to Shake Off a Bad Mood
know how it feels to be stuck in a bad mood. Sometimes there is a
biological component to our bad mood, hormonally driven, lack of sleep,
poor eating habits or too many stimulants. Some moods emanate from
home, an angry argument. And others seem to have no specific trigger,
out of nowhere a darker veil descends. Research from the University
of Pennsylvania by Professor Sigal Barsade may explain: Bad moods
clarifies that you unconsciously mimic the people around you. If someone
in your midst is negative, speaks loudly with an edge, or is tapping
his foot impatiently, you will absorb that mood. As a result you will
feel more irritable, less compromising and more likely to yell at
someone or send that hostile email you wished you had never sent.
if you are infected by someone elses bad mood and dont
even know it, what can you do to get over it?
cultivating an awareness of other peoples body language, tone
of voice and word choice. When you are near someone who is frowning,
how do you feel? Practice developing a radar for peoples energy.
Self-awareness will break it.
be afraid to shed other peoples toxicity by distancing yourself,
especially if you are in eye contact which can become hypnotic.
After all, you are careful about eating foods with pesticides and
artificial ingredients, why should toxic people be different?
it away! While you move away from negativity, keep on walking to
get rid of the anxiety and uneasiness. Exercise will rebalance your
neural circuitry and change your mood. Meditation, watching a comedy
or calling up a positive friend will also positively change brain
bad moods are not created equal.
If your bad mood is in response to someone elses, thats
easier to shake off. However, if you are in a negative loop and cant
stop worrying and focus on what you have to do, then you have to seriously
de-activate the bad thought by logically exposing the distortion.
you are furious that your husband Jack is very late and has kept you
waiting at the restaurant. You are caught up in the loop that he is
inconsiderate and selfish. You cant believe that you could have
married such a man. In the past when Jack finally arrived, you would
have eaten your dinner together silently and angrily. You would have
glared at Jack all the way home in the car and gone to bed facing
if you deactivate this thought with: I prefer that Jack isnt
late. But thats not how Jack behaves. Who ever said that Jack
has to live according to the rules of my universe? Im sure there
are some qualities I have that irk him too. We are not clones. Besides
he isnt just late for me, hes always late. Thats
just the way he gets caught up in what he is doing and loses track
of time. I used to find that adorable. Soon Jack arrives apologizing
profusely, yet you smile lovingly. Boy, is he ever surprised!
time you are in a bad mood, ask yourself: is it you or them?
Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for
Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational
speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Southampton
College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light
Show on WHLI 1100AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness
newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To
learn more visit
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