Think Positive: Proven Tools for Lifting Out of a Bad Mood
Broad Minded Affective Coping technique is one of many tools for coping with low mood. Affirmations and mindfulness help too.
It might seem in the midst of a bad mood that there’s not much you can do to change it. You feel lousy and the last happy moment you had is hardly at the forefront of your mind. But new research suggests that dwelling on a positive memory can help create feelings of contentment in the present moment, so it might be worth trying to dredge up those pleasant memories of your last trip to the beach.
More specifically, a group of researchers guided participants through an activity called the “social Broad Minded Affective Coping technique” or BMAC. The BMAC method encourages participants to focus on a positive image from a past social experience. According to the study, those who used the BMAC experience saw higher levels of relaxation and feelings of social safety when compared to the control group.
If this study sounds familiar, you might not be surprised to hear that it shares a lot of similarities with pop psychology books of today, such as Rick Hanson’s Hardwiring Happiness where Hanson discusses how savoring positive sensations and memories is a key to long-lasting calm and contentment. But, while the topic has been written on before, now there is more and more research reinforcing the connection between cultivating positivity and overall mood.
Another proven tool to lift out of a bad mood is the practice of repeating affirmations. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University found that stress impairs our ability to solve problems. But when we tell ourselves affirmations, in this case thinking about something important to our values, we do much better at problem solving in high-pressure performance situations.
A third proven technique for changing mood from the blues to a brighter place is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, or MBCT. MBCT is a group-based therapy method that helps participants change how they think and feel about experiences. Individuals who used the treatment were less likely than a control group to relapse into clinical depression when compared to the control group.
As with all studies, results are hard to generalize, and each individual should talk to his or her doctor about any mood issues they are experiencing. But there’s new research popping up all the time about what techniques are most promising when it comes to being just a little bit happier.
Young people could even end up less anxiety-ridden, thanks to newfound confidence
- The coronavirus pandemic may have a silver lining: It shows how insanely resourceful kids really are.
- Let Grow, a non-profit promoting independence as a critical part of childhood, ran an "Independence Challenge" essay contest for kids. Here are a few of the amazing essays that came in.
- Download Let Grow's free Independence Kit with ideas for kids.
Philosophers like to present their works as if everything before it was wrong. Sometimes, they even say they have ended the need for more philosophy. So, what happens when somebody realizes they were mistaken?
Sometimes philosophers are wrong and admitting that you could be wrong is a big part of being a real philosopher. While most philosophers make minor adjustments to their arguments to correct for mistakes, others make large shifts in their thinking. Here, we have four philosophers who went back on what they said earlier in often radical ways.
We must rethink the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental health.
- A new review found that withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants and antipsychotics can last for over a year.
- Side effects from SSRIs, SNRIs, and antipsychotics last longer than benzodiazepines like Valium or Prozac.
- The global antidepressant market is expected to reach $28.6 billion this year.
Or is doubt a self-fulfilling prophecy?