Anger is a natural part of life, but it can be all too easy to get lost in frustrations and annoyances that keep you in a foul mood throughout your day. When you’re in a bad mood, it’s easy to lose sight of your daily tasks, make mistakes, reach for unhealthy vices, and make quick decisions that have a lasting negative impact on your life. Being in a persistently bad mood can also damage your health, since rage can cause your blood pressure to spike and trigger other stress responses in the body.
Instead of letting a case of the grumps get the best of you, arm yourself with these helpful strategies for busting a bad mood in an instant so that you can move on with your day in good spirits and good health:
Take a snack break
You might find that it’s easier to become annoyed when you haven’t eaten in a while. If you know that you are prone to becoming hangry, keep healthy snacks in your desk, purse, or computer bag. That way, when you need to snack your way out of a bad mood, you can reach for healthy, brain-boosting options like a handful of almonds, orange slices, avocado, or hummus. You might also make a habit of eating fish and seafood more often, because it will provide you with more DHA, which can boost serotonin and dopamine in the brain for lasting good vibes.
Go to bed
Sleep deprivation is a common cause behind irritability and sluggishness, so you might try to schedule a nap if can’t get back on track from a bad day. If your partner is around, you can also head to bed for more intimate activities, which can raise oxytocin levels to combat the stress hormone cortisol. Sexual activity actually works in two ways to improve your mood—physical closeness encourages a good mood leading up to and following climax, which itself will prompt a surge of oxytocin.
Call a friend
Intimate relationships aren’t the only interactions that can boost your mood. When you spend time socializing with friends, you might feel more relaxed and comforted. In fact, studies have shown that the happiest people tend to use socialization as a buffer for negative life events, so try calling a friend the next time you feel anger or stress building up.
Music can have a profound impact on your mood, especially when you listen to familiar and beloved tunes that have positive associations for you. Rocking out to your favorite song is one of the quickest ways to turn your mood around, especially if you let loose and sing along or dance to shake some of your anger out. Research has also indicated that hypnotic instrumental or electronic music can improve your mood by centering your focus and creating a sense of calm.
Let the anger out
Though it might seem easiest to suppress negative feelings and simply try to ignore your bad mood, you could be doing damage to your mental and physical health by bottling up your feelings. When something is really bothering you, it can be most helpful to address the anger head on. Find a space where you can yell, swear, or simply speak your mind. Even without anyone listening, it can be a relief to vocalize your anger and move on. Plus, studies have indicated that people who freely use profanity are better able to cope with pain, which may mean that cursing can help relieve stress.
Watch a funny video
Laughter really can be the best medicine, so don’t hesitate to load a funny video when you need to break your bad mood. The internet holds a bounty of standup comedy, funny pet videos, and hilarious parodies, so you can always find something to put a smile on your face even on your worst days.
You don’t have to suffer with a bad mood for long, and you don’t have to let yourself be sick because you can’t make it to the doctor’s office. MeMD can make your life a little easier with online medical consultations to get you back to full health without disrupting your schedule.