If you’re sad and you know it: 5 ways to get out of a bad mood NOW!

Salaamz

WARNING: I  overdosed on Pinterest Quotes for this post.

My love for Pinterest is no secret. On several occasions I’ve referred to Pinterest as my bestie and here’s why: no matter what I need, Pinterest has all the answers.

Sometimes I don’t even know what it is that I’m feeling or thinking but Pinterest does. I’ve had so many “OMG! Yes!” moments while browsing through the Pinterest feed.

Lately my Pinterest board “So true!” has been over flowing with  self-help, anti- anxiety and optimism quotes. It’s reflective of my life: I’ve been having a few bad days. Though I know my bad days are due to the fact that I am super disorganized since the school year started, I have sprayed those negative feelings over my entire life.

Bad Days

We all have them. At one point or another we perceive the bad parts of our life as out weighing the good parts and then succumb to the bad days.

One of the worst types of bad days are the unreasonable ones. The ones where you just KNOW you’re blowing things out of proportion or making things worse but you  can’t help it. Those days are the worst because you can’t get away from your perpetrator since you are the perpetrator.

Some days you don’t have the time or drugs to hold your hand and guide you through the war zone that happens to be your day. Every moment is another opportunity to step on a land mine. It’s a luxury to be able to retreat and hide from the world under your blankets. Unfortunately, most of the time you have to continue on with your day, going through the motions while you try to not make it worse.

No matter what type of bad day you’re having or the source of your sadness, you can improve your mood and put the brakes on this train wreck waiting to happen. Obviously clinical depression requires professional help and attention; May Allah SWT make it easy for those tested with it .

True Story

Yesterday was a bad day. Not bad as in bad things happened; bad like my brain insisted on anchoring me to negative events.

Quote from PINTEREST: be nice to yourself

Quote from PINTEREST: be nice to yourself

One of those days when your inner critic manifests into an outright hateful enemy. Not only does your mind wander down Negative Memory Lane, but your tour guide for the day is Self Loathing Me, ever so quick to point out why bad things always happen to you and always will.
Even as I tried to go on with my day, all my thoughts had a negative twist to them. It was especially frustrating because I am well aware of the implications of negative thinking; everything is only going to get worse.
The good news is that my bad day had a good ending because I used some of the five ways to a better mood that I’m going to share with you.

Optimist in Training

As I’ve listed in the bios for my social media accounts, I am an optimist in training. As hard as it is to admit, I think I might be a pessimist by nature. However, as a believer in fluid learning and the fact that anyone can be anything they choose , I am forever training to strengthen my optimist muscles.

 

Thinking about over thinking

Quote from PINTEREST:Best use of imagination

Quote from PINTEREST:Best use of imagination

Another not so fun fact about me is that I can’t stop thinking. No matter what the situation, my mind will continuously think about approximately 652 things at the same time.

When I was younger, I couldn’t help but add and subtract phone numbers, license plates or any number I saw –  it actually became torturous. I used to have to shield my eyes from numbers. Unfortunately it was a useless talent; I didn’t exactly become a mathematician. Overtime I replaced numbers with memories and over thought about those instead.
Constant thinking coupled with pessimistic tendencies is a recipe for anxiety.  Once I get into a ‘bad mood’,I can’t stop dwelling on situations, imaginary scenarios, future plans, never-ending to do lists, ‘what ifs’ and ‘should have’s’. I think the worst part is over analyzing situations. Ugh, I know it’s useless and detrimental to my health but sometimes I. Just. Can’t. Stop.

Quote from Pinterst: foolish man

Quote from Pinterest: foolish man

Since today’s post is on bad days I’m dwelling on the con’s of my mind and not the pro’s. I’m pretty sure I’m coming across as a dark, pessimistic and depressed person. I’M NOT! Sometimes I do morph into that person but generally life is good Allhumdullillah!

Long story short, my mind is my frenemy. A helpful friend one second and a staunch enemy the next.

Since I have been riding this roller coaster from the day I was born, I’ve developed some coping mechanisms which I would like to share with you. You don’t need any special equipment or lots of time, these ways (listed in no particular order) can be practiced anywhere, anytime. You might feel better after practicing one of the ways or might need to go through all five.Trust me your bad day will be gone!

 

 

Five Ways to get out of a Bad Mood Now!

1. Divide and conquer.

Break the problem/bad day/horrible life in to mini challenges/tasks. Everything is a sum of its parts. Taking your problems apart into smaller problems not only makes them less intimidating but helps you identify the appropriate solutions. Ask yourself, what exactly are you upset about? Avoid making generalized statements such as ‘ my life sucks’; what do you wish was different about your life?

