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Bust Bad Moods!

Learn how to feel better after a bad day.

How to Turn a Bad Mood Around continued...

Move your body. Being physically active -- moving around and playing -- is a great way to get rid of anger and frustration. You could whack tennis balls off the garage door or a wall where you won't break anything, race across the yard, or crank up the tunes and sing and dance until you feel better.  

Escape the situation. It's not always easy to snap out of a bad mood. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to get away from what's upsetting you before the feelings take over. Little brother driving you nuts? Go to another room. Frustrated at football practice? Give yourself a time-out. A friend hurt your feelings? Spend 30 minutes apart so you can talk to her about it later.

Get creative. Pour out your emotions into a journal. Draw a picture that shows how you're feeling. Make a list of things you're thankful for. Pound away on the piano, or act out your feelings in front of a mirror.

Be your own friend. If your friend were feeling bad, what would you say to make him feel better? Once you've figured that out, have a pep talk with yourself and then plan to do something fun that will make you feel better.

Get positive. Negative thoughts like "I'm stupid," "I stink at baseball," and "No one likes me" make your bad mood worse. Instead, think about and write down all of your good qualities. Stumped? Go ask your mom or dad. They're sure to name several things they love about you.

Put on a happy face. "The act of smiling actually tells the brain that you're happy -- so you start to feel happy," says Gonzalez-Ziegler. Hang out with friends and family who make you laugh. Or watch a laugh-out-loud TV show or YouTube video.

Ask for help. If you feel like you're having more gloomy days than sunshine-filled ones, or you have thoughts like, "I wish I'd never been born," please talk to an adult, such as a parent, teacher, coach, clergy person, or school counselor. "You should always ask for help when you feel overwhelmed or like the world's against you," says David Ermer, MD, in Sioux Falls, S.D. "Sometimes, emotions are just too big for one person to manage. With help from someone you trust, you'll feel better."

Reviewed on January 19, 2012