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