Can you change your mood at will?


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Have you ever had a day start bad and that vibe controls the entire day? Flip the script. Think of a time that you were in a really good mood. On that day, even the challenges you faced seemed just a little bit easier to deal with. How does your mood affect the actual quality of your day? What would happen if you could make a conscious decision about what your mood would be? Is that realistic, or oversimplifying something much more complicated? Can you change your mood at will?

Regulating your emotions or mood is about choosing your response to events even more than how you feel. That doesn't mean you refuse to acknowledge your true emotions. It means you choose to stay in control of your responses to events and emotions in life.

Tips To Change Your Mood For The Better

Refocus

Dwelling on negative moods or emotions tends to bring a more pessimistic and negative perspective. Dwelling on positive moods or emotions often brings a more optimistic outlook. The “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” is a thing. The part of that metaphor that is total fiction is that if you woke up in a certain mood that you are somehow bound to it throughout the day.

This is fiction.

You can intentionally or sometimes unintentionally change your mood many times in one day.

One tip for controlling mood is to refocus. If there is a distressing event of any kind consider redirecting your attention to another task. This could be something to occupy your mind, or it could be a positive emotion or thought that makes you feel happy, motivated, or confident. Decide to focus on or go do something else. It’s that simple. In theory that is.

Reappraisal

Changing the way, you look at a situation can change the way you feel about it. You can come at this idea in a variety of ways. You can use the “benefit of the doubt” to deal with someone in a negative situation. You can consider the fact that others you interact with may be dealing with things you don’t know about. This is kind of an altruistic way to reappraise. Another example is choosing to be motivated instead of lazy. Reappraisal could be choosing to focus on a future goal when motivating yourself to go and exercise instead of focusing on the task you don’t want to go and do.

According to a study, “Appraisal theories of emotion suggest that it is an individual’s subjective appraisal of an event—that is, its meaning and significance—rather than the event itself that leads to a specific emotional reaction.” (Seeing the Silver Lining: Cognitive Reappraisal Ability Moderates the Relationship Between Stress and Depressive Symptoms, Allison S. Troy, et al, 2010) This means it is all in how we interpret a situation. This gives you the freedom to choose your mood based on your appraisal of the situation.

Lighten Up

Take a “chill pill,” and find the humour in a situation. How to apply this in real life: ask yourself “Is this that big of a deal? “ Often situations that may distress us are just the daily minutia of life, not big deals. Stay in control of your mood and your day by remembering not to sweat the small stuff.

Change Your Perspective

Changing perspective is a powerful mood control tool It takes discipline. We can have all the wisdom and insight in the world. If we allow ourselves to be controlled by our emotions the wisdom is useless. Choose to change your perspective. Focus on the positive. Focus on what you can control. Then do it. Don’t spend time dwelling on what you are powerless about or perceived injustices. Empower yourself with a new perspective.

Change Of Scenery

Sometimes you just need a break. Get out of town, take a day off, or go on a walk. Move your body and give your senses some new stimuli. An environmental change is a great way to change your mood. Breathe in some new air and break the routine. Do so in a positive, and constructive way. Don’t be too impulsive, but at the same time allow yourself a much-needed change of scenery and routine from time to time.

You are in control of your mood at any given time. Choosing to be reflective vs. reactive and making strong decisions about when to allow yourself to dwell in negative or nonproductive emotions can drastically affect your mood and the kind of day you have. Take your power back and steer the boat when it comes to your moods and emotions.