Your relatives are visiting from out of town. Tensions are high. Then you say something you regret.

Because… you were in a bad mood.

We could list a thousand more situations where mood intimately shapes the outcome of an experience.

Mood matters.

It colors our perceptions of what is happening. It layers in meaning. It adds a tone and feeling.

Our thoughts and feelings then affect what we say, and how we say it.

And, of course, there are the choices we make and actions we take (or don’t) because of our mood.

This is all mostly under our control.

If we’re very disciplined and have strong willpower, we can mostly control the way we speak and act in spite of our mood.

The downside of that approach is that, usually, we aren’t fooling anyone. This can all by quite exhausting, as well.

The better option is to learn how to adjust our mood.

One of the easiest and immediately effective ways to work with our mood is through movement.

When we get moving we also tend to deepen our breathing, which greatly helps our cause.

When you move your body, it creates an outlet for energy to move. Like a safety valve letting off steam.

Almost any movement is great, as long as it’s safe and functional.

You can play around with different styles of movement to see how they affect your energy.

Slow, rhythmic movements. Fast, hard movements.

Moving from less intense to more so. And from more intense to less.

Quick movement snacks, or 2 hour long walks.

You can also move in place, without looking strange (mostly).

Flex and relax your feet. Then your calves. Then your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Move your way up the body, muscle group by muscle group, and then back down again.

You’ll be amazed how much better you feel after just a few rounds.

And don’t forget one of the easiest movements of all: deep breathing.

When all else fails, breathe!