilt.
  • Are the outcomes I’m imagining necessarily going to happen or am I expecting a worst-case scenario? Being prepared when you are clear what outcome is ‘supposed’ to occur is useful, however it is unproductive and needlessly stressful to focus your energy on scenarios or outcomes that may never happen.
  • How significant is this problem in the grand scheme of my life? How significant is this in relation to the timeline of the universe? Shrinking the perceived enormity of your situation can allow you to collect your thoughts and emotions. Once you are grounded you can ask yourself: Is this something I need to act upon? If yes, you can now do so from a centered, open viewpoint.

Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.

― Irving Berlin