If you notice you’re in a depressed mood, don’t give in to the urge to figure out why. Obsessive thinking about the reasons for a bad mood is known to psychologists as rumination, and is one of the main drivers of serious depression. Looking for the reasons for a bad mood keeps you focused on the negatives and it keeps you passive. Not only will looking for reasons for your bad mood keep you focused on negatives but your mind is creative, it will come up with entirely new reasons to feel bad.
Instead, ask yourself what can I do now to make things better. This question shifts your focus away from the things which are upsetting you towards the possibility of improving your situation. Just the shift from reasons to actions will start improving your mood, the link between depressed moods and passive inaction is well known at this point. Additionally, now you’ve unleashed the creativity of your brain in a more useful direction.
So let’s say you have noticed you are in a depressed mood and asked yourself what can I do, here’s some suggestions to get you started:
Check your posture. Chances are your shoulders are rolled forward and your head stooped down. Break this pattern. Raise your head, roll your shoulders back, open your chest and take a deep breath.
Check your surroundings. Are you in a dark stuffy room by yourself? If any of that is true, change it. Turn the lights up and open a door or window to air it out. Consider finding someone else to spend some time with.
Check your motion. Have you been lying or sitting still for an extended period of time? Get up and do something physical. Even just going for a twenty minute walk will make a world of difference.