Chill Out! How to Shake Your Bad Mood at Work

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Bad day at the officeYou just can’t be Suzy Sunshine everyday at work. And there are days, admit it, when you are just grumpy. But bringing the grump into the office is not a good thing.

“There are so many reasons to keep one’s bad mood in check. It brings down morale. Negativity can be contagious! Before you know it, everyone in the office will be bitching and moaning about how they hate everything and everyone. This can be distracting. Who can concentrate in the company of misery?” explains licensed therapist Keeley Teemsma. “Your bad mood may lead others to leave you alone, making it difficult to accomplish work assignments completed in a timely fashion or at the best quality possible.”

But it’s no wonder employees get in a bad mood from time to time. “Are you, like many American workers, overworking? Tethered to your smartphone for work emails? On call 24/7?” asks work/life balance and stress management expert Joffrey S. Suprina, professor at Argosy University. “You are likely experiencing a common challenge in our society–stress.”

And obviously, stress greatly affects your mood–at home and on the job.

“Myriad studies have linked stress with psychological and physical disease and even death. There are two different types of stress: Acute and chronic. Acute stress is any single traumatic event such as an accident, losing one’s job, divorce, etc. Although a challenge, we are often better at addressing acute stress than its sibling, chronic stress,” notes Suprina.

She continues, ”For most workers in our society, the bigger challenge is chronic stress: the constant demand from a full email inbox that never seems to diminish or files piling up on your desktop. Such stressors can put workers in a bad mood and be best understood from a perceived demand versus perceived resources perspective. If the perceived demand on our resources (e.g. time, energy, talents) exceeds our perceived resources, we feel stress. If that demand continues for any length of time, it can push us into crisis. Once it continues long enough or exceeds our resources high enough, we can experience trauma.”

Still, no matter the causes of your bad mood when it comes to work, you need to keep it in check. Here are some tips to shake your bad vibes at work:

–Stop thinking it’s all about you. Though it may seem like you’re the only one who counts when you are in a bad mood, but you must remember the world doesn’t revolve you–especially at world.  “Understand that if you think your job sucks, your boss’ job probably sucks, too. Its rare that a boss doesn’t have a boss. So if your boss is making outrageous demands it might not completely be their fault,” Teemsma points out.

–Take a walk outside, if possible. Some fresh air will help change your attitude and give you a moment to breathe away from the rush of the office. Also, find ways to unwind and relax before and after work–be it exercise or medications. “Relax and unwind everyday without exception. Take breaks when needed; be sure to actually leave your work ,” says Teemsma “ and meditation, for example, are healthy ways of relaxing. Avoid indulging on alcohol, as hangovers will probably make you feel and act more negatively. Avoid working from home before or after work, if possible. If you’re able to use sick time, take a mental health day.”

–Listen to some music. Of course you need to use your ear buds as not to disturb your co-workers, but a little music can totally change your mood.

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