These are tips from Marshall Goldsmith, an executive coach who helps Fortune 500 employees improve their interpersonal skills. So here’s his advice to get you out of your foul mood, before it affects those around you.
First, loosen up. Close your door, turn off your cell phone, and make yourself relax for at least 10 minutes. Take deep breaths, squeeze a stress ball, or look at an object that makes you happy – a picture of your dog, a postcard from your vacation, anything.
Then, keep your bad mood to yourself. A lot of people think venting helps them feel better. But really, it makes things worse, especially at work. If you start bad-mouthing your boss to blow off steam, someone’s gonna hear you and it could get back to the big cheese. Or at the very least, people will think you’re a whiner. That applies to venting via email too.
Next, get perspective. When you’re frustrated, every little thing becomes a HUGE DISASTER! But you need to keep this question in mind: What’s the worst that could happen? You missed your bus, so you’ll be half an hour late, big deal. De-escalate the situation. It’s not the end of the world.
Another trick to snapping out of a bad mood: Engage your mind. Find a simple, quick activity that has a fixed beginning and end – like filling out your expense report. Sometimes accomplishing a small task is all it takes to calm you down.
And finally, to nix a bad mood, indulge wisely. When you’re having "one of those days", hit the steam room, meditate, buy yourself some flowers. But do not indulge with food or drink – too much of that and you’ll be back where you started, stressed and unhappy.