THERE ARE SOME PRETTY SURPRISING THINGS THAT CAUSE OUR SUDDEN BAD MOOD, AND SOMETIMES WE DON’T EVEN REALIZE IT’S HAPPENING.
Sure, we go though ups and downs, good moods turn into bad ones and come back around on a daily basis. We ride the wave of emotions like an expert surfer, transitioning with ease through the highs and lows, and gently coasting along our journey.
But have you ever thought about what might be triggering those low moments? Maybe your stuck behind the person with a million items in their trolley, in the only open check-out lane, and you’re in a hurry. That would probably cause some frustration and could possibly ruin your mood for a while- especially if you end up being late and your plans have to change. Yet, that’s not quite what we’re talking about here.
Minor inconveniences aside, there are a few things that will turn that good mood of yours into a bad one, and some of them may surprise you.
1. SPENDING TIME WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE.
It sounds rather obvious, but a lot of the time we don’t truly understand the affect negative people have on our lives. Hanging around them makes it near-impossible to maintain a positive attitude, and the conversations are usually very draining. The worst part about this? When you spend too much time around a negative person, their words start to echo in your mind and you end up becoming the very thing you wanted to avoid.
By all means, if you can inspire these negative types to be better people and live better lives, go for it. But remember that it’s important to take care of yourself too, and that means protecting your good mood and your sanity.
2. LOOKING AT A SCREEN BEFORE BED.
Any screen- television, tablet, smartphone, laptop- it affects your mood if you’re looking at it before bed.
According to research from Harvard University, blue light (which is all of those devices listed) at night has a detrimental affect on our health, mood, and general well-being. Blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin- the hormone that influences circadian rhythms. Stephen Lockley, a Harvard sleep researcher, says “Even dim light can interfere with a person’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion. A mere eight lux—a level of brightness exceeded by most table lamps and about twice that of a night light—has an effect.” He goes on to say, “Light at night is part of the reason so many people don’t get enough sleep, and researchers have linked short sleep to increased risk for depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.”
The solution? Avoid looking at bright screens beginning 2-3 hours before bed. Also, get plenty of natural bright light during the day. This will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during the day.
3. WATCHING THE NEWS TOO OFTEN.
Looking for a way to get a weeks worth of negativity and sadness in a 30 minute segment? Be sure to catch your nightly news program.
The main reason people watch the news is to see what is going on in the world, or near them locally. The thing is, the ratio of good-feeling news to stuff that makes you want to curl up in a ball screaming “Why???”, is greatly outnumbered- there’s simply more attention on the negative. Not only does this change your perception of the world and those in it, but it changes them for the worse. Don’t let the news ruin your view. Get out there and see how amazing this planet is for yourself.
4. NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP.
It can be fun to hang out with your friends and stay up until the wee hours of the morning, as long as it doesn’t become a habit. The vast majority of us do not get nearly enough rest, and this is the number one cause of a bad mood. Not only that, but it’s the leading contributor to health problems for adults.
Dr. Amie Gordon tells Psychology Today, “research suggests that sleep deprivation enhances negative mood due to increased amygdala activity (a brain structure integral to experiences of negative emotions such as anger and rage) and a disconnect between the amygdale and the area of the brain that regulates its functions. In other words: sleep loss leads to increased negative mood, and decreased ability to regulate that anger.”
5. EATING FOODS THAT YOU REACT POORLY TO.
There may be some tasty recipes your grandmother passed down to you, or maybe you have a favourite dish on the menu at the seafood restaurant down the street, but if you notice yourself in a crappy mood afterwards, you might be having a food reaction. Or as I like to call it, a food-mood reaction. Keep a food diary with you if you notice your mood changing and you find yourself feeling irritable for no reason. Note what you ate and your current mood, followed by how you feel 20-30 minutes later. This will help you identify which foods to avoid.
As a side note, some foods contain tryptophan, which produces serotonin in the brain. WebMd mentions this as well by saying, “serotonin, known as a mood regulator, is made naturally in the brain from tryptophan with some help from the B vitamins. Foods thought to increase serotonin levels in the brain include fish and vitamin D.”
6. BEING COMFORTABLE WITH STAGNATION.
A sure-fire way to become engulfed in negativity, is to find comfort and solace in stagnation.
We need growth. We need hope. We need challenges. When we don’t have these things, our lives become mundane and we start to lose motivation. With motivation lost, there is no hope, and without hope there can’t be any growth.
DON’T LET YOURSELF GET STUCK IN A RUT AND DECIDE TO BUILD A HOME THERE- YOU’RE LIFE IS WORTH MORE THAN MEDIOCRITY.
Source: Unified Soul Theory