I really appreciated a 2014 blog post by Guy Winch (a Ph.D. graduate and licensed psychologist) that helps people figure out what is causing their bad mood. Bad moods are apparently commonly related to one of these 10 causes: Guilt, Small rejections, Outstanding tasks, Brooding, Low self-esteem, Fearing failure, Feeling disconnected, Unexpected disruptions out of your control, Hunger and Exhaustion. Knowing what is causing a bad mood can make it easier and faster to get out of it.
Knowing the reason is of course only the beginning, and the next step can be easier or more challenging. Some of the ideas for dealing with guilt, hunger, exhaustion and low self-esteem seemed to me to be in the ‘easier’ category:
1. Guilt – take some time to think of a way to apologise in a really meaningful way; and then do the apology well.
2. Hunger – have a snack (a healthy snack would make sense, otherwise weight gain or health issues could impact self-esteem one day)
3. Exhaustion – Rest. If needed, rid your life of some responsibilities to get the rest you need. The trick is of course to do this without feeling guilty; but guilt has been covered already. Rest and sleep are absolutely essential to good health, good mood and creativity.
4. Low self-esteem – Think of it as a low self-esteem day; just like a bad hair day. And when you notice low self esteem creeping into your day, do something you are good at. Do it whenever you can fit it in that day. It can be something that takes an hour or more, like a work-out (which also releases those feel-good endorphins), or something that takes only minutes, like changing into clothes that you feel good in, or making a phone call to organise to attend something you’ll look forward to, or speak to someone who truly appreciates you and makes you feel good about who you are.
Being constantly in a bad mood may be a reason to seek help from a GP, psychologist, psychiatrist or a natural therapist. A good book written by someone qualified or experienced on the topic, trying natural or other therapies, a change to your diet, or a change to other parts of your lifestyle may equally be helpful. Some of the options may not be accessible right away if they cost significant ongoing money or are time-consuming, That is why any useful free advice on the internet can be valuable; and that blog really seems to be one of those gems.
Some of the common reasons for a bad mood may be harder to deal with. But if you find yourself in a bad mood, it may be worth reflecting if guilt, hunger, exhaustion, or low self-esteem may be the reason, and knowing there can be some simple ways to deal with these. It may just lift a weight off your shoulders.