Bad moods are something that happens to everyone. But it is also something I used to really struggle with. Whether I would wake up feeling cranky or be sullen and on edge at the end of a bad day, my reaction was usually to fight those feelings.
I would tell myself to snap out of it or try to pretend nothing was wrong, especially if I was around other people, but this only caused the frustration and sadness I was already feeling to build. I'd end up completely miserable, my stomach or back might even start to hurt and I'd have trouble sleeping that night.
However, once I was willing to accept what was happening and started to look deeper, I was amazed at how much better I felt! While I do believe it's unfair to take your mood out on those around you, I now also believe that fighting against your own feelings does far more harm than good. With a little patience, awareness and an open heart, our bad moods, frustrations and days when we just feel down can provide valuable information and lessons about ourselves.
1. Bad moods can teach us to turn inward
Sitting with difficult or uncomfortable feelings can be difficult and may just feel weird at first. It can seem as though this goes against how we've been taught to behave as most of us spend a lot of time and energy avoiding our negative emotions. But by tuning in instead of away or pushing our feelings down, we can actually calm the storm we are feeling and empower ourselves.
If you can sit and take a few slow, deep breaths, this can bring some immediate calm and relief. Then, just acknowledge how you are feeling to yourself, without judgement or needing to hide anything.
2. Bad moods can tell us what's really going on
What we perceive is happening on the surface and what is going on within our subconscious and even our own bodies can be very different things. Because we are often so busy with work, family and life in general or just busy avoiding these bad feelings, we may not even realize when things are beginning to pile up or overwhelm us. Physical and emotional discomfort is one way our bodies will try to get our attention and bring us back to ourselves.
Maybe we are too run down or over tired and didn't realize it. All the sugar and processed food we've been eating could be catching up with us, making us feel ill. Maybe there are problems with a situation at work or a relationship we've been avoiding. Maybe we just need to be alone for a little while and decompress, take a nap or meditate.
Sitting with our feelings, asking why we feel this way and just listening or observing and then doing what ever we feel our bodies or minds are needing and craving can lead us toward healing.
3. Bad moods can teach us to accept our whole selves
We are all made up of both dark and light, good and bad, beauty and faults. We all have struggles and we are all on a journey to learn from our life, relationships and experiences. Learning to accept and care for our whole selves with loving kindness, even when our bad moods or crabby side is showing, is a great act of self-love. And the move we learn to love and accept ourselves, the more we can love and accept others.
While staying open to the lessons all around us, even a bad mood can bring knowledge, healing and love.
What have you learned from bad moods? Comment below!