Change Your Bad Mood in 5 Minutes

Screen shot 2012-10-09 at 9.25.08 AM

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tips, the one day a week when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense useful, actionable and empowering tips!

Nothing’s worse than feeling like you’re swimming in a sea of negativity.  Sometimes a bad mood can spiral into a black hole.  But what if you were equipped with a set of tools that could transition you from bad mood to a state of neutrality almost instantly?

Here are 5 ways to trigger what I call a pattern interrupt in less than 5 minutes.  I challenge you to try this exercise and follow the steps exactly the next time you feel low. Watch how your bad mood is replaced with a feeling of calm:

1. Set your intention by repeating the following statement: “There is nothing to be done in this moment about this situation so I am doing the only thing that’s within my power: I’m changing my state of mind.”

2. Remove yourself from the room. Go somewhere else. If you’re home, go into an unoccupied room. If you’re at work, excuse yourself and go into the stairwell. If you’re in a restaurant, excuse yourself and go into the bathroom. Get privacy, and prepare to alter your state.

3. Set your cell phone for a 2-minute alarm. The moment that alarm is set, engage in extremely challenging exercise. The easiest way to do this is by running up and down stairs, so if you’re in that stairwell, start running up, then down, then up again, until that 2 minute alarm goes off. If you’re at home, hit the floor and start doing pushups to failure. When your arms are so weak that they cannot hold you up, flip on our back and start doing crunches. Stop at 2 minutes.  If you’re in a public bathroom, lean against the stall and start doing pushups against the wall (you’ll probably have to continue for 4 minutes to get to the level of exhaustion I’m talking about).

4. Get yourself a glass of ice cold water and down it like you used to down beer in college. The colder the better. Don’t worry about your esophagus. 1 glass of cold water isn’t going to kill you, but your body's physical reaction to stress might.

5. As your breathing begins to slow down to normal, congratulate yourself on a job well done. You’ll notice that you’re feeling calm, clear and in control. Change your activity from the one that you were engaging just before you began this exercise. Make a phone call that will change your focus. And relax. You’ve just mastered your emotions, possibly for the first time, but definitely not the last.