What should you never do in a bad mood?


Everyone is in a bad mood and most of the time we can't even say why. Some teenagers are even nonstop for years, even though mom makes them breakfast, dad does their laundry, and they don't have to do anything other than find out who they are. Nobody knows exactly how bad moods arise and how best to get rid of them. However, brain research has already clarified a bit what it can do – and so we can at least avoid the worst …

Bad mood disturbs "thinking"

In his book "Brain Whispering" neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Martin Korte very clear and understandable how our brain is constructed. In a nutshell: The little miracle organ in our head consists of different parts with different areas of responsibility and competencies, which mostly work together impressively, but are sometimes in the way of each other. One of these parts is called "prefrontal cortex" or "frontal lobe" by brain researchers and is largely responsible for what we would call conscious thinking and analysis – e.g. B. Put perceptions into words, plan the future, think about the consequences …


Compared to other areas of the brain, the performance of our frontal lobe is almost ridiculous, but we owe it almost everything we need to live (internet, heating, refrigerator, electricity …). If we are in a bad mood, our prefrontal cortex is busy "warding off" negative feelings, as Korte writes in a simplistic way. So its performance is not fully available to us.

Which in turn follows: In a bad mood, we tackle challenges for which we need our prefrontal cortex to a great extent, generally worse than in normal condition – and should therefore, if possible and if they are important for our life, postpone them to a later date, in which we feel better.

Examples? Examples!

4 things you should never put in a bad mood

1. Quit your job

Even if your bad mood may be linked to your job: you should only make up your mind if your prefrontal cortex is fully responsible. While other brain areas also play a role in decisions, the frontal lobe is responsible for incorporating the long-term consequences into decision-making. In this respect applies for every important decision with lasting effect: Meet him well rested, well fed and in a good mood.

2. Finally tell your girlfriend how much it annoys you that you always have to run after her

Of course, smoldering conflicts in a friendship are breeding grounds for a bad mood – but addressing them in a bad mood is usually counterproductive. If our forehead lobe is "impaired", we are less likely to grasp our tone, are less able to assess the effect of our words and react impulsively instead of solution-oriented and self-confident. If you want to take a good seat and possibly put your friendship at risk, you can of course pour your heart out in a lousy mood for your girlfriend. But if you want to get rid of a problem, you'd better sleep over it …

3. Discuss with your partner why he is behaving like a Neanderthal in the presence of his buddies

What applies to friendship also applies to the relationship: Bad mood, the likelihood of breaking a dispute is much higher than the chance to solve the problematic conflict sustainably …

4. Start a new (challenging) project

We cope with everyday challenges less spiritedly when we are in a bad mood, but more or less with links, because we do not store patterns of behavior and habits in the prefrontal cortex but in other areas of our brain (e.g. in the basal ganglia). However, if we are faced with a completely new situation, in order to cope with it as best as possible, we need the 100% operational capability of our frontal lobe. Sure, with some projects it is certainly not so bad not to get off to an optimal start. However, false starts are frustrating and can lead to us throwing away projects that we would otherwise have enjoyed …

Admittedly, if we think ahead, we can think of many more things that make us in a bad mood much worse than when we are in a good mood. That is why it makes so much sense to pay attention to us and to make sure that we feel okay at least as often as possible. On the other hand, there are also situations for which we do not need our prefrontal cortex so much and in which too much thinking is sometimes rather a hindrance. Not that we have anything in mind now. But did you actually know that we have an article in which we examine different sex positions …?