Example: I’m the worst mother in the world

Challenge: I need to practice strategies that prevent me from losing my patience so I can stop yelling at my kids.

2.It could be worse.

As Muslims we’re told to compare our life with someone who has less than us (material goods, blessings) but compare our faith/iman with someone who has more than us.

Example: If you’re feeling bad about the size of your apartment ever since the Khan’s  bought a new mansion , you should remember those who stand in line at the food bank. You actually should feel bad that your friend has memorized yet another Juz while you haven’t even attempted a Surah in years.

3.When you’re lying in your grave will this matter?

Chances are it won’t. Unless you’re heart broken over the salah you skipped or the sins you committed; your problems really aren’t ‘problems’ in the grand scheme of things.
Example: you or a loved one are suffering from a devastating illness. Obviously it’s upsetting (to say the least) but when you are lying in your grave waiting to be judged by Your Lord, that illness might even be something you’re grateful for. It’s your sins or missed opportunities to do good deeds that will occupy your thoughts. This step is by far my favourite. I find that it helps me ‘snap out of’ a bad mood.

4.Play the Grateful Game:

Ned Flanders (Image from christiantoday.com)

Ned Flanders (Image from christiantoday.com)

Though I feel like Ned Flanders when I tell my husband to ‘play the grateful game’, I never regret it. I promise you it’s worth it. Many times when we’re upset over a particular situation or life in general, we challenge each other to list ten things we are grateful for. My over thinking brain really comes in handy when thinking of unique things I’m grateful for.  As cheesy as it sounds , it works! Not only are you reminding yourself that life isn’t all that bad, you are actually engaging in a most loved act of worship. Being grateful is an integral part of Islam.

 

5. Duah:

Why do we forget that we are not alone? That Allah SWT is always watching over us and LOVES it when we ask for help. Most importantly, the moment we truly understand what Allah SWT is capable of, our stress and anxiety should melt away. Before Shaytaan consumes your thoughts with worry and anxiety, you should quickly say the duah:

duah for calamity (Image from islamicreflections1.wordpress.com)

duah for calamity (Image from islamicreflections1.wordpress.com)

Many people feel like it’s a bit extreme to recite this duah because it’s the same duah recited when someone dies. But it is the duah recommended for calamities and it really puts everything in perspective.

So there you have it, five tried, tested and true ways to get out of a bad mood now.

What are some ways that work for you? I would love to hear about your coping strategies.

 

Chai later,

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27 Comments on If you’re sad and you know it: 5 ways to get out of a bad mood NOW!

  1. Razia Ismail
    September 21, 2015 at 12:49 am (2 years ago)

    Masha Allah.. Alhumdulilah.. Another very amazing post..I have been actually having these very weird negative thoughts..worse case scenarios.. Causing my stress levels to peak for no apparent reason..if my husband and children leave home..I think accident..hijacking..stuff like that..but alhumdulilah I found engaging in ibadat helps..reminding yourself that Allah swt knows best!!!
    Jzkallah for all the helpful tips..

    Reply
    • Sahar
      October 6, 2015 at 7:02 am (2 years ago)

      Awww thanks Razia (so nice to have you back 🙂 )
      The worst part about imagining these horrible scenarios is that our bodies respond as if they actually happened!Great tip..these thoughts are usually from Shaytaan, ibadah is the perfect repellent!

      Reply
  2. Suhaila
    September 21, 2015 at 12:40 pm (2 years ago)

    MashaAllah, love this post. I’m definitely guilty of over thinking things. I love how you mentioned to say “inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon” – I do that when I find myself over thinking things. It helps a lot to realize that in the end we all return to Allah, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Another good one is hasbiAllahu wa ni’mal wakeel 🙂

    Reply
    • Sahar
      October 6, 2015 at 7:14 am (2 years ago)

      Salaamz Suhaila
      oh yeah! good one..I forgot about that one.
      Crazy how much power words have,,, not just the ajar part for reciting them but the constant repetition of an idea on our tongues and mind. Eventually the messsage sinks in..it’s not that big of a deal.

      Reply
  3. Umme Hafsa
    September 21, 2015 at 1:28 pm (2 years ago)

    I can relate to this post so much. Trust me – your not alone! The first tip of divide and conquer and playing the grateful game has helped me so much. I’ve realised that once you get into the habit of busting out of these negative moods,it becomes much easier to overcome it the next time round. Another things that helped me is giving myself a time period to feel the pain/sadness/moodiness/etc. and once that time is over, to pick myself up and get on with life. It doesn’t always happen like that but Alhumdulilah it helps 🙂

    Reply
    • Sahar
      October 6, 2015 at 7:23 am (2 years ago)

      Allhumdullillah, it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one! That’s an excellent tip Masha’Allah!When we try to force ourselves’to snap out of it’ we only add pressure and more negative feelings to an already lousy situation. That moment of accepting the bad times for what they are is such a good way to deal with the problem- thank you for sharing!

