By Contributing Writer, Victoria
Do you ever have one of those days where you just wake up feeling like a grouch?
I know I do. For no reason I can ever pin point, I just have days where I am off, grumpy and irritable. I feel defeated before my day even begins. It’s not often, but there are certainly those “days,” and they often come unannounced.
So what can we do when we feel grouchy, irritable, impatient and in need of a serious attitude adjustment?
I’m reminded of the words of Daniel Tiger… “When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four!”
Oh, how there is truth in those simple words! It’s not only a good lesson for my young children, it’s a good reminder for me, too.
Sometimes I need longer than counting to four, but the discipline is still the same. Giving myself a “Mommy Timeout” to regroup and calm myself down rather than reacting in anger is always a good thing.
Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and pray (see below). Start your day with quiet moments in God’s presence or if your kids have woken up before you, try to give yourself a few moments while your kids are occupied with an activity or breakfast.
There is power in prayer. There is strength to be found when we humbly bow before the throne asking God to help us with our weaknesses. When our moods are off, when we are irritable and impatient, that is when we need prayer the most.
When you know the day is getting off to a bad start, don’t continue to wallow in your negative emotions. Stop and pray right then and there. God already knows your heart and what is troubling you but when we confess our sinful hearts and our poor attitude, He can come alongside us and guide us.
Write the Word
There is a reason that Paul refers to Scripture as the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). God’s Word is powerful, strong and able to withstand any problems we face.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on my path. Psalm 119:105
Some mornings I am so grouchy that simply reading and studying my Bible isn’t going to do it. When that happens I actually need to WRITE the Word.
I have a small journal where I only write out Scripture. If you are following along on a Bible reading plan, choose those verses to write out. If you don’t know where to start, the Psalms are always a good starting point. Paul’s letters have been a huge source of encouragement in my faith journey, and even writing out passages of the Gospel are therapeutic.
Want some specific passages for when you need an attitude adjustment?
Try writing out verses from
- Psalm 119
- Psalm 139
- Psalm 145
- Proverbs 3 and 4
- Matthew 5 through 7
- 1 Corinthians 13
- Ephesians 6
- The entire book of Philippians
- Colossians 3
- or 1 Peter 1
I could list out more because the Bible is full of encouraging truths to restore our weary souls. My main point is to just open your Bible and start writing. There is something wonderful that happens when the Holy Spirit moves from my mind to my pen– it’s called a total heart transformation!
Count Your Blessings
There are countless studies and research that shows when we choose gratitude our moods instantly change. Nancy Leigh DeMoss says it best,
Over time, choosing gratitude means choosing joy. But that choice doesn’t come without effort and intentionality. It’s a choice that requires constantly renewing my mind with the truth of God’s Word, setting my heart to savor God and His gifts, and disciplining my tongue to speak words that reflect His goodness and grace – until a grateful spirit becomes my reflexive response to all of life. ~ Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy
In my prayer journal I always try to list out five to ten blessings every day. This helps remind me of what God has done in my life, the love I have for my family, and it helps take the focus off my negative attitude. It’s hard to stay in a foul mood when you are writing out all the daily gifts in your life.
Replace a Negative Thought with a Positive One
You know when one of those negative thoughts comes into your mind? The ones that fester and feed off each other?
I’m a terrible mother, my children are so ungrateful.
Why can’t my husband do more around here to help me?
God doesn’t really care about me, He never seems to listen.
I’m so tired, why is everyone in my family so needy today?
Start the discipline of immediately replacing these negative thoughts with a positive one. Don’t let them fester and breed in your mind and heart. Identify what they are and knock them out with truths.
God, thank you for entrusting me with the most precious gifts in the world, these tiny souls that you have given me to love, teach, serve and train
My husband is very helpful, recently he ______ (fill in the blank with something he has done recently, preferably in the past day. If you are having a hard time thinking of something, stop right there and pray for him and your marriage).
God does love me. He created me in His image. I am His workmanship. He hears me and knows my heart. He leads me to rivers of truth.
Change Your Environment
Ever feel like the walls are caving in around you? On those days I make the conscious effort to get everyone out of the house, preferably outside. Breathing in the fresh air and feeling the sun beat down has a wonderful restorative effect.
Going on a walk, observing God’s creation, playing outside with your children, picking flowers or anything that has you outside can help adjust your attitude. Even on days where the weather isn’t so great, just a few minutes outdoors can help.
Invoke your Sense of Smell
I have a favorite clean burning scented candle that I light both at my work desk and on the kitchen counter. It smells wonderful sort of a combination of citrus and spring. I also have several essential oil blends I like to diffuse that have a calming and relaxing nature.
God blessed us with five senses that allow us to enjoy life. Smells can help us remember certain events, calm our other senses and help boost our moods. Light a clean scented candle or diffuse some calming essential oils, some oils you can even apply topically with a carrier oil.
Play with Play Doh
I’m not even kidding on this one! When was the last time you rolled some Play Doh around? Or squeezed it, shaped and molded it? It’s a natural stress reliever!
Last week I was in a terrible mood and my kids were bickering like crazy. So out came the Play Doh and we ALL sat around the table and played with it. Before long we were all laughing and showing off our creations. Our attitudes were no longer negative. We were having a good time and enjoying one another.
It doesn’t even have to be Play Doh. It could be coloring (do you want to know why adult coloring has become so popular in the last year?), playing a board game together (preferably one that doesn’t bring out the competitive side), knitting, having a dance party… any activity that you and your family love to do together.
Attitudes are naturally adjusted, laughter is carrying through and your focus is no longer on your poor mood.