I am not sure I would.
First of all, bad moods are awfully fun for my inner brat and chicken. They are like a form of mini-tantrum and mini-tantrums can be mini-releases. Secondly, I learn a lot from my bad moods, at least when I do a good job inspecting them, which is what I will recommend here. Probably there is no use wishing for the magic button, because bad moods will come from time to time, but I’d like to offer some suggestions, from my experience with hundreds of clients and myself, for curing them when they do come and getting the most out of them.
For those of you wishing I were perfect, stop reading. I’m not and I like to share about it.
When I am cranky, I use a Handel Method® technique called “purging.” I write out or call in (to a loving third party/coach) an unedited rant about everything in my head. This is an amazing practice and shows me what I am dealing with. Then I deconstruct my purge using the complementary technique called “talk back.” I find excuses, bad logic, fears, brattiness, broken promises and bad traits at play; sometimes I also find unresolved conversations and incidents waiting for my attention. The talk back gives me a list of corrective actions to take, having cleared out the excuses, bad logic and brattiness. Then I can see what my REAL issues are and get to work.
Because the purge and talk back techniques present your issues clearly, you can pull out the main themes of what upsets you. Mine are:
Theme 1: Something is out of integrity. I have said I would do something and haven’t, or I intended to be loving with someone and I wasn’t and it’s now niggling.
Antidote: Confess the breach of promise or intention to affected parties, pay the consequence or make amends and set up a new promise to prevent that failure from happening again.
Theme 2: Someone is upset with me or I am upset with someone.
Antidote: Request a conversation with that person. Recall to myself why I care about our relationship and write up the points I want to make. If I am really upset, I may also need my coach to help me see my role in the problem so I can fully own it (gotta be graceful to have the conversation go well) before telling the person what I think doesn’t work about them.
Theme 3: I am scared of something coming up and I didn’t know I was (until I wrote the purge).
Antidote: Tell people I am scared, especially those I want to impress, not in a dramatic way, just simply feeling and dealing with the short term, pesky emotion of fear. If I am just still and do not over dramatize my fear, it is very survivable and quickly turns to pride over facing something that seems big. If what I am afraid of is a presentation or filming or similar, then practicing and preparing for it helps, too.
Now figure out your usual bugaboos. What’s behind your bad moods? You, too, can find your triggers and antidotes (or use mine!). A purge and talk back are great, but here’s a cheat sheet so you can find yours and cure yourself quick!
Find your real issue. When you are in a bad mood, ask yourself, “Where am I out of integrity in my life?” Use these questions to check in with yourself:
- What haven’t I said or done that I know I should?
- What actions are off?
- What thoughts are off?
- What haven’t I communicated?
- Am I mad at anyone or is anyone mad at me?
- Am I afraid about anything? Have I admitted it?
Find what to DO about it. Always ask yourself what action(s) would make you feel better. For example:
- Throw out the bag of cookies.
- Communicate something you have been hiding or afraid to tell.
- Call your boss and tell her the project will be late and give the new date that it will be done.
- Apologize for your part in what went wrong.
Use your bad moods to learn what you can do (and there is always something) to make yourself feel better. Learning how to restore your integrity is powerful and the ultimate cure for bad moods and mini-tantrums!
P.S.- If tough conversations are your big bugaboo, come to the teleseminar on just that topic, Thurs, Apr 5, 12-1pm ET. Use promo code TDL10ATC to get The Art of Tough Conversations for only $10! (This teleseminar will be recorded and available to pre-registered participants.)
Laurie Gerber is President of Handel Group® Life Coaching, an international coaching company, which specializes in teaching individuals to take focused and powerful action in every area of their lives. You can connect with Laurie on Facebook at HG Life Coaching.