Before I get into the post… sorry I’ve been so quiet. I’ve been setting up my new business at safiatou.com! I’d love you wonderful people, who have nurtured me along for the last couple of years to come find me there and connect on social media. I genuinely would never have branched out like this if it weren’t for WordPress Land and the confidence it gave me.
We all do it, we all slump sometimes. All of us experience highs and all of us experience lows, such is the human condition. And as the emotions course through our veins, some of them we let go and some of them we send round and around our bodies until they set a mood. A chemical designed to ebb and flow for a matter of minutes becomes something that can stop us in our tracks. I am: frustrated | tired | off-centre | furious | bored | wired |etc are all states in which we can marinade and stagnate for hours. And then, to top it all off, sometimes our conscience, our light dares to nudge us and say, ‘sort it out,’ which never helps a bad mood!
“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?”
― Mary Manin Morrissey
So, when we catch a second and realise we are spiralling our way down, how do we clamber back up? Here are some ways:
1. Still the mind.
Have you ever noticed that when you are in a bad mood, suddenly you decide that things on your to-do list have to be done NOW? Or that thing you are struggling with has to be beaten NOW? They’re all awesome distractions for you to not process the emotion, its discomfort, and its root cause. Once you give yourself time to get still and listen to what’s actually sitting at the foundation of your bad mood, you can work on its solution. Plus, you have the added bonus of not bodging jobs around the house whilst you try to do them in a rage.
2. Breathe, breathe, breathe.
Most of the bad moods we experience brings stress. Now stress can bring us focus and a sense of certainty (an overly-defined view of WHO I AM) and it’s very compelling for that reason. But a slightly raised pulse, flushed face with blood getting muscles ready to fight or flee, and all the rest of it is simply going to drain you. Long, slow deep breaths tell your body you’re not under threat. With a more relaxed body, your brain can entertain more creative thoughts. Your world can open back up.
3. Move it.
Just as long deep breaths undoes your stress responses, so too can the right kind of exercise. Moving moderately reminds your body that you are not facing down a life or death situation right now, and triggers chemicals such as dopamine (the ‘reward’ chemical) or serotonin (responsible in part for regulating mood, sleep and appetite). Think of it as moving your issues from your tissues (not my line, unfortunately).
4. Get perspective.
Get outside. Inside you are as closed in physically as you are mentally. Get outside to breathe in fresh air, see new horizons, connect back to people and the bigger picture. There are studies on the impact of open vistas on the psyche, from ocean views to rolling hills, so fight the instinct to hibernate and head outside, even if it’s alone. (I had a favourite spot in the Ashdown Forest when I was in the UK, a favourite bench by the beach in the Shire, NSW – you’ll find what works for you).
5. Be sociable.
When you are in any kind of pain: physical, mental, emotional, the walls tend to come up. You want to retreat and shy away, after all, you’re tired and vulnerable. Your ego tells you no-one wants to see you when you’re like this. Your heart knows your friends would love a chance to be there for you. We are social creatures who find immense strength in being connected to the right people. So call your best friend over, or agree to meet them for a walk (hitting points 2 & 3 whilst you’re at it), and chat. Hint: if you spend the entire time entertaining your bad mood, you may as well have not done anything at all. If you’re going to vent, set a timer on it then change the topic.
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
― Lyndon B. Johnson
So when you’re tired, fed up, frustrated, annoyed…whatever it is… don’t stop there! Do something off the list, get yourself to a better place THEN rest where you can be more comfortable. Doesn’t that make more sense?