When feeling down or anxious or angry, we often express our mood with our actions. When "down," we tend to isolate ourselves and become more sedentary. When anxious we tend to avoid or act awkwardly. When angry we might become verbally aggressive, make biting remarks, be sarcastic, or yell.
What does this all have to do with "dancing the Tango?" Well, every beginner is awkward when dancing the Tango. So, we dance by mimicry, by putting cut-outs of the dance steps on the floor, by scripting our actions. By acting in a healthy, active, positive manner, our mood often follows. Clinical research shows that mood follows actions. If we get our actions right, our mood often improves. If we act more gently, we become less angry. If we become more active, our depression may decline. If we act more calm, we become more calm. Also, if we "act right," we tend to feel better about ourselves, and our self-esteem improves because we have done something that is hard and met a big challenge.
We generally know "how" to act. We know exercise is good, too much alcohol is bad, reaching out to friends is good, isolating ourselves is bad, and so on. In other words, we know what "dancing the tango looks like," even if we aren't very good at it. So, instead of acting in response to your mood, act in response to the script of how you should be acting. Exercise, even if you don't feel like it. Get out with friends, even if you want to binge on TV. Speak up at that meeting at work, even if you feel anxious about expressing your opinion. Act kind to loved ones, or your ex-spouse with whom you share child custody, even if you feel angry. Write the script of how you "should" act, what a positive, healthy day or evening or work meeting would look like, and just act out the script.
If this sounds like I am saying this is easy, its not. And that's why I use the Tango metaphor, as dancing the Tango is hard. It takes courage to act in a positive healthy manner when we are not feeling it.
As in all my posts, this advice is never a substitute for professional mental health or medical care. If your depression, anxiety, or anger is overwhelming, won't go away, or hurting yourself or your loved ones, speak to your family physician or clergy, or call a mental health professional directly and make an appointment. Changing actions to change mood is part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and your therapist may use this technique as part of their professional toolbox they have developed with years of training and experience.