11 Stupid Pointless Things to do when you’re Grumpy.

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I’ve been grumpy and moody and grimacy for three days.

Morning meditation doesn’t seem to help. Sunshine doesn’t seem to help. I’ve been sleeping enough, so that’s not it. Talking with friends doesn’t seem to help. Work doesn’t seem to offer respite. I don’t want to do anything, be around anyone—I’m messing everything up, being simultaneously awkward, clumsy and bumming everyone out. It’s not good for business, or personal relationships.

So I’ve checked in with myself, and friends, and gathered some basic, stupid, pointless advice.

Most fall into the category of Just-Because-They’re-Obvious-and-Don’t-Seem-to-Help doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying.

1. Meditation (I’ve been doing it. It hasn’t felt like it’s been enough. Sometimes, group meditation is the thing—so we can’t sit informally on our own, and so we sit for longer periods of time).
2. Eating good, simple, real food: not too much, not too little
3. Exercise (nothing forces us to join our mind and body together in the present moment like reality, rushing at us—bicycling, climbing, yoga…breathe deep).
4. Friends: their advice and their shared experiences help us wrap our dark, solid minds around our mood, instead of merely drowning in our mood.
5. Sunshine—get out, stay out
6. Dharma (read, learn, go in). Read some wisdom. Time to learn.
7. Flirt (this one comes via Dharma Brat buddy Richard, who’s had some experience with feeling down. I personally wouldn’t know how to flirt in this mood, and don’t think I’d be any good at it)
8. Dress well (our tendence when things are hard is to get sloppy. Go the opposite direction, and uplift yourself. Posture is key, here, too).
9. Get away from everything. Go on a hike. Nothing will save you…but Nature will save you:

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods
There is a rapture on the lonely shore
There is society, where none intrudes
By the deep sea and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.”
~ Lord Byron.

10. Take a break. Take a too-hot bath. Read the New Yorker, or watch a silly movie. Go in. Close down proper-like.

11. Relax. Give in. We won’t feel better until we feel better. So don’t worry—there’s no point.

Image: Jonathan Keelty/Flickr

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anonymous Aug 13, 2015 4:02pm

What a stupid article…some of the solutions were listed in the beginning of the article as things that didn’t work.

    anonymous Aug 13, 2015 4:43pm

    Hey! We are all entitled to our opinions on articles, but if you are going to be critical, be constructive. What did you like or not like specifically? Why did they not work? Let's make this into an awesome dialogue rather than just complaining. 🙂 – Ed.

    anonymous Sep 7, 2015 1:37pm

    Those solutions just weren’t working for him this time. And even though they weren’t working for him, doesn’t mean they won’t help someone else get out of their grumpy mood.

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 6:39am

It's also OK to be grumpy, to be however you are. Sometimes trying to change one's mood or energy level just reinforces the seemingly solid aspect. Meditation isn't about finding a "better" state of mind, it's just about being. If you're tired, just be with that. If you're bummed by the Republican sweep, just be bummed. The interesting thing to discover in meditation is that by allowing whatever arises to be is accommodated, made friends with, and dissolves on its own–often with insight or a sense of humor noticing the dissolution.

anonymous May 31, 2014 5:16am

Sometimes its good to write down what you do want, clarity for example. Put it in a "wish box" and forget about it. Ask yourself, how would I feel if I felt better, how would I be behaving? Behave as if you ARE happy for 10-15 minutes ie smile gently and walk briskly. If problems arise then just put those in a "box" for tomorrow and give yourself a day off from trying to fix things. Works for me, once I remember to do it 😛

anonymous Jul 5, 2013 6:43am

Volunteer work or simple random acts of kindness help to put things into perspective

anonymous Jan 12, 2013 1:26pm

[…] been a part of the human condition for all time—which is good, because folks like the Buddha and Jesus and every great realized human being ever has gone through it, and found her or his way […]

anonymous Nov 21, 2012 2:39pm

[…] others can do, too, to be happy day-to-day? Say in comments, below. Be specific-ish! 1. Touch water. Whether in the form of a hot bath, a cool drink of water (stay hydrated!), swimming or the ocean, […]

anonymous Oct 30, 2012 9:14pm

Dancing in your birthday suit to Vieux Farke Toure helps too:)

anonymous Oct 30, 2012 9:07pm

Had a grumpy day, myself. Stormy Sandy empathy? Just what I needed.

anonymous Oct 30, 2012 7:46pm

[…] was in a horrible mood earlier. Everything was making me grouchy. The woman who screwed up my coffee. The guy that kept pestering me while I was trying to work. […]

anonymous Jun 2, 2012 5:37pm

[…] […]

anonymous May 6, 2012 7:30pm

Could be that ole devil Super Moon causing said grumpy mood. Yet taking a long walk under the lunar orb's cooling rays may help you turn off the offness you've been feeling.

Enjoyed the suggestions. Loved the illustrations. Feel better, Way.

anonymous May 6, 2012 2:30pm

But these are wonderful things to do! It's just a stupid pointless mood. Great article.

anonymous May 6, 2012 8:06am

Only three days??? 🙂 🙂 🙂 Don't forget chocolate!

    anonymous May 6, 2012 9:22am

    Yea, more like three months. 🙂 What's stronger than coffee? Me grumpy too. We need to get some sleep.

    anonymous May 6, 2012 10:45am

    Hah. I think that's one thing I didn't frame properly 'cause I'm just assuming folks know that I, like all humans, am up and down and all around every day. But usually I don't feel just off, solidly, consistently, wrong-side-of-bed…and usually meditation does seem to "work" to offer a perspective of the present moment, of clarity. ~ Waylon.

      anonymous May 6, 2012 12:28pm

      I have more ideas. Writing a Part 2.

Kate Bartolotta May 6, 2012 7:59am

The long walks with awesome dog/meditation/long bath seemed to kick it for me! Still not too happy about the sunburn though.

anonymous May 6, 2012 6:09am

Watch some Seinfeld episodes. Then some Louis CK. Sing in the shower really really loud.Smile at yourself in the mirror. Write down everything you like about yourself. Be kind to yourself. You are amazing, Waylon 🙂

    anonymous May 6, 2012 8:07am

    Louis CK – YES!!!!!!!!

    anonymous Jun 23, 2012 11:03pm

    The Seinfeld show is sick and poison to the human soul.

Bob Weisenberg May 5, 2012 10:36pm

See my e-mail for #12.

Just posted to "Featured Today" on the elephant work & money homepage.

Bob W. Associate Publisher
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anonymous May 5, 2012 8:56pm

i also will look at cute cat videos on youtube.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.