How to Improve Your Mood in a Hurry
One week not long ago, I found myself busier than normal and unable to do my daily workouts. I didn’t worry because I knew I would get back to my routine the following week. But something “strange” happened to me.
The last time I ran on my treadmill had been Friday; five days later, I was not my typical self. You could ask my husband! Nothing that he said or did was “good enough.” Something had come over me. One day a stranger at the grocery store said, “You look exhausted.” I wasn’t sure how to respond.
I seemed to unload all my frustrations on my loved ones. Before getting home I would do some positive self-talk: “Count your blessings. You have a wonderful husband. There is no reason to snarl at him for insignificant things. Be positive!” I would get home and — bam! — my volcano erupted.
In my private practice I’ve met parents who tearfully tell me they feel as if their children are abusing them emotionally. I tell them, their children’s behavior may not be acceptable, but they are the closest person in their children’s lives. By default, they will vent their emotions on their parents. However, there are no excuses for negative behaviors. I usually help the children and parents with this problem. But now I seem afflicted with the same difficulty. I could not snap out of it. Fortunately, my husband never asked me to do that.
One day, I finally realized what was wrong — I was missing my main outlet. A few extra events had taken me off my exercise routine I’ve been doing for years. The next day, I decided I would do whatever it took to squeeze my workout back in my schedule. I woke up early, stretched, plugged in my running music, and jumped on the treadmill. When I reached mile three, I was on cloud 9 and was able to finish five miles.
The physical activity I was used to doing was missing, and the effects were clear. It had not been the first time, though. The previous year, I had family in town and for one reason or another I was not able to run for two weeks. By the time they left, I just wanted to sleep and found myself being depressed.
It took the second time for me to recognize that without my workouts, my mood suffers significantly. I discovered that I simply cannot afford to miss my workouts.
The research has been there for years, but we often dismiss it when life gets too busy. Unless you notice a drastic change in your mood like I did, you may not think it’s a big deal. However, daily physical exercise is essential to our overall health.