Are you generally happy with your mood? Or are you (and everyone around you!) a prisoner of your feelings? Learn an easy strategy to help you take back control and improve your relationships.
We all have our off days. But if it feels like you have more off days than ‘on’ ones, or the impact of your moods are damaging your relationships with yourself and others, it’s time to take control.
Because, as much as it may not feel like it at times, we do have control over how we feel and act as a result. And to help you recognise this, Wendy Bateman from Choose U shares an easy strategy to take back control of your mood (and minimise the damage of it) that works for her.
I completely overreacted to my son
Just the other day, I completely overreacted to something my son said. I can’t even remember what it was but I went off on some tirade about him only thinking about himself and being selfish.
Now I have calmed down, I can rationalise and see that this is just how most teenagers are. But at the time it was huge and I was really making a mountain out of a molehill.
When he’d gone to bed, I sat down and considered what happened. And I felt guilty because I had vented my negative mood and frustrations of my day onto him. Its wasn’t fair, as he hadn’t really done anything different from the norm – that day he’d just found himself in the firing line.
Fortunately my son is a forgiving person and it was like water from a ducks back, but I did say sorry and I told him I was wrong to take it out on him.
How many of us can relate to this scenario? Do you feel your frame of mind sometimes has a negative effect on the people around you – work colleagues, employees, family and friends?
So I asked myself ‘How can I get better at managing my moods’? How we react to situations has a great effect on the people around us. I spend my days helping both individuals and teams to do just this, and then forget to practice what I preach!
Some people don’t care if they upset others with their moods, and go through life oblivious. But if you ever have that feeling of regret and want more insight into this, then it’s time to take positive action!
How to take back control of your mood
The key to enjoying better relationships with everyone in your life, is learning how to take back control of your mood. And to help me, I developed an easy strategy to follow. Here it is – I hope it helps you too:
- Be aware of how you feel – and if you feel anxious or annoyed, stop and think.
- Ask yourself, ‘What mood am I in and how do I feel today?’
- If the answer is a low, negative mood, try some of my mood-lifting habits (below).
- Explain to the people around you how you feel and that it’s ‘me not you’.
- Try to put situations into perspective and rationalise them.
- If you find yourself getting frustrated or wound up, remove yourself from the situation.
- Ask for help if you need it before you reach boiling point!
- Be kind to yourself (and others). Everyone has their off days.
- Apologise to people if you need to, once you’ve calmed down.
It’s also important to be accountable. Accept that you have the power, and ultimately you are responsible for your mood state and your frame of mind. The way you think is under your control and you can take positive actions to improve it.
We all have days when we’re not feeling 100%. You may just wake up in a bad mood, or have one of those days when it feels like nothing goes your way.
To help shift you to a more positive frame of mind on these days, here are some mood-lifting habits that work for me:
- Do some exercise.
- Seek out some fun and laughter (YouTube, positive people, Chris Evans’ breakfast show).
- Phone a friend and meet them for a coffee.
- Listen to some music.
- Meditate or do something relaxing.
- Think of something positive that happened to you in the week and remember it.
- List the things you have to be grateful for.
- Plan something you love doing in the week and give yourself something to look forward to.
(You can also read Katie Phillip’s five-part guide to improving your energy and mood.)
‘It’s not that easy for me!’
Hopefully you might be reading this and thinking, ‘I could be better too’. You might however be thinking, ‘What does she know about the pressure and stress I am under? It isn’t that easy for me!’
My response is that none of this is easy. I often fall into the trap of negativity and don’t even realise it. But when I do, having a strategy like this to follow at least gives me tools I can use to help pull me out of it – which is easier some days than others!
I suppose that is why I am writing this, firstly, to remind myself that I can do something about it, and secondly in the hope that it might help you too.
Wendy is an experienced teacher, personal trainer and NLP coach and owner of Choose U, a unique personal development and confidence building programme for groups of women in Manchester and Cheshire.Wendy Bateman