Choose your mood

For more than a year I have asked training course participants if this statement is ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘maybe’…

“I choose my mood and am in the mood I want to be in most of the time”

I have been surprised that many nurses, social workers and similar participants say this is not true for them. They then say it is not true for the people they are paid to help.

Surely we should be able to choose our mood most of the time. If we find that our moods are almost entirely depend on our circumstances there is a huge risk that we could become increasingly unhappy and dissatisfied.

If we are going to help others recover from mood disorders and help others with choosing their moods we first need to practice choosing our own moods.

We can help clients, friends and family better when we are able to choose our own moods.

See: What is emotion?

Aiming to be calm

Do you remember learning to drive?

It was long time ago for me. More recently I have taught family members basic driving skills. Driving can have some similarities to the blue tree exercise. If the instructor says, “Don’t drive on the white lines” the pupil starts looking at the white lines and sure enough they either drive on the lines more or they lose focus on other aspects of their driving. To get better at driving, or anything else, a target to aim for is better than one to avoid.

dark mood road

“Looking ahead”

It has taken me decades to realise that a focus on avoiding anxiety, depression and over-activity is rarely as effective as when we focus on being calmer.

If you are thinking, “Don’t some people get a bit too calm and isn’t that a problem too?”

Yes, some people do get too calm, but in the busy world we live in, it is not so common and may never attract health professionals.

The health profession likes calm people. Remember calm = positive feelings with lower energy. When we are calm we feel good and so will rarely trouble our doctor. (Besides, people who are calm all the time probably have not read as far as this… if you are a calm all the time person and have read this far please send in some tips :-))

More seriously though, do you agree that bipolar tends to be seen in people who fail to be calm when in front of health professionals?

Photo: www.geraintsmith.com