LIFE

How To Talk Yourself Out Of Your Bad Mood

You can do it, grumpy gills.

05/07/2016 11:42 AM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:56
Gary Cameron / Reuters
Grumpy Obama is grumpy.

Wake up on the wrong side of the bed? We've all been there.

Even the most chipper of chippy people aren't immune to a bad mood. While sometimes, it's tempting to wallow in the grumpiness (after all, it's your party and you can cry if you want to), other times it might be worthwhile trying to drag yourself out of your funk and get on with it.

The real question is, is it possible?

"There is a link between our thoughts and feelings," Anna Frayne, research assistant and clinical psychologist at the Black Dog Institute told The Huffington Post Australia.

"Our thoughts and beliefs about an event influence our emotions and actions. With practice, it is possible to challenge and change unhelpful thoughts."

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Okay... but how?

"Firstly, it is important to become aware of what you are thinking, what you are saying to yourself," Frayne said.

"Once you become aware of your thoughts you can ask yourself some of the following questions: 'What is the evidence that my thoughts are true?' 'Is there any evidence that disproves my thoughts or beliefs?' 'Is there another way I could view this situation?' 'What would I say to a friend in this situation?'

"You could also ask yourself: 'Are there facts that I'm ignoring or I've overlooked?' 'Realistically, what is the likelihood of that happening?'

"Mindfulness techniques can also help you to change your relationship to your thoughts. By learning to observe your thoughts, non-judgmentally and in the present moment, you are able to respond with greater freedom and clarity, rather than acting out of habitual patterns."

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Bad days happen to everyone... even gibbons.

Of course, it's worthwhile pointing out there is a massive difference between a bad mood and a depressive episode. So while you might be able to coax yourself out of a case of Mondayitis, the same cannot be said for someone with depression. This is a fundamentally important point to make, as too often those with the illness are told to 'cheer up' or 'get over it', when in actual fact it's not anywhere near that simple.

"Everyone is different and it is often a combination of biological and psychological factors that can contribute to developing depression," Frayne said.

"Depression usually results from a combination of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors, rather than one immediate issue or event. It's important to remember that you can't always identify the cause of depression. The most important thing is to recognise the signs and symptoms and seek support.

"It is not simply a matter of being able to talk yourself out of a depressive episode. Depending on the severity and cause of depression, different treatment methods may be recommended. With the support of a mental health practitioner you may learn strategies to relate differently to your thoughts."

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Note: depression is not the same as getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

So, overall, is it possible to talk yourself out of a bad mood?

Yes, it is. So the next time you're down in the dumps, consider Frayne's advice or test out one of these tried-and-tested mood boosting activities to help turn that frown upside down. (Sorry, but we had to.)

However, if your mood state is severe, it lasts for two weeks or more or it interferes with your ability to function at home or at work, you might want seek the advice of a professional.

"If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of depression, seek professional support," Frayne said. "A good place to start is to make an appointment to see your GP. Don't attempt to 'handle' depression on your own."

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondBlue on 1300 224 636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

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