grumpy bumps

what to do with a bad mood

When my kids were little and found themselves 'out of sorts' or 'in a mood', we'd say that they had "grumpy bumps." 

Unbeknownst to us at the time, it was a way of identifying a mood without personalizing it.

Grumpy bumps was something that you 'had,' not something that you 'were'.

We recognized their 'mood' as a temporary state that would eventually run its course.

Last week my daughter woke up with a teenage version of grumpy bumps.

She couldn't seem to shake it.

Although, truth be told, she didn't seem to want to shake it.

Within the safety of our home and family, she alternated between indulging her mood and expressing concern that it even existed.

We were not concerned, however.

We recognized her grumpy bumps for what they were...a blip on the screen...a temporary state based solely on her current thinking.

We knew and trusted that such a state would pass.

My daughter was not so sure, however.

She didn't quite trust 'the system' yet.

In a moment of anxiety, she became convinced that she had succumbed to the generally accepted temperament of her fellow teenage peers; a lovely mixture of anger, disdain and boredom.

As a life coach and a Mom, I am well versed in the various strategies and methods used to quickly alter a state of mind/mood, if so desired.

I knew we could change her

language to improve her mood

or change her

physiology to improve her mood

or change her

thoughts to improve her mood.

And yet...

what I knew to be true...truer than true

was that her state of grumpy bumps would naturally and effortlessly...shift...of its own accord... if left alone.

It is simply how our system works.

And so...

we did nothing.

We let her stomp and scowl and grumble and gnash her way through the day.

We remained relatively unperturbed by her mood (although secretly amused) since we were secure in the knowledge that all would blow over without our interference.

The next morning, the once fierce grumpy bumps had evaporated and my daughter was both incredulous and relieved.

It seemed a miracle, as she recalled her thinking from the day before; convinced that her natural state of joy would never return.

Amazing, non?

But it makes perfect sense.

The clarity and resiliency of our thinking corresponds precisely to our state of mind and mood in the moment.

In low moods, our minds focus on limiting and destructive thoughts that constrain us with feelings of fear and insecurity, anger and hopelessness.

In high moods, our minds focus on creative, life-affirming thoughts that expand us with feelings of love and joy, clarity and hopefulness.

Our system is set up to support our highest state of well being and return us to this state time and time again, provided we allow the system to do what it does naturally.

Recognizing that a low mood is a temporary state based on our current thinking frees us up to release the thoughts that keep us hinged to such a state.

In doing so, we allow our system to do what it does best...return us to our natural state of well-being and health.

Lana Bastianutti