In my ongoing efforts to hack my mood, I recently had the opportunity to sit in on my own internal monologue and review it objectively. A whiney whimpery little voice had replaced my usual commanding baritone James Earl Jones esque narration (Hey it’s my internal monologue, I’ll make it sound however I like). I almost punched myself it sounded so annoying. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time I had heard this voice. He seems to show up at fairly predictable intervals. Intervals that I discovered, are usually within my control.
Let’s face it, if you’re human, there are going to be times when you’re normally sunny disposition gets left on the wrong side of the bed in a pile of wrinkled clothes. I’ve been guilty of this more times than I’d like to admit in this blog post, and as those who know me can attest, it not a pretty sight. None of the things that follow are meant be an excuse for bad behavior but rather a chance to understand exactly how to avoid this mindset in the future. I simply find it’s easier to be the best version of myself when these things are stacked in my favor, and since they’re in my control most of the time, why not? I’ve worked hard over the course of the last decade to understand this, and found that when it’s within my control, a bad mood swing is usually caused by 1 of only 4 things. Sure, when you’re grumpy it’s sometimes hard to admit this to yourself but none the less…
How I look when I’m cranky
1) Fooood…..(That’s supposed to read “food” but with some extra oooo’s for your amusement. No charge for the extra vowels) is what your body uses to regulate your blood sugar. I’m not diabetic but have become very aware of my nutrition uptake requirements because my body won’t let me ignore it. If I go too long without eating or I don’t get the right nutrition (Protein, carbs, etc.), like all humans, I get punchy, spastic, impulsive, and my ability to focus just goes out the window. Do you find yourself irritable at a specific time? After e Do you find yourself irritable at a specific time? After excise? An hour after you wake up? Try eating some quality food with plenty of protein and see if it has an effect. Don’t just try it once. Try it for a week and see what you think. This will allow you to draw more accurate conclusions.
2) Water…Do you know that foggy feeling when you’re mind feels like it’s in a haze that you can’t seem to shake? Well if you’ve ruled out the possibility that you’re hung over or hungry, it may be that you are simply dehydrated. This seems to hit me hardest as the seasons change, the air gets drier, and I tend to lose more water to evaporation than I’m aware.
3) Sleep…Sleep is the fountain of restoration. While you’re sleeping your body is creating most the testosterone, serotonin, and growth hormone, that it will use for the whole day. You’re also developing much of what your brain, immune system, and appetite systems will use for energy and function. A lack of sleep can have such a dramatic effect on your outlook that it sometimes makes the difference of you feeling empowered and optimistic, or more like a disempowered victim whose life has no hope. Fear not though, you can flip that script just by getting a few extra Z’s per night.
4) Temperature. One day several summers ago, I was hanging out with a group of friends at their house when I noticed that everyone, myself included started to get a little snappy with each other. Knowing each of these people fairly well, I knew this wasn’t their normal disposition. Something had called us to this same mental place, at the same time, on the same….you get the idea. We were all wearing a severe case of cranky pants syndrome. Turns out summer had snuck up on us and we were a little overheated. 30 minutes later, with the help of a modern invention called air conditioning we were back to normal. I live in a desert and temperatures frequently get between 105 and 114 degrees in the summer.
Once you’re back on the right side of the bed, check out these ideas for some simple life pleasures to increase your happiness this weekend.