How to Control Mood Swings
We all have times when we are just not in a good mood. When we truly feel awful and hopeless. This is when, no matter how many self-help books or authors you follow, or personal development trainings you attend or how much spirituality you try to re-instill, you just feel like nothing is great.
It is almost like your world which was in colour, suddenly turned to black & white and the sound which was music turned into noise. You are irritable and sensitive and you lack the motivation to change anything.
Getting into a mood – any mood is automatic and natural, but how long you stay in that mood is your choice. Unfortunately, you may not see that you have “chosen” to stay there because often it is a habit. Haven’t you noticed when you or people around you harp on about something unpleasant that happened and has already passed or resolved, complaining about inconveniences again and again, and simply just behaving like a broken bad record? That’s a classic display of being in a mood that is not conducive to being happy.
We cannot avoid moods, we will always be in one mood or another. There is nothing wrong with being in a mood but it would be helpful to identify if the particular mood we are in will support us in having the life and results we desire or not. Because if it won’t, then all you will do is perpetuate a mood that is in the way of you living a joyous life.
I find myself in a terrible mood sometimes and I notice it when I start to blame. When I find a way to look for people I can blame for anything that did not go as I wanted them to. In my work though, I have to find ways to switch. I can’t get on the phone with a client or write if I am feeling self-indulgent and moody.
The difference with a mood and an emotion is that emotions are usually triggered by something that happens and we can stay in a mood for longer stretches of times and usually just “find” ourselves in it. You can also “catch” a mood, haven’t you felt it when you walk into a room where everyone is somber and then you too feel that way? Practice affecting the moods in a room instead of being influenced by it. This is a powerful tool that you can use at home or at work.
The quickest fix-it I have is to change my focus from in to out. So instead of thinking about myself, I would do the needful, eat, drink a lot of water and then focus on other people. Focus out! On my clients, family or friends. The instant I focus out, my mood shifts.
To help you to change your mood, using some of the principles from my Ontological Coach training at Newfield Network, you can use your body to hasten the shift. So if you can’t think or talk yourself into a better mood, put on some music and dance and shake your bad mood away for a few minutes, or hold your head up, breathe in deep and accept the emotions you are feeling, then shake them out. A bad mood is often the result of the body feeling uncomfortable or the mind going into a thought pattern of fear, doubt and insecurity. So trust me, close the door and dance for a few songs and lose your body and emotions in the beat. This one works like a charm. I promise! Changing your physiology is a quick and very profound way of changing your mood.
Bad moods can be detrimental to our loving relationships. We expect our partners or close friends to understand and tolerate that we sometimes get into these moods and that they should not expect much out of us when we are down, but all this does is give us a cop-out for not focusing on them at all. It gives us more reason to focus in and self-indulge while we hurt the people we most care about and then both of you will have lost some intimacy and will have to rebuild it way after you have emerged from your moodiness.
Our feelings and moods, like the weather changes from moment to moment, our hormones affect them, as does the moon cycle, the time of the month, our birth order, the food we have eaten and a myriad of factors. If we were to base our actions and decisions on our feelings & moods, we will end up like a cat chasing its tail. Even when it feels weird to do “fun” and “funny” things, trust me and do it anyway, soon your mood will change long enough for you to get involved in something else and then all the reasons to be happy will just all pile on.
Bad moods distort the way we see things. They make bad things look bigger and good things look smaller. But it’s an unreliable view. Tomorrow, all the same things will look different. Come what may, tomorrow is another day, as Clark Gable so aptly said in “Gone With the Wind” In my upcoming book there is an exercise called “Pleasure Lists” and this is another great way to switch your mood by choice.
When you act in spite of your mood, you are choosing to manage and control your mind instead of letting it control you!
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images