We all have those days when we just wake up “in a funk” or “on the wrong side of the bed.” We’ve come up with cute phrases and sayings to describe this experience as if those cute sayings make it less stressful when our emotions are hard to manage. But using a cute expression is not a justification for an “off” day. As adults, we still have to function well at our jobs or offices, we have tasks still to complete, and the world goes on around us. So how can we manage our emotions on days like those?
Let me first say that if the problem is ongoing or life-threatening, there is no question that you need to seek medical advice. When I refer to managing emotions, I am referring to the type of emotional adjustments that allow us to have positive interactions in the world around us just as we otherwise would on a more normal day. That type of emotional control can be helped along by a few simple strategies.
First, have a key word that you keep in mind. Before you respond or act, ask yourself if your response or action is going to meet that standard. For instance, one of my children had more of these “morning moods” than my other children. On occasion, this child would speak or act in anger when anger wasn’t warranted. As a family, and with her consent, we determined a key word that this child could use to measure her responses and actions against. In this case, the word was “gentle.” With her permission, anyone in the family could remind her to “be gentle” and that helped her to control her emotions. Over time, she did not need the reminder and she had learned to overcome the “blue mood” on her own.
Another trick on those days is to dress up a bit. Somehow, dressing up seems to make us feel better right away. Wear the favorite philadelphia phillies hoodies or dress that you know you look good in, or the one that fits just so, in a way to make you feel better right away. It’s hard to be “in a huff” when you’re looking good!
Another strategy, not quite as portable as the first two unless you have a good pitch, is to have a favorite song on your music play list. It needs to be a song that always makes you sing along when you hear it. You may have had one come to mind as soon as you read that. That’s the kind of song that can help to change your mood, even if you have to listen to it twenty times in a row! Sing, sing out loud, and let your mood be shifted along the way.
You can also do similar things with books or activities that you enjoy. Reread a portion of a favorite novel or take a few minutes to do something that you truly enjoy – drawing, gardening, playing with your pets. Anything that you love can be a great antidote for “a sour day.”
Managing emotions of this type is simply a matter of making the decision to take control. Control the things that you can, add in a few personalized favorites, and see if your emotions don’t improve, moving you towards “cloud 9.”
write by ross