Turning Your Mood From Bad to Good
Is today just not going how you wanted it to? Maybe there was no one thing that went specifically wrong, but a million small inconveniences have piled up and suddenly now everything feels like a chore.
Some Christians fall into the trap of thinking that God only cares about the big issues in our lives, and we have to handle the day-to-day stuff on our own. But the truth is God cares about every single thing that goes on in your life, from job losses and health problems all the way to the realization that you forgot to pick up your favorite coffee creamer from the store yesterday.
God will never tell you, “Why are you bringing that up to Me? Don’t you see I have better things to do?” He is delighted to talk with you every time you seek His presence and He will never turn you away. And because He cares about our lives so completely, He has placed principles in His Word that we can apply at any moment to improve our day and boost our mood.
1. Tell God What’s Happening
If you’re in a bad mood, it can be freeing to vent to someone about the day’s annoyances. God is always available to us, day or night, and He wants to hear from us. He sympathizes with our afflictions, no matter how small they may be, and He has given us the Holy Spirit to be our supernatural Comforter. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
When we seek God’s presence even when we’re in a bad mood, our shift in focus to Him over our problems provides a soothing effect. Even just a simple prayer like, “God please give me the patience and strength to get through today,” is all it takes to access the comfort God has promised to give us. Return to Him to get a fresh dose anytime you need it. His supply is limitless and He wants to help!
2. List What You’re Thankful For
Whenever I, or one of my siblings, was in a bad mood growing up, my parents would have us list 5 things we were thankful for. If our attitude didn’t change after the first 5 items, we would be directed to list 5 more. This was repeated until my parents were satisfied that the lesson was learned. Now, when I was a child, I saw this as an annoying practice that disrupted the nice pity party I had been working hard on. As an adult, I see the value in thankfulness. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says,
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
The purpose behind making a thankful list is similar to number 1 – getting your mind off what’s causing your bad mood. It also adds an additional benefit: giving context to the problem. It might feel nice to complain about traffic making you late to pick up the kids to school, which subsequently put them in a bad mood to match yours, but if instead you think about how you and your family have a nice home to sleep in, a delicious meal waiting in the crockpot, and the ability to work from home so you can spend more time with your kids, one inconvenience doesn’t seem so bad.
You can just list things to yourself silently any time you need to take your mind off what’s annoying you and keep listing until your mood changes. Don’t be hesitant to make a long list! We all have plenty to be thankful for, even if we need some reminding sometimes.
3. Take An Audit of Your Thoughts
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a bad mood, but you can’t identify the cause. That means it’s time to do some digging. Emotions don’t come from nowhere – they’re directly linked to your thought life. Take a moment and walk back through your day until you figure what thing, or things, changed your mood. Use your emotions as a key and when you find it, be intentional about processing it.
At least in my own life, I notice that when I dismiss something that’s upsetting me in the moment, it doesn’t go away. It gets bottled up in my heart and bleeds into other areas. I have to go back and work through the original cause of my bad mood before I can move on. God calls us to be diligent in our thought life, as Philippians 4:8 says,
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Putting in the work to weed out bad thoughts and other causes of our bad mood is well worth the effort. We’ll find it much easier to maintain a good mood and be more loving to those around us.
If you’re in a bad mood, one of these 3 methods should be able to help! If you find yourself in a bad mood often, check out our book, Powerful Peace.