I’m convinced that nothing can steal our joy, but I do believe we can allow things, people, and circumstances to steal our happiness. While joy is that steadfast contentment that can’t be taken away, happiness can be as fleeting as a dandelion seed in the wind.
My happiness used to be so haphazard because I’d constantly allow life’s little (emphasis on little!) annoyances twist me all up and put me in an ill mood for extended amounts of time. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t shake off those minor irritations. I’d let them linger in my mind by analyzing every detail.
It was only after my husband began pointing out how easy it was for me to get upset that I began to see how I let so much insignificant junk determine my attitude. Instead of letting the unhealthy cycle continue, I decided I had to work on it…on me. (For my sake and everyone else’s! lol) I knew there had to be a simple solution because, in the grand scheme of things, it was a simple problem.
What You Need to Do to Overcome a Bad Mood
What did I need to do to ~let my little light shine~ and stop letting the world’s everyday annoyances get me, and keep me, in that ill mood though? After contemplating, I realized the solutions really were pretty basic. See below what I did to stop allowing myself to get stuck in that useless ill mood.
If you’re anything like I used to be (and sometimes still am), you get in your lousy mood and wallow in all the ‘whys’ that led you there. You analyze every annoyance, justify your reactions to them, and allow yourself to replay every single detail. The more you think about it all, the more ill you become and the cycle continues.
The reality is that the more we indulge in these negative thoughts, the more they tend to escalate in our minds. That little thing has now turned into a major thing we can’t stop obsessing about.
Examining every detail isn’t going to get you out of a bad mood any faster, and you know this, so stop replaying it! When you notice yourself obsessing again, make a conscious decision to put that thought out of your mind. We have control over what thoughts we allow to linger in our minds, so stop those thoughts as soon as you notice them.
I’m not saying you’ve got to be Positive Patty all the time, but don’t reside in a state of justifying self-pity and irritability. The longer you hold onto a gloomy mindset and upsets, the harder it is to let go of them. Stay aware of what thoughts you indulge in, and let go of the negativity.
Writing things down has always been a form of relaxation for me. Whether I’m scribbling down random thoughts, or meaningful prayers to God, there’s just something so calming about grabbing my journal, a smooth pen, and writing. So, more than ever before, I began to prioritize journaling.
One journal prompt that immediately turns any ill attitude around is gratitude. Man, you wanna talk about humbling?! After huffing, puffing, and eye-rolling over something petty, you’ll feel thankful, and maybe even a little ashamed, but believe me–your bad mood will be gone because your perspective will be so different afterward.
First, create a list of every person/thing/opportunity you’re grateful for. Then, next to each blessing, write down one sentence as to why you’re grateful for it/them.
Seeing all of your blessings listed out on paper is so eye-opening and will leave you feeling beyond uplifted and thankful. Even if you know you’re blessed, sometimes we can lose sight of our blessings, and that’s why writing them down and reading over them can be the reality check we often need. Read over your list again and again and ESPECIALLY when you feel that ill mood moving in. Your gratitude list will instantly shut down that bad attitude.
The next time something happens that would generally lead you back to your foul mood, recognize it for what it is and resist the urge to have that same ole negative reaction to it.
Instead of immediately responding to something, whether it be a stubbed toe or a snarky remark from someone, take three seconds to gather your thoughts and decide how you’re going to respond.
JUST THREE SECONDS.
Believe it or not, that’s enough time for you to refocus, ultimately recognize what the enemy is trying to do/how he’s trying to irritate you, and respond calmly.
It DOES take practice! I can’t emphasize this enough.
If you give yourself that short time to refocus, your response will be drastically different. (A nice, deep breath in between is helpful as well).
I’d like to add that not everything deserves an outward response, either. Countless times before, it would be the PETTIEST things that I let put, and keep, me in a foul mood. For example, I couldn’t get a shirt to come off the hanger, I’d outwardly respond, “Ugh stupid hanger!” *as I’m yanking the shirt and breaking the hanger.* Somehow, those kinds of outward, melodramatic responses would keep me in a bad mood for such a long time.
YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT DUMB!?
I gave Satan a little victory every time. #regerts
After I realized how much my outward responses affected my mood, I experimented by not responding so harshly the next time a small annoyance like that happened, and let me tell you…it made the biggest difference! I know it may sound weird, but try to play off those little frustrations. It’s almost like within those three seconds, you have to trick your mind into thinking that whatever ~it~ is, isn’t a big deal at all. I’m telling you—it works!
It’s completely fine to have off days and be in an ill mood; however, it’s not okay if that mood becomes part of your everyday life. If you evaluate yourself and find that you’ve been wasting time stuck with a bad attitude, implement these tips and commit to doing them! It takes practice, so if you slip up here or there, that’s okay. Just keep working on it!
These tips are intended to create self-awareness ,which will ultimately lead to better reactions and an improved attitude!