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Have you got the Grumps?

Some times we wake up in a grumpy mood.  It could be due to a bad night sleep, a hangover, exhaustion or "that time of the month". There may not be a sensible reason at all, we just feel blah......Here's the thing. Its okay to have a bad feeling day.

It seems that our world is so focused on immediate gratification and seeking pleasure that we expect that a "good day" must "feel good". This assumption is false. The fact is that our feelings are physiological responses to the stimulus of life.

What can turn a grumpy feeling into a "bad day" however, is the story we tell ourselves about why we feel this way. This is the trap of being a human being with a mind and language.   Feelings in and of themselves are not bad. Nor indeed are thoughts. But if we base the value of our experience on the story we use to explain our experience and then we don't live in the world but in our story.

Sometimes we need to have grumpy days, if only to help us appreciate the non-grumpy days. I also think that grumpy days can be a build up of all the little grumps and cranks we've experienced through the week/month that finally burst forth, so to get expressed and find relief. Some people seem to thrive on grumpiness. Its a much more powerful way of being rather than shyness or anxiety. You certainly control who comes near you by being grumpy. 

"But I don't want to feel grumpy" I hear you say.  I say why? Or rather why does "want" need to come into the equation?  If you were in pain you would take a pain killer. If you were tired you would take a nap. If you were thirsty you'd have a drink. In each case you choose a behaviour to eliminate the uncomfortable physical experience. So if you're grumpy and it feels uncomfortable, do something about it.

"But How?".  The first step is acknowledge what you really feel.  A simple "I'm grumpy right now" is the most simplest way. We humans are very good at avoiding threats and have evolved to see natural mood states as threats. We will go to great lengths to deny our feelings, which often only makes them louder or more uncomfortable. By stopping yourself and focusing on what is happening in you and accepting that your feelings are what they are, you can help break the avoidance cycle. Notice that I did not suggest you go through a catalogue of previous experiences or predictions of future failings? Being mindful and accepting of your present is key.

The second step is to choose what to do whilst you're feeling this way. It maybe that you need to stomp and storm around the house. It maybe that you need to inform your family that you feel grumpy and as such would appreciate some space and consideration. Or you may want to engage in some self-care.

We all secretly desire "tea and sympathy" when we have grumpy days. So why not give it to yourself. Do only what you need to do. Make some time to do some things you enjoy. It could be sedentary activities like reading, puzzles, net surfing. Or it maybe out door activities like walking, yoga, sun bathing. Engaging in hobbies or favourite past-times are a surefire way to comfort yourself.  Or literally lazing in bed with a cup of tea and a DVD can be enough to give yourself a little time out.

So rather than looking at grumpiness as a bad thing, use it as a sign to take a "self-care day". 

Ciao Bella
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