If put on the spot and asked to answer in the next five minutes, could you pinpoint everything that puts you in a bad mood?
Mine would be: walking behind people who are walking at a snail’s pace, being hangry (no one gets between me and food), and having a bad day at work.
And now it seems I’m not that different to most people, as research has revealed the top 50 things guaranteed to put you in a bad mood – and it’s all relatable af.
Coming in at the top are a bad night’s sleep (same), stepping in dog poo, and having an argument with your partner – all of which are guaranteed to put most of us in a shoddy mood.
The study of 2,000 British adults also found that getting ill, getting stuck in a traffic jam, and losing your wallet/purse has a detrimental impact on our mood. Other things likely to contribute to our crankiness are being late for an appointment, getting out of a warm bed on a cold day and backseat drivers (sorry, mum).
And while the average adult will spend an hour and 52 minutes a day in a bad mood, just under half admit they have days where they are in a bad mood from the minute they wake up to the minute they go to bed. Just don’t talk to me on one of those days…
Researchers also found six in 10 Brits think they suffer from the ‘winter blues’, with more than half attributing their negative state of mind to a lack of sunlight. Two thirds of those polled agreed good weather really helps lift their mood, a quarter like bright lighting and a fifth feel happier when in colourful rooms.
A spokesman for Philips Hue smart lighting, which commissioned the research, said:
Winter can be a dreary and difficult time – the weather is often cold and wet, we have no money and everyone is generally in a grump. This means many more things than usual can put us into a bad mood, something that’s not helped by the dark mornings and evenings.
Lighting not only effects visual conditions, it also influences our biological functions and emotions, while colour is thought to have a huge effect on our moods.
And the time of the year can have a real impact on how people are feeling; having to get up in the morning when it is still dark outside, an umbrella blowing inside out and having to de-ice car windows all bring people down.
That’s not all though, as other bad mood triggers include getting a stain on a new top, someone saying something negative about your appearance and having a bad skin or hair day.
These feelings can cause as many as four in 10 to have arguments with a partner, and work can also be affected – as 15 per cent of those polled by OnePoll.com have been known to make mistakes when in a mood and 13 per cent have had disagreements with colleagues.
However, Brits believe their bad moods can be relieved by being exposed to blues and greens, as these are considered the most relaxing colours. To demonstrate how light can help enhance mood, Philips Hue have worked with applied colour psychologist Karen Haller to produce a mood chart with ‘light recipe’ suggestions.
Karen Haller said:
Colour is not just a visual stimulus. Colour influences how we feel, think and behave. We respond to colour and the combination of colours in our environment throughout the day. We don’t even realise we are doing it.
We are typically only 20 per cent conscious of the colour choices we make, from getting the colour of our morning cuppa just right to the colours we choose to wear, and which tube line to take.
So it’s not just as simple as getting up on the right side of the bed, then?
I think I’m going to have to re-evaluate all of my life decisions.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).