      Reply
  4. Zainab Dokrat
    September 21, 2015 at 1:33 pm (2 years ago)

    I was having such a bad day and I was feeling down. This post really helped me jazakallah. I would suggest checking out this book its called “don’t be sad” its a great read also.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      October 6, 2015 at 7:30 am (2 years ago)

      Aww no way! I’m so happy that this post helped 🙂
      I actually have that book!..it was one of the first presents my husband gave me..I was afraid it was some form of foreshadowing..lol

      Reply
  5. Ayesha B
    September 22, 2015 at 7:03 am (2 years ago)

    Absolutely loveddd this! I too am an overthinking, pessimist-by-nature but optimist-in-training, and alhamdulillah I’ve come far! Some of these strategies are exactly what I’ve tried over the years and alhamdulillah the results speak for themselves. Subscribed to the weekly cup of chai 🙂

    Reply
    • Sahar
      October 6, 2015 at 7:34 am (2 years ago)

      Welcome to my blog Ayesha.
      yaaay..I’m so touched that you loved this and that we’re so similar!
      It’s definitely alot of practicing to become an optimist until one day it’s a habit Insha’Allah.
      Awesome! Looking forward to having chai with you 🙂

      Reply
  6. Ruku
    September 22, 2015 at 9:55 am (2 years ago)

    Thank you for the list of tips! What helped me most of my duaa – every time something bothered me about my current situation and if I remembered to pray for contentedness, I feel like the weight has been lifted sA.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      October 6, 2015 at 7:40 am (2 years ago)

      You’re most welcome!
      dua..you’re so right..most of eventually get around to dua but those of us that immediately start with dua are the those that handle our problems the best. Thank you for the reminder

      Reply
  7. Foz
    September 22, 2015 at 4:37 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh gosh you sound like me…when I am in a bad mood I overthink things too! Some great advice on how to get out of a bad mood!

    Reply
    • Sahar
      October 6, 2015 at 7:46 am (2 years ago)

      Allhumdullillah one of the best things to come out of this post is learning that many others think like me ..Insha’Allah we will all become optimists. Ameen

      Reply
  8. Karima
    September 22, 2015 at 5:50 pm (2 years ago)

    Lovely post. I love Pinterest too but have cut back spending too much time on it.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      October 6, 2015 at 7:47 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you.
      yes..it can be very addictive!

      Reply
  9. Britdeshimummy
    September 24, 2015 at 8:52 pm (2 years ago)

    What a great reminder! We need to learn to be content

    Reply
    • Sahar
      October 6, 2015 at 7:48 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you..yes I believe it’s the secret to happiness. Content no matter what

      Reply
  10. Zeinab Al-Hussaini
    September 26, 2015 at 7:57 am (2 years ago)

    I’ve actually been quite down these past days myself, and I must say that post really does cheer me up. I thought I was being negative and just didn’t was to do anything, but was forced to go to school etc. Lovely post.

    xoxo
    Zeinab

    Reply
  11. Sara
    September 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm (2 years ago)

    I go through these negative periods too but next time I will pull myself together and follow this great advice Insha Allah

    Reply
  12. Anggarani Ahliah Citra
    September 27, 2015 at 8:02 pm (2 years ago)

    I have bad day too, sometimes.

    And i keep dua when i finish praying every day.

    And writing too. With writing i can forget my bad day.

    Reply
  13. random bytes
    September 28, 2015 at 1:21 am (2 years ago)

    Love the post idea! Everyone has bad days in life and to overcome them with patience is the biggest test of our lives.

    Reply
  14. Najmah
    September 29, 2015 at 5:50 am (2 years ago)

    I also find everything I need from Pinterest! Motivation, information, etc are all there. Glad you find it a source of great quotes too. Your reminders are perfect for me at the moment. I really need these! Thanks.

    Reply
  15. aussiepursuit
    September 30, 2015 at 6:30 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks for this post. What I need on most bad days is a proper sleep. When I wake up things usually look much better alhamdulillaah 🙂

    Reply
  16. Sarah
    September 30, 2015 at 8:15 am (2 years ago)

    Sahar, this is truly a wonderful and very thought provoking post that all can really benefit from. Mash’Allah, thanks for this. Sometimes, we don’t even realize when we’ve become ungrateful until you experience or see someone else in a very difficult situation.

    Secondly, you are not a pessimistic person at all in my opinion. You’re constantly looking for the good in people and situations. For that, I love you!

    Reply
  17. Zara
    January 4, 2016 at 1:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Masha’Allah love this post <3

    Reply

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