Victim, villain and hero—the three archetypes of human behavior that are known collectively in the therapy world as the "triangle."
When we are acting out one of these roles, we are stuck in the triangle, meaning that we are stuck in our ineffective role-playing.
When stuck in the triangle, individuals are drifting from their authentic selves. The best way to cure a drift is to shift. Shifting is a term for when an individual makes a conscious choice to shift, alter, or modify their way of thinking.
Bad moods often tend to work as a downward spiral. For instance, first you stub your toe on the way to bathroom in the morning. Next, you get stuck in the traffic on the way to work.On the way to your desk, a coworker makes a seemingly snide remark to you. Before the day gets any worse and you become any more committed to your bad mood, make a shift.
Take responsibility. People often labor under the mistaken idea that others "make" them feel a certain way. No one can "make" you feel anything. Your neighbor can't make you angry, your husband can???t make you cry, and your kids can't make you crazy. You have total control over your mood???and you also have total control over your actions. Thus, when in the midst of an argument, or at the end of a bad day at the office, ask yourself: What role did I play in creating this event? How have my actions led to this? By realizing that your life???s destiny is actually under your control, you can shift out of a bad mood and be empowered by your own strength.
Make a physical shift. Stop the world for twenty seconds. Close your eyes and breathe in and out deeply. Picture yourself mentally bagging up your bad mood in a trash bag, tying the bag tightly, and then tossing it out of your mind. Stretching and yoga can also get the blood moving and stop the mental wheels from spinning.
Act it out. Did you wake up feeling like a beast for no particular reason? Do you want to wring your husband's neck for forgetting the shirts at the cleaners again? The smallest things can sometimes make us want to snap???so go ahead! Sometimes the best way to cure a bad mood is to act it out to the extreme. Get into your "persona" (Are you a Grumpy Griper? A Put-Upon People-Pleaser?) and have fun with it. Punch a pillow, yell, cry, etc. and don???t hold back! Once you get the "persona" out of your system, your mood will most likely begin to improve immediately.
By noticing your drifts, and playing with your shifts, you can create an authentic life and positive, fulfilling relationships. So the next time you are in a bad mood, don't just wait for it to pass??? Shift!