Friday, October 13, 2006

Mood busters

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Not that I believe in reincarnation but, if I did, I think I must have been this little guy in a previous life. According to my nearest and dearest, I'm currently 'Grumpy by Name' and most definitely 'Grumpy by Nature'. Nice. *huff*

A thesis due in the next two weeks, three other papers to write up and an unpredictable stomach that frankly would get me barred from any polite company. Apparently I'm no fun to be around. What's worse is that this is really all of my own making....the workload, the gut trouble.

I'm blaming the room painting I mentioned in an earlier post. The choice of colour 'Sourdough' somehow translated to maybe just a slice or two of the real thing wouldn't really be that catastrophic. Yep, I guess I'm still in denial over that one.

I'm notoriously poor when coping with my own bad mood. I ruminate, I mull things over and over......I stage a 'take no prisoners raid' on the fridge.

The turning point for me always comes when I become aware that my mood is impacting on others. While, like everyone else, I'm entitled to feel a little off from time to time, it makes it worse for me when I know I'm affecting other people.

For me, there are a number of things that help lift my mood:

Distraction. A funny movie is good. It has to be tried and tested, a scene where I cannot help but fall about laughing, no matter how bad I feel. Poor Steve Carell trying to read the news in 'Bruce Almighty', the big chase in 'What's Up Doc?', poor Jeff Daniels and his turbolax in 'Dumb and Dumber' (us Brits and our potty humour) - all these do it for me.

Staying in the present. I'm very good at doing the 'what if this, then that, then this'' thing. Before long, I've already extrapolated my current situation to a totally implausible, future event. While I'm worrying about what I might wear when I venture into space with Richard Branson (never going to happen), I'm probably missing finding a solution to my current situation.

Calling a friend. Of course, if he or she has a bad attack of the grumps too, we're both stuffed!

Truth is there are all kinds of strategies for dealing with bad mood. Other suggestions include:

Helping someone else. By helping someone, attention gets focused elsewhere and may allow a reevaluation of the real importance of personal concerns.

Turning off the negative dialogue. Not always easy when that inner critic is letting loose. The suggestion is that if the inner critic is saying "You're work isn't good enough", it should be answered back with disputing statements as to why, in fact, it is. "My thesis is good", "my thesis is good", "my thesis......." I'll get back to you on that one.

Trying something new. Sometimes bad mood can reflect a feeling of being in a rut (or reading the same paper for the thirtieth time).

Writing a blog entry. Ha, semi-kidding on that one, although, strangely, I do feel better!

Anyone got any useful mood busting strategies? First person to say "chocolate" gets a virtual rap on the knuckles!


fjl said...

Staying in the present is always hardest! :-)

Anonymous said...

Nice post here. Everyone needs to be reminded of how to stay focused and calm. When I am feeling stressed, I enjoy cleaning my house, lighting some candles, and reading an interesting book (although my interesting books still tend to deal with psychology).

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

You will kick butt getting these things all together. I have no doubt!!!

jumpinginpuddles said...

dip and chips and twiggy slalmi are great for stress release ;)

Moof said...

A nice cold beer and some cheetos!

(and ch*c*late!)

... :: hides her knuckles :: ...


healthpsych said...

Hey FJL,
A serial daydreamer, that's me. :0

Hey Little Student,
I heard cleaning was a good distraction. In that case, my house should be spotless...*cough*

Hey Deborah,
Such a kind comment, as always!

Hey JIP,
Sounds very good to me....I'll see if I have any left in the 'fridge...

Hey Moof, Naughty Moof. You typed the ch*co**te word! I'm blaming you..... :)

tkj said...

Sometimes, when nobody is around, I dress my cat up in some ludicrous outfit and am grateful for the fact that no matter how bad life gets, I at least have control over making myself look stupid;)

healthpsych said...

That's a novel idea for stress management! My cat Clio happens to be the same size as my daughter's teddy so she gets to wear the teddy's clothes including a Harry Potter outfit. She doesn't seem to mind.

Miette said...

Let's see, this is my forte right now!

I dyed my hair and tried several new styling products.

I've been playing a lot of Carcassonne with my husband.

Reading some shameless catty celebrity gossip at or always lightens my mood!

The rest is mostly procrastination... my drawers and closets are now completely organised by clothing type (I haven't gone far enough to sub-organize types into colors!).