So you want to change your mood…
What do you do?
Despite what you might think, there are options.
Our normal reaction to being in a bad or sad mood is to wallow in it. If you’ve been dumped, you listen to love songs or watch dodgy RomCom’s on DVD. If you’ve been betrayed you might think about it over and over, trying to work out why it happened. If you made a mistake, you might play it over in your mind or talk to friends about it. If you’re feeling anxious, you can keep running through worst case scenarios in you imagination.
Now, I’m not saying you should dismiss the emotions you’re feeling. It’s good to acknowledge them and to be open about how you feel, but at some point – sooner or later – you want to change how you are feeling. That’s when these techniques can help.
If the way you feel is triggered by something, or takes on a sequence of events, then this can be a useful technique. When the trigger or the first part of the sequence occurs, do something else. Change the pattern. You can do that by changing the things you are thinking about – name 5 fruits, 2 bald men and a flower – or by changing the things you are doing – leave the room, go do some housework, go for a walk. Just changing the pattern allows your brain to realise that one thing does not necessarily lead to another.
Think about the thing that makes you feel the way you don’t want to. Imagine it in a TV screen in front of you. Now think about something that makes you feel the opposite of this. Imagine that scene as though it’s in the corner of the TV screen – kind of like picture in picture. Count to 3 in your mind, and on 3 Swoosh the little picture and the big picture so that they swap places. Repeat this as many times as it takes for you to find it difficult to see the image of the thing that makes you feel bad.
Listen to Happy Music
We all have our own personal anthems. They might be songs we listen to when we’re getting ready to go out, or the song that makes us jump up to the dance floor, or maybe it’s the one that makes you grab a hairbrush and sing along. What ever your anthem is, play it and play it loud. Dance, sing, shake your groovy thing and feel better.
Be with People
Be around other people and talk about them. Don’t focus on your stuff, focus on theirs. Listening to other peoples problems can put our own into perspective and allow us some time to get free of our own.
One of the amazing things that meditation gives us is the ability to see emotions for what they are – just emotions. They don’t have to control us and we can accept them or reject them, and we certainly don’t have to let them control our actions. With meditation you can learn to let feelings and emotions come into our awareness, and then let them drift away again. Monks that practice mindfulness meditation have been scanned using MRI’s and it has been found that they have actually managed to change their brain structure and they are happier as a result.
So if you want to change your mood, what are you waiting for.
There are things you can do 🙂