Posted by Nicole on March 10, 2014

Sometimes, a change in mood can happen without warning. All it takes is a comment, a new task at work, an interaction with a friend, or even just a moment of quiet contemplation to raise or lower your mood seemingly without any explanation. It can be difficult to know when and where these moments happen in life, because they're almost always based on a chain of prior events we may not even be aware of. One comment from a person may just be a string of other comments that have effected us in the past, but that single moment pulls the others forward right along with it.

The challenge that comes with our moods, as human beings, is that we are also creatures of habit. It can be far too easy to get stuck in a cycle where fatigue, poor mood, lack of sleep, or irritability just become a natural part of our day. While there are factors that can influence these conditions that are far too numerous to list in this article alone, there are also small, fast ways that we can improve our mood. You will find most involve something that may seem “crazy.” Believe it or not, it's that quality that makes them effective.

The Comfort of Discomfort

One of the biggest offenders in a series of bad mood events is simply the fact that they're cyclical. We participate in an event which causes a bad mood, and then we carry that bad mood to the next event, which makes that into a negative moment as well. With these “tricks,” you may be able to break the chain simply through the sheer force of injecting new memories and experiences into the equation.

  • Change your route. Don't panic, it's just this once. Whether you're on your way to work, or you're heading to school, take an alternative path. If you don't know one, learn one. If you're really feeling adventurous and have the time to spare, improvise. New surroundings can give you a new perspective. They can show you parts of your town that you may not have seen in a long time, or may have never seen at all. They can show you new shops, greenery, and new angles. The simple act of changing your usual route to or from a frequent location can do much more to shake you from a slump than you realize.

  • Change your diet. We're not suggesting anything dramatic, and again, this only has to be a one time affair, but try a food you've never had before. That includes cultural cuisine; ever had Ethiopian cooking? Now might be the best time to try some. Like changing your route, changing your diet can shuffle your perspective and provide you with brand new sensory input, giving your mind a richer vocabulary through which it can express itself. You may also get some nutrients that have been missing from your diet, like magnesium and iron, both of which can help to regulate your mood.

This is just a sample of what you can change. Try changing one article of clothing to another style, your morning ritual, or even the hand that you use when you brush your teeth, and you may find that you'll be more mentally engaged, and more receptive to positive thoughts.