When the guy you love wakes up on the wrong side of the bed or comes home in a bad mood, it can ruin the entire day if you let it. While there's no guarantee that it will work, taking action to cheer him up can increase the possibility that you'll spend your time together having fun instead of listening to him recount his money woes for the 15th time. Note that if he has clinical depression, he should seek professional help.
Emotional contagion is the tendency for people to mirror other people's moods. Since your guy has the ability to "catch" your mood, make it a good one. He'll respond to your cheerful facial expression, tone of voice and positive words. Don't attempt to be artificially -- and annoyingly -- cheerful, just be positive and you're likely to see his mood lift. Telling him a joke or watching a comedy show together may also cheer him up. If he talks about his feelings, validate them by saying something like, "It sounds like working with a man like your boss is very stressful."
Crank Up the Stereo
You don't want to blow the guy's eardrums out, but putting on some music will help him overcome his grouchiness. A study published in the July 2011 edition of "The Arts in Psychotherapy" found that subjects who listened to music had greater mood enhancement than those who did not. Put on something lively or relaxing, though, as playing Radiohead's "I'm a Creep" or Gary Jules' "Mad World" probably won't cheer him up.
Drag Him Outside
Entice your guy to go outside. Prepare a picnic, offer to play him in a game of one-on-one basketball or ask him if he'd like to go for a walk. Sunlight and movement both increase levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, according to UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb in a November 2011 article published in "Psychology Today." If you can get him to go for a walk in a wooded environment, that's even better. Researchers at Chiba University in Japan discovered that forest environments lower stress by decreasing cortisol and lowering blood pressure and other markers for a relaxed, peaceful mood, according to a study published in the January 2010 "Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine."
Avoid falling into the trap of mirroring his mood, as bad moods are catching as well. Resolve to be positive regardless of your man's negative remarks or dark scowl. Reflecting his mood will merely feed the grouch in him and make matters worse. Resist the urge to cajole him into a better mood as well. Saying, "Cheer up, it's a beautiful day!" is likely to annoy him. Accept that he may be in a bad mood for a while, and allow him to feel what he feels without guilt.
- Psychology Today: Boosting Your Serotonin Activity
- Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine: The Physiological Effects of Shinrin-yoku (Taking in the Forest Atmosphere or Forest Bathing) Evidence From Field Experiments in 24 Forests Across Japan
- The Arts in Psychotherapy: The Effects of Music Listening and Art Production on Negative Mood -- A Randomized, Controlled Trial
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