Over the past year I have noticed that my mood plays a massive role in how my day will go. This may seem like an obvious statement, but what is the exact mechanism that translates my mood into a good day instead of a bad one? Is it possible, through awareness and conscious action, to use such a mechanism to turn a day around?
Despite whatever mood I am in, issues and challenges of all sizes confront me throughout the day. I have noticed that my reactions to these events is heavily based on my mood at the time.
When I am in a bad mood, the automatic response is to become frustrated or angry at the situation. I am dejected and full of judgement – I think about it negatively, label it as an inconvenience, and thus worsen my mood thinking that I am some kind of victim.
When I am in a good mood, the automatic response is to laugh it off, find the humor in the situation, and take it lightheartedly for what it is. I even make jokes about it sometimes and help lift up the mood of those around me. I see no reason to get worked up when I am in that state of mind, my reactions to the event actually heighten my mood.
Notice that these are automatic responses which serve to perpetuate the mood I am already in. It is a cycle: my mood affects my perception, my perception affects my reaction, my reaction affects my mood.
Bad Mood > Hostile Perception > Negative Reaction > Worse Mood
Good Mood > Lighthearted Perception > Positive Reaction > Better Mood
What if I were able to take a brief internal pause before reacting? I could take that moment to become aware of my perception, consciously let it go or change it, and then choose my response and therefore the direction of my mood.
Imagine recognizing that you’re in a bad mood and being able to pause in the moment and redirect the course of your day by choosing your reaction. With present awareness and willpower you can.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying this is simple like snapping your fingers (though it can be depending on your perception). First, start out by observing yourself throughout the day without any judgement. Just notice how you react to different events. Notice how those reactions make you feel. Keep mental notes, or even write down how you were feeling before, during, and after.
Observe and learn about your automatic responses, these have substantial impacts over the course of a lifetime and can almost act like an autopilot system for your life! By consciously choosing your reactions instead, you will have greater control over your experience.
We will always be confronted with new and unique challenges, but we have the power to choose how you deal with it.
The next time a challenge or problem arises, you have the choice. Will you laugh, yell, or cry?
I’m Ben! I’m a travel-obsessed abstract thinker here to help you extract the hidden lessons behind your day-to-day experience.
Integrity Health is a franchise company residing in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health. We are also the national purveyors of the EZCOACH Fitness Prescription System licensed by fitness professionals.
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