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Why a bad mood ?

A bad mood is not only emo­tion­al­ly and phys­i­cal­ly exhaust­ing for the per­son affect­ed, but also for those in the imme­di­ate envi­ron­ment
It can lead to unnec­es­sary con­flicts and also have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on the mood of oth­ers, because, accord­ing to Charles Dick­ens, bad moods are also very contagious!
But what does it mean to be in a bad mood? Or rather, what infor­ma­tion can we draw from it? 
A bad mood is a neg­a­tive feel­ing that all of us know. A cer­tain sit­u­a­tion or oth­er top­ics that acute­ly bur­den us, as well as unspo­ken dis­crep­an­cies, lead to neg­a­tive feel­ings and thus have a sig­nif­i­cant effect on our own mood. This can already be trig­gered by very unim­por­tant, small incon­ve­niences. A series of annoy­ing lit­tle things can cause a bad mood. 


You know those days when every­thing just goes wrong? 

You spill cof­fee on your blouse in the morn­ing, miss the bus because of it, and then your gloat­ing col­league crit­i­cis­es you for it. Some­times noth­ing works out and it real­ly spoils our mood. But this can of course also affect more far-reach­ing areas of life: For exam­ple, an unspo­ken prob­lem or an argu­ment with a fam­i­ly mem­ber can cause you to get in a bad mood right away just think­ing about the per­son or know­ing that you will see each oth­er the next day. Pro­fes­sion­al­ly, a lack of appre­ci­a­tion can trig­ger a bad mood in you when you get up in the morn­ing because you have to expose your­self to this envi­ron­ment again at work. You slave away and accu­mu­late over­time, but don’t get the recog­ni­tion or grat­i­tude you deserve. In friend­ships, slan­der or a stu­pid remark from a friend can also have a strong influ­ence on your mood. This is also where the big prob­lem lies, because far too often we let exter­nal cir­cum­stances, that we can­not change, influ­ence our own feelings. 

If we refer to anthro­pol­o­gist Paul Ekman’s 6 main emo­tions (anger, fear, dis­gust, sad­ness, dis­gust, sur­prise, joy, a sev­enth is often added and that is con­tempt), bad mood belongs to sad­ness. This is because you are sad about a sit­u­a­tion because you tend to have no influ­ence on it or can­not see a direct way out. 

This then express­es itself in a bad mood, or anger, which is main­ly expressed out­ward­ly. Aggres­sion towards third par­ties (i.e. not towards the per­son or thing that is the cause of the bad mood) is a mis­placed reac­tion (pro­jec­tion) in such a moment, which is usu­al­ly met with rejec­tion. This then caus­es an addi­tion­al con­flict and thus only makes the sit­u­a­tion unnec­es­sar­i­ly more difficult. 


So why do we do even this to our­selves, or is a bad mood not com­plete­ly superfluous?

No, on the con­trary! A bad mood brings an impulse! It is there to change and adapt to the sit­u­a­tion! How exactly? 

By caus­ing this unpleas­ant feel­ing to arise in you, you auto­mat­i­cal­ly think of the problem(s). As a reac­tion, the fol­low­ing thoughts come up: “I don’t want to do this any more, or I have to get out of the unpleas­ant sit­u­a­tion.” These ini­tial thoughts then lead to actu­al­ly tak­ing the time to deal with the prob­lem. This can lead to a with­drawal from friends or col­leagues in your imme­di­ate envi­ron­ment who con­stant­ly make stu­pid remarks or loud­ly crit­i­cise you. Or you final­ly tack­le the post­poned con­flict res­o­lu­tion with a fam­i­ly mem­ber. All this in order to main­tain your own men­tal peace


What should you NOT do in such cases?

Ignore it! In order to over­come the bad mood in the long term, it is bet­ter not to ignore it. You should allow it the space to “make itself heard”, to express itself and to be recog­nised. Because that’s where the impor­tant infor­ma­tion is hid­den that helps you find a solu­tion to final­ly over­come the bad mood. If you ignore or sup­press it, the cause is not elim­i­nat­ed and the small­est trig­ger can make every­thing come up again.

How­ev­er, there are many sit­u­a­tions in which a bad mood does not change the per­ceived unpleas­ant­ness. Such sit­u­a­tions are, for exam­ple, a series of chain reac­tions that ulti­mate­ly lead to you being late for work, to return to the exam­ple from the begin­ning. But here, too, you should think about why you let such sup­posed triv­i­al­i­ties upset you so much again and again. Fear of get­ting into trou­ble at work and being fired? Wor­ried about no longer being liked by your col­leagues? Maybe there is an unre­solved prob­lem deep inside you that makes every lit­tle thing grow into a big moun­tain of frustration.

In the end, how­ev­er, it is always impor­tant to find a solu­tion, to look at the prob­lem and think about it in order to change your own state of mind and behav­iour in the future. 

The neg­a­tive emo­tions that arise in these moments are there­fore good! Because they want to make you aware that you can change some­thing, that you should change some­thing or maybe even that some­thing has to be changed!


What is the first step to under­stand the cause better?

The impor­tant thing is to under­stand why you are in a bad mood in the first place and then iden­ti­fy the prob­lem. Like a lit­tle detec­tive, you should start your own search by lis­ten­ing very care­ful­ly to the feel­ing and find­ing out when and why it comes up in you. This will point you in the right direc­tion. You should always be hon­est with your­self (and oth­ers), because only then can you real­ly change some­thing in the long term.

Are you in a bad mood because you missed the bus, or is the cause of this over­re­ac­tion buried some­where else? You can also ask your­self ques­tions direct­ly, such as: 

Is it relat­ed to a par­tic­u­lar person?

Is it relat­ed to work? 
Am I tired?
Am I hungry?
Am I stressed because I work too much and have too lit­tle time for myself?
How do I feel in my body?
How do the things I used to enjoy feel? 
Do I still have fun at my work place and in my every­day life?

And so on and so forth…


Once you have found out the cause, you should look more close­ly at the issue, change things, seek dis­cus­sions with oth­ers affect­ed, or get sup­port to solve the prob­lem if a sit­u­a­tion or cer­tain aspects of every­day life no longer make you happy.

It is also impor­tant to recog­nise your own needs and to remain true to them. In the end, they always show you the right way and lead you to the solu­tion.


Every­one has dif­fer­ent strate­gies for deal­ing with stress­ful and annoy­ing situations.

Do you know yours? What are they? What do you do when you are in a bad mood? Share with us your tips and tricks for when you are in a bad mood. 

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