The management of moods is key to a life of purpose and productivity. Too many people believe that being in a “good mood” is best. They attempt to talk you out of a “bad mood.” Perhaps you tend to be hard on yourself when your mood is down or anxious or angry or any of the other moods that people judge. Perhaps you know people that are completely cranky or chronically chipper.
Let’s get a few things straight: the management of your emotions does NOT start with judging or condemning a mood or an emotion. The emotion is not good or bad, it’s the way we behave and deal with the mood/emotion that matters. If you are irritable, FEEL irritable; if you are happy, FEEL happy; if you are sad, FEEL sad but please distinguish between how you feel and how you demonstrate that mood.
Moods are like weather; largely they tend to change like the weather. There are cloudy days and stormy days and sunny days…you get the idea. The first step in effective emotional management is to accept that you have moods and emotions and to realize they are not to be judged evaluated or ignored. They are as much a part of you as any part of you! It is the behavior that results from those emotional states that should be paid attention to.
This blog does not have the space to deal with where moods and emotions come from, but be clear that they do not come from others. They come from how you interpret life’s events. That is not to say how people treat you doesn’t matter or that bad things don’t matter. Of course they do. BUT do not hand over power to things that you cannot control. Here are a few suggestions for clarification:
1. Interpret the mood you are in as just that – a mood.
2. Evaluate the usefulness of behaving toward others in ways that you may regret.
3. If you are ________at someone either talk about it or let it go. Don’t be passive aggressive.
4. Treat your mood/emotion as a weather pattern. Happy/Sad/Glad or Mad it is likely the mood will pass.
5. Pay attention to your behavior. Find ways to release energy that creates destructive or unkind consequences for others.
6. Understand that people DO NOT cause your mood. Your interpretation of the things that happen around you causes your mood. Therefore avoid trying to get others to change so you feel better.
7. Take responsibility for your mood and behavior.
8. Physical or spiritual activity often helps to transition to another mood/emotion.
9. If a sad, angry or anxious emotion seems to be constant, then it’s time to talk with someone that SPECIALIZES in that emotional state. It’s a mood/emotion- it does not mean that you are weak.