When we do not feel like smiling

Sometimes we do not feel like smiling.

forcing a smile

Forcing a smile

Have you ever been too anxious or too depressed to be able to smile.

Forcing ourselves to smile several times a day reduces anxiety and depression.

Leaving a pen between your teeth is said to be more effective than antidepressants. It is a lot cheaper and no horrible side-effects!

Smiling can be the quickest way to feel better.

I used to believe that people become miserable then stop smiling. Now I mostly believe: People who stop smiling become miserable.  We all need to smile from time to time to feel good.

The mood we show and the mood we are

Consciously or unconsciously we sometimes show a different mood to the one we are experiencing.

Young children do not tend to do this. If a child is upset you usually know he/she is upset. We acquire the ability to show an alternative mood as we grow up. It can be a blessing, especially if you are a professional actor or have a job that requires not showing too much emotion. For example: If you are nervous when providing training, the ability to seem calm can help greatly as people like to learn from trainers who appear to be calm.

Judith’s comment, “I APPEARED to be calm, but later realized that I was NOT feeling calm at all”, highlights a problem for those at risk of a bipolar diagnosis.

Consistently looking calmer than we really are will delay help. When appearing calm our associates will believe we are coping. It is a common theme that people who are struggling with big moods fail to get early help because the extremes are not recognised early enough.

In recovery when we look and act calm, health professionals may believe:

1) we really are calm

2) our internal mood is not what we are displaying

3) we are pretending to be calm

How they help you will depend on this belief, so it is important they do what they can to be as sure as possible the calm displayed matches inner calmness.

This need to know more about the internal mood also applies for displayed levels of anxiety, depression and over-activity.

Would you agree that this is a skill that comes with experience?

Act as if #choosingyourmood

mood-act-as-if

sad inside – ‘putting on a face’

With the training I do, I have found that people who suffer from mood disorders and perhaps surprisingly those who care for them have low expectations of being able to choose a mood and then be in their chosen mood.

People who are making good recoveries from mood disorder and people who I see as doing very well in life have far stronger beliefs in their ability to choose their mood.

I have previous written about how people choose their moods by first choosing an attitude. Put simply this is a matter of ‘act as if’.

If you were to change your breathing to be rapid and shallow, like a person having a panic attack, you will almost certainly start to feel anxious. Please do not try this if you are prone to panic attacks. In fact there is no need to do this at all, as you already know it is true.

mood success

Good behaviours can create good moods

If you, now, change your breathing to be both slower and deeper, like a person doing yoga, you will almost certainly start to feel calmer. If you are not familiar with this technique for lessening anxiety, now is the time to meet with an expert who can teach you more about breathing, as it can be the simplest and least expensive way to take more control of your mood.

This is what ‘act as if’ is about. If you act like an anxious person, you will become slightly more anxious. If you act like a depressed person you will become slightly more depressed.

If you act like a calm person you will become a little calmer.

It works!

When it comes to mood we all already do some acting.

  • Can you think where sometimes acting can get us into trouble?

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