I’m only asking, because I have. Or rather I did. Only for a day but believe me, feeling grumpy or moody even for just a day (or two) is not nice.
I knew there was a problem when everything seemed to be getting on my nerves. You’d think that being offered a cup of tea is a nice thing, wouldn’t you? Not for me. In my miserable, grumpy mind, there was only one very obvious answer to that question, so why bother me by asking?
I felt irritable
But not for any tangible, logical reason. And whilst not being annoyed about anything specifically, I was annoyed by everything! After just over 24 hours of my miserable onslaught, I caught myself saying out loud “I need to go back to bed & start over again“.
That’s when I decided to do something. Because when you are in a proper grump who invariably gets the short end of the stick? Your family, your friends and the biscuit tin. Family & friends deserve better & the biscuit tin definitely deserves to be shared.
And Grumpy leads to poor sleep
In fact when we are feeling down, stressed, over worked, under appreciated or a whole host of other negative emotions, good sleep goes out of the window. The impact of a disrupted night is far reaching – because you don’t just feel tired. You don’t feel like yourself. You don’t feel anything like yourself. You are on edge. As such you are more emotional, less resilient, more likely to loose your temper, or as I did, feel down right grumpy. So guess what? You don’t sleep well, the whole mess keeps happening and those wretched days just keeping rolling!!
You become less & less inclined to engage in positive activities, start turning to the biscuit tin and find it harder & harder to be nice to the people around you. So what did I do?
I put my positive pants on
I went to bed. I went to bed at a sensible time. I switched off all the usual pesky social media devices and the tv a couple of hours before sleep. I did the whole bath, book, bed thing to myself. (The bath, book, bed thing that your supposed to do with kids). But I didn’t sleep well. My new baby saw to that. The following day, grumpy & bleary eyed, but still resolute on making change, the only thing left was effort. A firm, conscious decision to put in 100% effort whether I felt like it or not. At 06.30 on a Sunday morning I definitely didn’t. Cup of tea not yet in hand I put up my best facade and;
To listen and engage with the 3 little people racing around me.
2. Bit my tongue
When at 06.31 on a Sunday morning my 8 year old began babbling on about Lego cards, Pokemon cards, and a host of unpronounceable characters and at 06.32 my 6yo pulled my arm out of its socket in her bid to show me that EVERY SINGLE toy in the house was now gleefully strewn across the living room floor.
3. Took a deep breath
Enabling myself to gather the power of my positive pants before opening my mouth to speak.
3. Focused on the positives
Because even hypnotherapists need to remind themselves of this occasionally. Because reframing your life IS the key to happiness. Because it’s good the lounge looks like a Toys R Us penny sale. Because it’s good the kids are playing the old fashioned way without TV or gaming. Because it’s good they are doing the mentally healthy stuff because they want to rather than their mother is ‘encouraging’ them to. Because they’re kids & they’re happy. Still sleep deprived, still grumpy, did I feel like it? No. Of course not. But for one whole day I would make the effort, whether I felt like it or not. Because if I didn’t, I would continue to be miserable. And where does that get you? Deeper & deeper & deeper. Grumpy trousers lead to grumpy shirt, grumpy hat, grumpy pants and grumpy boots… NO THANK YOU.
I’m not saying its easy. It’s not. But try it. Because as the day progresses it gets easier. At first you feel like a fraud. After all, they can tell you’re faking it, can’t they? Well no, as I found out they can’t. But even if they can they’re so grateful for the change that they don’t comment.
And with this small (initially challenging) effort come the magic three:
1. Positive activity
Doing things that are a teeny bit high effort (given your grump), but you have to admit are a teeny bit enjoyable (despite your grump). Things you might otherwise dismiss if you were trying to keep your grumpies on.
2. Positive interaction
Putting in the effort to be nice and guess what? Those people start being nicer to you and losing their grumpies too. Even the little people get whizzier & perkier.
3. Positive thinking
This is of course the hardest one but with your grumpy trousers loosening, this one just naturally starts to invade your brain space. Even if you don’t want to admit it at first, you ARE starting to think more positively.
You’ve had a better day. Not a brilliant day (let’s not get ahead of ourselves!). You’re tired from putting in 110% effort all day. But because you’ve had a better day you have a better sleep. Your brain resets itself overnight and the next day it really does feel like you’re back. The real you! Positive pants, positive boots, positive mum. (And YES, I’ll explain the brain thing fully another time).