How to Beat Your Bad Mood NOW

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(Photo: iStock)

It’s natural to feel down some times or super angry about things, but there are ways to work around these bad moods and not have it ruin your day. Whether it’s a lingering indicator of depression or a temporary frustration, don’t crawl back into bed — and most of all, don’t sport an Oscar the Grouch attitude. Get back to your happy place and nip those bad moods in the bud with these quick pick-me-ups.

Tea Time
Filled with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, we all know that tea is good for you, but did you know it has a significant effect on mood? A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests tea provides a slew of benefits that include relaxation, concentration, performance, and creativity. From green tea to rooibos, scientists have found that theanine, an amino acid found in tea can act as an antidepressant and natural-stress reliever. This organic compound affects serotonin and dopamine in the brain — the neurotransmitters that boost calm and happy feelings.

Hang Out With Happy People
Scientific American reports the moods of others may be as easy to catch as germs. Known as an emotional contagion, the mood’s infectious nature amplifies when individuals are in frequent contact with one another. As an easy remedy, the more you hang out with happy people, the better you feel. Research from over the years shows the sound of other people’s laughter can actually trigger a smile response. This response not only produces serotonin and endorphins, those feel good hormones that make us happy, but it’s associated with feel good properties.

Memory Lane
Put down that bottle of wine and those bars of chocolate! While indulging might have you feeling better after a bad mood, it’s not productive to your mental health and physical well-being.  While a British study discovered looking through photo albums of friends and family helps bust a bad mood, the University of Portsmouth found looking back at old Facebook photos can promote a self-soothing feeling. As a form of “Reminiscent Therapy,” (RT) this popular method is used to promote a more positive mood and well-being, while reducing that overwhelming sense of loneliness when feeling low.

Count Your Blessings
Gratitude through serenity is the key to busting a bad mood. In an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being, Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough discovered if we express gratitude through daily habits, we can boost our mood instantly. Furthermore, if we train ourselves regularly to be more optimistic and thankful, it becomes habitual and aids easily during rocky times.

Nature Walks
It might seem simple, but heading outside can do wonders for a bad mood. Heriot-Watt University in England found strolling through green spaces and sunlight not only reduces pressure, but can help balance melatonin—the hormone responsible for mood and energy. Forested environments not only promote lower levels of cortisol, but lower pulse rate and blood pressure. And because fresh air helps us balance our thoughts, University of Rochester professor Richard Ryan suggests nature is the fuel for our soul. 

Hug it Out!
Man was built for interaction, so when in a bad mood — hug it out. Whether it’s holding hands or rubbing your partner’s back, any kind of touch can increase oxytocin also known as those warm and fuzzy feels. The University of North Carolina found women who hug their husbands more than once a day actually have lower blood pressure than those who don’t hug. Since lower blood pressure is better than high, doctors believe a bad mood can keep your body on constant alert which strains overall health.

Play Some Music and Dance
Exercise boosts levels of serotonin, but let’s face it — that’s not enough to get us into the gym. The British Journal of Sports Medicine found by busting a move to bust a mood, you can reduce feelings of depression and anger. Additionally, whether it’s country, rock or hip-hop, Penn-State University found listening to any kind of music can actually reduce negative emotions and intensify positive ones. So what are you waiting for? Get up and dance your bad mood away.