16/31 days of madeleine

 

“Have you ever tried to get to your feet with a sprained dignity?”

Once I heard on the radio that it takes like 10 hours to get over a bad mood. I counted how many hours I usually spend awake and realized that unless you woke up in a bad mood, what that number meant was that the way to get over a bad mood was to sleep. Which is true, right?

I used to be especially guilty of holding onto a bad mood. For days. I’m really determined about stupid stuff, like staying angry. Sometimes I stay angry in action even when I’m no longer angry in heart. You know why? It is hard to swallow my pride and say “I am not mad anymore.”

Here are some things I’ve learned about bouncing back from a bad mood:

  • Don’t beat yourself up over your feelings. When we discredit our feelings, it’s easy to feel even worse that we’d ever felt that way. Our feelings hardly ever get us in trouble. Our actions, the response to the feelings, are usually the problem.
  • Verbalize your feelings. Even if you only say it to yourself and even if it is just in your head, when you identify what you are feeling you take “aerpgojiaerpgoiajwefhealvheoiguahreguoie” and turn it into “frustration.” Frustration is so much easier to deal with than aeprojgieaprojgiawperoijgawprejfiweaf. Trust me. I feel aerijgaeorijgreapoijg ALL. THE. TIME.
  • Pray about it. Be honest. Tell God you’re pissed, tell him you are offended… and elaborate. I’m so guilty of saying “I’m mad,” and leaving my prayer at that but continuing to fume in my heart. Dump your burdens on him. He told us to, so it’s okay.
  • Swallow your pride. This is the hardest part. Walking into a room as an angry monster and re-emerging as a calm monster is an exercise in humility. I can’t begin to explain why this is so hard, but it is.
  • Apologize. Don’t apologize for your feelings, mind you. Even if all you did was make things awkward by walking away, apologize for that. By acknowledging that you used to be in a bad mood but that you are over it, you invite everyone to transition back into a peaceful place.
  • Laugh. Laughing will strip away any remnants of the bad mood that may be stuck to you. It’s just as helpful as sleeping, but way more fun. When people laugh with me after I have been upset, it’s like a big group hug where we all breathe in a sigh of relief and say “We made it through.”

To become a person who isn’t held back by bad moods, consistently walk away from them. Your dignity may be sprained for awhile, but it’ll recover and you’ll be better because of it.

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