Spring rain falls warm and soft against my skin.  After the wind-swept months of winter, this rain feels like grace.  I lift my hooded face to the grey sky as it spits the cleansing rain, and I have an honest moment about my life.  Lately, I’ve been in a perpetual bad mood for no reason I can identify.

You probably know how it feels to wake up on the wrong side of the bed in a ball of twisted sheets.  You might blame your bad mood on your hormones or your fighting kids.  In truth, bad moods happen because of what’s inside of us.

I’ve been asking myself hard questions when I’m in a bad mood.  These questions are leading me to the lies buried beneath my worst moods.  The next time you find yourself stuck in a bad mood, consider these questions.


Questions to Ask When You’re in a Bad Mood for No Reason


1. Are you letting someone annoy you instead of appreciating what you do like about them?

Sometimes it takes a reality check to curb a mood.  Maybe your kids are running in noisy circles around the house.  Perhaps your spouse left a pile of dirty laundry on the bathroom floor again.  Maybe the friend you can never appease complains again, or your coworker is chomping her gum again.

Some of our bad moods happen because we let other people get under our skin.  The next time you sense your bad mood is triggered by someone’s behavior, pause.

Remind yourself of three things you appreciate about this person instead of dwelling on what’s driving you crazy.  Ask God to help you shift from annoyance to gratitude.  Ask him to help you see this person through his eyes of love.


2. Are you afraid of rejection?

Fear is a joy-stealer, and the fear of rejection can easily lead to a horrible mood.  The fear of rejection—regardless of the form—always creates an inward focus.  When you’re afraid of feeling left out, less-than, or pushed away, it’s hard to see anyone other than yourself.

An inward focus will ultimately lead to a bad mood because we were created to worship God, not ourselves.  Instead of fearing the rejection of others, look for someone to love.


3. Are you holding onto unforgiveness?

Are you still angry at someone who crossed you yesterday—or ten years ago?  Unforgiveness takes prisoners, and the only one held captive is the one who cannot forgive.

You’re not punishing someone else when you refuse to forgive.  You are punishing yourself.  You are breeding bitterness, and bitterness will make your heart sick.  Consider whether you’re holding onto unforgiveness the next time a bad mood parks itself on your doorstep and refuses to leave.


4. Are you angry things didn’t work out the way you hoped?

Disappointment can lead us to take offense toward God and others.  Hold onto anger regarding your circumstances, and resentment will grow in your heart.  Some bad moods are the result of offense.  Ask God to show you if you are in a bad mood because you’re offended.  If you discover offense in your heart, repent of this hardness and ask God to give you a soft and moldable heart.


5. Is this bad mood for no reason the result of sin in your life?

Pause to ask God to show you if you have offended him in some way.  He might bring to mind a word of gossip, a sinful attitude, or a moment when you stepped outside of his will.  Unconfessed sin might be the source of your bad mood.  If you sense God showing you a sin, name the sin, ask for forgiveness, and ask him to help you turn away from this sin and turn toward him in repentance.


6. Are you taking care of yourself physically?

Finally, physical depletion can lead to a bad mood.  Lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and unhealthy eating patterns can influence the chemicals in our bodies.  Did you binge on sugar last night, eat too much at the Chinese buffet, or fail to eat enough nutrient-rich food?  Did you stay up too late watching your favorite reality TV show?

Ask God to help you make changes to your daily schedule to better care for your body if you find this is the case.

When a bad mood slips in, the one you hurt the most is yourself.  Make up your mind to fight for joy.