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Colorado Springs Psychologist gives strategies to help snap out of a bad mood

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Moods are a part of life, and it's normal to feel down sometimes. Especially if you tend to go through cases of the winter blues.

While we can't just tell ourselves to feel better, experts say we can take action to change the thoughts and behaviors that help influence our mood.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Nicole Peak says the first step in turning your bad mood around is identifying what kind of mood you're in. Once you're aware of how you're feeling, you can figure out what to do about it and take steps to control it.

"Our mood shouldn't change our values," Dr. Peak said. "So if it's important for me to be a good mom, be there for my friends, or be a hard worker, then I should continue doing those things in spite of the fact of how I'm feeling. The idea is that hopefully, the body drags the brain over time to positively impact mood."

Dr. Peak recommends first, getting moving. She says when we're not feeling great there's a tendency to be sedentary. But getting back into your daily routine and doing things you value signals to the brain that everything is okay.

Dr. Peak says getting active is also important. She cites research saying exercise has a very positive impact on mood. She says there are also some ways to sneak it in, such as parking further away at the store so you're forced to walk, or taking the stairs instead of an elevator.

Dr. Peak also recommends getting social as crucial to help get out of a bad mood. She says when we're not feeling great, there's a tendency to self-isolate. But being social helps us feel connected as humans, who are social creatures by nature.

She recommends when being social in person isn't possible, use technology, such as 'Facetime' or a phone call.

"We miss out on a lot of things that we benefit from when we're social with people," Dr. Peak said. "For example, we miss out on positive reinforcement opportunities, like if someone does something and it makes you laugh or they tell a funny story."

Dr. Peak also says getting outside can be very influential in mood, even if that's having coffee, tea, or a snack outside on the patio.

"Research has shown that people at higher altitudes, we're more prone to Vitamin D deficiency," Dr. Peak said. "So again it's more important living where we do here in the Springs to make sure we get outside."

Another piece of advice from Dr. Peak is to intentionally engage in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Such as planning activities or engaging in self-care. She says a lot of the time these things are the first to go out the window when we're feeling bad, which makes them more important to do to feel better.

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Natasha Lynn

Natasha is a reporter for Good Morning Colorado during the week and on weekends.


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