Despite what popular self help gurus may propagate, even extremely positive people get into bad moods. It’s true! I’ve been mentored by some pretty awesome people and I’ve seen them when they’re up and down.
For you bad moods may be the result of the stresses of work in your life. Or you may not have gotten enough sleep. Or maybe somebody said something that activated a wound deep within you and you can’t seem to let it go. Whatever it was the strategies applied are universal.
This past weekend I raced the shortest triathlon of my life and minutes after the gun went off, I kinda expressed one of my bad moods. Truly it doesn’t matter what the source of the trigger is, you feel a certain crappy emotion and you’re looking to get out of it as efficiently and quickly as possible. If not we may react from this darker place and say or do things that we truly don’t mean.
So after getting a few consecutive elbows to the head during the open water swim of this race, I was like, “What the F#%K” to the guy next to me. My first response was lunge over with a swift elbow back into his face, but that would not be the most conscious choice, would it???
Instead I created some space from him and took some deep breaths. Yet it still set me off and put me into a bad mood. So I had to dig into my tool bag of strategies to get out of a funk, otherwise this great experience and day could’ve been lost.
1. Get Over Bad Moods – Be Honest
I was pissed off! I got 3 consecutive fists to the back off my head in the first few minutes of the swim. After I’d created some space from this dude, I was still pissed. So rather than trying to pretend that all was well within me, I channeled the emotions into a stronger, faster swim stroke. (FYI, I also let out about 100 “F” bombs in the water, good thing nobody heard eh!).
You have the right to express all 4600 human emotions. Because if you repress, you will digress. Just be sure to not have a target for those emotions. Jump in the ocean like me, go for a drive or find an empty room and go express them.
2. Get Over Bad Moods – Once I…. I’ll feel awesome!
This is a favourite one for me. It presupposes that once something is complete you’ll be good to go. I kept telling myself during the swim that “once I’m out of this freezing ocean I’ll feel awesome”.
Sitting around is for potatoes! So get up and do something and complete the sentence above filling it in with your activity. For you this may be going for a walk, listening to music, dancing or doing some form of exercise. Personally I LOVE training and think exercise is a strong one as its sets dormant emotions into emotions. (Remember, Emotions = Energy + Motion). Cool!
3. Get Over Bad Moods – Tell Yourself a New Story
OK, so I exit the water and notice that I truly had a subpar swim. Damn, now I’m in a funk again. So I fly out of transition and decide to ride the 16.5 miles (26.5 km) as fast as I possibly could. My new story was that I was a rocket ship blasting past people. I’ve never been a strong cyclist, yet I was riding past people like they were parked… Yippie!
It’s so easy for all of us to dwell on a crappy story. Instead you can shelf the old story (for me a crappy swim) and create a new story (rocket man). In this new story make sure not a victim and step into your power. Because dwelling over old stuff is like paying interest on loans that you’ve already paid off.
4. Get Over Bad Moods – Control the Monkeys
So I get off the bike and I truly rocked it, it was a top 20 bike split… : ) I have an equally fast transition and am out on the 3 mile (5 km) run. I was running very hard and my body was screaming at me to stop. It felt like a full on sprint. Here came another form of “bad moods”, a mind full of chattering monkeys.
My mind is the king of monkey chatter. And I’ve been working on it for 20+ years. SO be patient with yourself on this one. Know that mind chatter is not you. Similar to your hand, foot or arm. These are “parts” of you, but they are not you. You are an infinite, omnipotent and powerful being. You are not a bunch of chatter, that’s just your good’ol Ego.
On this run I harnessed the energy of the powerful trees, sun and ocean around me. We are of the earth and the earth is of us. I slay the monkeys in my head by connecting to who I truly am. It’s all an exercise in reframing.
So the next time the chatter’s high, try getting outside and harnessing the power of nature, it’s the most powerful resource we have.
What are your strategies for getting out of bad moods?
To Your Mastery,
PS: Here’s a little Vid my buddy Ryan from www.dirtyrunners.com filmed. Check this site out, it’s awesome! FYI, I finished the race in 17th place overall and 6th in my age group. This wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t get control of my emotions and kick “bad moods”.