Bust Your Bad Mood with Exercise

Some days, I am just in a mood. I don’t know what you call it, maybe stressed, bored, lonely, angry, sad, anxious, or tired. I call it "getting into a funk." When it happens, I have allowed my circumstances to dictate my attitude and my thinking and then—bam! Before I know what hit me, I’m in a full-blown funk. While I like to exercise when a bad mood rises, others turn to unhealthy habits like emotional eating or smoking. When you're upset, stressed or otherwise not feeling like yourself, exercise—and the mood-enhancing endorphins it produces—can be the best thing for you. Don't you believe me?

The next time you feel that mood coming on, identify what you're feeling and why. Are you bored because your best friend is out of town? Are you feeling lonely since the kids have left the nest? Or maybe you are stressing over finances. Whatever it is, pinpoint it. Then use the specific ideas below to bust your bad mood with a feel-good exercise prescription.
 

Your Mood: Angry

 
Your blood is boiling! You want to take this anger out on someone before you explode!

Mood-Busting Exercises: Kickboxing, boxing, shadowboxing or martial arts
Whether you follow a kickboxing video or take a group class, you'll release anger with every punch, kick and jab. Imagine the target of your anger as you do a set of 12 front kicks! Besides getting your anger out, you’ll blast calories with these cardio workouts. Any form of martial arts, often overlooked as a form of exercise, will also work. Besides actually making contact with pads, targets, and shields (a major stress and anger releaser!), you’ll gain gaining confidence, discipline and focus.
 

Your Mood: Bored


You're stuck in a rut and want to do something interesting, but you're not sure what.

Mood-Busting Exercises: Spinning class or step aerobics 
Beat boredom (without food) by taking a high-energy Spinning class at your local gym. Set to great tunes, you'll be surprised how quickly an hour-long class flies by. Step aerobics is another great workout when you're bored because it's always changing. You have to concentrate on the choreography—sort of like learning a simple dance that involves a step. You'll build skills and feel really accomplished when it's over! 
 

Your Mood: Lonely


When you feel lonely, throwing a pity party for one will only make it worse. Sometimes the best thing for you is to get out and socialize.

Mood-Busting Exercises: Any group fitness class
Exercising with a group of people who are all following the same routine and all have similar goals can really make you feel like you're a part of something bigger than yourself. No matter what type of class you choose, there are plenty of reasons why group classes are so popular: They offer social support, a friendly environment and an opportunity to meet people who have similar interests.
 

Your Mood: Depressed


Depression is no joke. Millions of people suffer from depression that is debilitating and emotionally painful, but exercise is scientifically proven to help treat depression. While finding the motivation to take the first step is the hardest part, the right activity can help.

Mood-Busting Exercises: Outdoor walking, biking, or running
There's something restorative about nature. Getting outside to breathe in fresh air and admire the scenery can make a world of difference in your perspective. Plus, regular exposure to sunlight can boost your mood and ward off seasonal depression, too. No matter what outdoor pursuit you enjoy (think outside of the box and try canoeing, climbing, or team sports, too), moving your body can help improve your outlook and symptoms.
 

Your Mood: Stressed


We're all busy, often taking on more responsibilities than we can handle. When life gets crazy and you want to throw in the towel, you can wind down without giving up on your obligations.

Mood Busting Exercises: Mind-body exercises like yoga, Pilates  or Tai Chi
Mind-body exercises take focus, patience, and attention. Because of the complexities of maintaining the correct form and breathing, which connects the mind and body, it's almost impossible to think about your to-do list while you're in the middle of a good yoga or Pilates class, for example. The quiet, meditative atmosphere in these classes (and videos) allows you to tune in to the present moment—something that the overly stressed should do more often! If you're thinking that you're too busy or overwhelmed to try a class, then take advantage of short video workouts that are often broken up into 10- to 30- minute segments.

Have you ever finished a workout and thought to yourself, "I wish I hadn’t done that! I really just wasted my time." Probably not. Chances are you feel better physically and mentally. Regardless of your funk, exercise can be a useful tool to get you back to bust your bad mood and get back to your normal self. What are you waiting for?
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Member Comments

It does seem that how we think, kind of sets the mood for the day Report
Thanks. Sometimes I just feel too depressed ore stressed to exercise.These ideas help. Report
thank you Report
I'd never before considered a list of exercises based on mood. Good ideas. Report
ONLYME33
Hmm great ideas to ponder. Report
THANKS Report
As an emotional eater (EE) I have looked to eating to help with any uncomfortable emotion. Moving instead, even if it is around the kitchen, up and down the hallway, or bench pressing my 18 month old son changes my mood and gives me room to think through that momentary grip of wanting to feed for solace. Report
Great Article! Report
For me getting outside going for a walk can deal with all of these. Report
Helpful to remember... and to be reminded! Report
PLCHAPPELL
Needed this one Report
Great article Report
Very good suggestions! Report
interesting Report


 

About The Author

Jason Anderson
Jason Anderson
Jason loves to see people realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys running races--from 5Ks to 50K ultramarathons. See all of Jason's articles.