Moods manifest themselves in manifold hues and shades. Sometimes you may fell happy, while sometimes sad; at times you may feel irritated and at times elated. Different internal and external stimuli in your life lead to the expression of your moods in different ways. It is so interesting, isn’t it? If you maintain a mood diary and write about the varied kinds of moods you underwent on a given day, you will find amazing variations in it. Without our feelings, emotions and moods life would have been so mundane and automated. Moods add meaning and significance to life as a whole.
Do not get confused between moods and emotions. Moods are less intense in nature and can be either of a positive valence or negative valence. However, emotional reactions are much more intense and long-lasting. Etymologically, the word mood is derived from the Old English mōd which means military courage. It also refers to a person’s disposition, temperament or humor at a given period or particular time. Moods are of psychological importance as they play a vital role in regulating one’s daily life functioning. Your moods have significant influence on your personal life, social interactions, peer group interactions, professional life and your entire life ‘n’ lifestyle as a whole. Therefore, it is very important to recognize your moods, understand them and keep them under your conscious control.
“Mood has to be controlled. Otherwise, it’s your master.” – Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
Factors Influencing Moods
There are several factors that influence your moods and mood swings. Some of the pivotal ones are:
|Factors Influencing Moods||Descriptions|
|Lifestyle||A good, well-balanced and healthy lifestyle leads to happy and healthy mood states. An unhealthy lifestyle makes you agitated, irritated, restless and mentally unstable|
|Diet||Some foods and flavors like hot, spicy and tangy ones lead to moods of negative valence|
|Sleep||If you do not get a good night’s sleep, if you are experiencing hypersomnia or hyperinsomnia… then these sleep problems are very likely to make your mood states unstable and lead to mood swings|
|Social Mood||Sometimes your moods are influenced by the societal behavior or the crowd that you are in. If the people around you are in a good mood, you will feel the same too and vice versa|
|Medical Conditions||Hormonal imbalances, menstrual cycles, PMS (Premenstrual symptoms), pregnancy, menarche, menopause, psychological medical conditions like depression, mania, etc are seen to influence your moods in different ways|
|Positive vs Negative Moods||Positive and negative moods are also seen to play a vital role in the maintenance and regulation of moods. They are also influential in mood swings.|
Mood swings are subjective in nature. Everything in and around you can radically alter your mood system. Passing or flunking an exam, getting loved or losing a loved one, falling sick or feeling healthy… Variations in your experiential world take you in a tour of different moods and mood swings. Sometimes understanding your moods and dealing with mood swings is easy. However, if you are unable to deal with mood swings, handle your moods or going through a medical condition that is influencing your moods then try the following tips and techniques:
Identify your moods
Many people don’t even realize the kind of mood they are experiencing or the fact that they are going through a mood swing! So, the first step towards controlling or dealing with your moods is to identify your mood tone. Are you happy or sad… are you feeling alright or emotionally restless—-try to ask yourself such questions and identify the tone and valence of your moods.
Release your moods
If you have a habit of bottling up or hiding your emotions or reactions, please don’t do so. If you are experiencing a mood and its reaction try to express it in adaptable ways. The more you bottle up or hide your moods, the more restless and agitated you will feel. This may also lead to severe mental health issues in future. So, if you are happy then smile, if you are sad then feel free and shed a few tears—-it’s quite natural.
Identify the triggers
There must be something that would be aggravating your negative moods or mood swings. Therefore, you need to identify the triggers and deal with them accordingly.
Eat healthy, sleep well, exercise, socialize with good people… In short maintain a good lifestyle. The healthier your lifestyle is, the healthier your moods will be.
Seek professional help
If you are frequently experiencing negative moods or mood swigs, then it could be due to a medical or psychological condition. In such a case, it is wise to seek professional help. Psychologists and psychiatrists can help you to effectively deal with it.