“Bad Mood? ‘SMILE’ Your Way Out of It”

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed?

We all have bad days. Sometimes our day starts on a sour note when we wake up late and have to rush to school or work. From there, daily obligations only seem to push the day tumbling downhill. Mix in stress with ADHD emotional dysregulation, and you have irritability and grumpiness that seem impossible to shake. A bad mood, especially if prolonged, can lead to regretful choices that perpetuate problems and sustain a bad mood.

Some parts of your day are simply out of your control. What is in your control is easing yourself out of a bad mood to make your day go better. Use my “SMILE” method to decrease stress and help you move into a calmer state.

[Get This Free Download: Emotional Regulation & Anger Management Scripts]

How to Get Out of a Bad Mood

Sincere gratitude. Remind yourself of the positive in your life. Think of a person, place, thing, or experience that you truly appreciate. Remember what really matters to you. Consider making visual cues (photos, videos, drawings) to remind you of the things for which you are grateful. When you think of the good that surrounds you (and even get a “smile” out of it), you’ll see that your bad mood is not a constant.

Mindfulness. Give yourself a mental break from a bad mood by practicing mindfulness. Focus on your breathing; notice how the air fills your lungs and how it feels to fully exhale. Notice what your senses are detecting in the moment and name what you hear, see, smell, taste, and touch. Visualize a calm and safe place where you feel happy and content. Taking a minute to slow down and be present can help interrupt negative thought cycles.

Investigate your thoughts. Explore what is really going on that is contributing to your bad mood. What happened? How are you framing the situation? Are your thoughts actually helping or making you feel worse? What could be a more useful approach right now? What do you really need (not want) to help you right now? Answering these questions can help you redirect your thoughts to more effectively work through the bad mood.

Listen to your favorite music. Cue up the songs that lighten your mood. Hum the melody, sing along, and tap your foot to the music. Focus your attention on the rhythm and lyrics that make you feel good. What does the song remind you of? What are positive times that you associate with the music? Let the sounds surround you and lift your spirits.

Exercise. Release some of that bad mood through movement. Get the blood flowing with stretches or calisthenics. Take a walk or go for a jog outside to get fresh air. Try dancing or skipping to lighten your mood in a playful way. Do a laborious chore that requires lots of movement. Exercise can help both your mind and your body get to a better place.

Get Out of a Bad Mood: Next Steps

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