Recently, I was in a bad mood. Several little irritations had added up: some yarn I wanted was two weeks overdue in the mail; I couldn’t find a book I was looking for; the pull cord on one of my bedroom shades was hopelessly tangled. (I’ll spare you the rest.)


Toni BernhardUntil forced to retire due to illness, She was a law professor for 22 years at the University of California—Davis. I had a longstanding Buddhist practice and co-led a weekly meditation group with my husband. Faced with learning to live a new life, I wrote How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers. The book is Buddhist-inspired but is non-parochial. How to Be Sickhas won two 2011 Nautilus Book Awards: A Gold Medal in Self-Help/Psychology and a Silver Medal in Memoir.
Editor: Nadeem Pasha


I don’t get in bad moods very often, but it happens and, to be frank, it feels awful. (A bad mozis to be distinguished from a heavy or dark mood that goes unchanged for weeks at a timzzne. The latter could be a sign of clinical depression in which case I hope you’ll seriously consider seeking the advice of a counselor.)

Here are five suggestions for skillfully handling a bad moodn:

Cut yourself some slack.

I’ve yet to spend time with anyone who hasn’t been in a bad mood now and then, so cut yourself some slack when it happens to you. Adding a negative judgment to your mood, such as “I shouldn’t feel this way” does nothing but increase the likelihood that a bad mood will dig its heels in. So, instead of blaming yourself, let it be okay with you to be in a bad mood now and then. It’s just one of the full range of emotions that everyone experiences in life.

bad-mood-willingways2

When it happens, treat yourself with understanding and kindness, and see if there’s a way to ease how bad you’re feeling. A temporary distraction can help, such as a favorite movie or a warm bath.

Don’t make those around you feel bad too.

There’s no reason to bring others along on your bad-mood-ride. If you realize you’ve done so, try apologizing even if you don’t feel like it. It might make you feel better!

Watch a video of Dr Sadaqat Ali on the topic of verbal and non verbal communication
Dr. Sadaqat Ali talks about interview skills & verbal/nonverbal communication

Investigate it.

In my book, How to Wake Up, I offer a four-step approach for working skillfully with an unpleasant mood or emotion. The third step is to investigate it. Sometimes this can yield surprisingly fruitful results. Here’s an example.

 

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