Moods v Emotions
Our mood is like an artist’s canvas onto which we paint the daily ebb and flow of our emotions with a brush. Each morning when we wake the colour the colour of our canvas can range from white to various shades of grey through to black. What colour is your mood today?
When our mood canvas is white or a lighter shade of grey then we are more equipped to deal with the emotions that life throws as us. The darker the grey the harder it can become to cope with daily life never mind the highs and lows of emotional events.
Moods are sticky and they can move slowly which means we can have the same colour canvas for days, weeks or months or it can change in a matter of hours.
Our emotions are different as they can change very quickly and can either be negative: fear, anger, disgust, sadness, rage, loneliness or they can be positive: serenity, hope, gratitude, kindness, cheerfulness, happiness.
Our emotions are caused by thoughts the float by second by second and are intensified by those thoughts that we grab hold off and chew on like a dog with a bone. The more we hold onto a thought the more the emotion it creates will grow. So, if you don’t like the feeling, if you don’t like the picture it is creating on your mood canvas, then let it go.
Deep beneath our conscious thoughts, there is a place of no thought, but it is not a place of no feeling.
Thoughts pass through us constantly, a steady stream of ideas and information, mostly meaningless and if we just let them go, if we let them pass by and don’t grab hold of them they cannot effect how we feel.
Why then, if we let our thoughts float away and not allow them to effect how we feel, do we still have goods days and bad days? Some days we feel as if there is a black cloud of despair floating above our heads and other days we feel as if the rays of the sun are brightening everything with love and goodwill and depositing feel good calmness all around.
You can ask yourself, why do I feel down today? or why do I feel good today? and you can find no obvious answer. Nothing in your life has changed dramatically between yesterday and today that would make you mood swing.
The answer lies in the canvas and the paint, the canvas is our mood a place deep inside, that can make us feel down or make us feel content and every shade in between and it has nothing to do with our thoughts.
If you want to know the difference, then try a little meditation for 10 minutes, allowing your thoughts to calm down and float away, and after 10 minutes ask yourself on a scale of 1 – 10, how am I feeling today, or on a shade card of white to black, what colour is my blank canvas today.
How To Control Our Feelings
There are two ways to control how we feel:
1. Control our Emotions:
Stop believing every thought that comes through your mind. They are not you, they are just random thoughts that float by every second of every day, we cannot stop them, but we can give ourselves permission to let them go.
They say there are only two things in life that are certain, death and taxes, but you can add your thoughts onto that as they arrive one after the other with monotonous regularity like a meaningless tickertape of ideas that we need to learn to just let go. When I notice my thoughts I imagine putting them into a little hot air balloon than is floating by and watch while they float away into the distance.
2. Improve Our Underlying Mood
If your blank canvas is heading from dark grey to black then positive affirmations won’t work as you are already beginning to lose hope that life can get better. When the pain is deep inside and you cannot explain why, you need to accept that this is a bad day, a bad week, or a bad period in your life. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t try and analyse it, as this will only add more meaning and you will dwell longer on where you are.
Know, as you have always known that we all have bad days and good days and you know that good days will return. You know this because that’s how life works. Everyone has good days and bad days, the depths of the despair and the highs of the joy may differ from person to person, but in the ebb and flow of life it is normal, sometimes we know why, but there are times we examine our thoughts and find no reason, but we know that we will feel good again, because that is what happened before and so it will happen again.
If you wake up with that feeling of gloom, and want to change how you feel, the following suggestions may help move you to a place where healing can start:
5 Ways To Change The Colour Of Your Mood
a) Don’t sit where you are, dwelling on your mood, move. If you can, go outside in nature and talk to the plants, walk through long grass. Being with nature is a great healer because it is a part of who we are, cooped up in a factory, an office or a house is not where we are meant to be. Reconnect to nature, with the weather, walking in the summer can be wonderful but so can jumping in muddy puddles with the right footwear, and building snowmen in winter can invigorate and refresh us. Enjoy all nature in any weather, no excuses!
b) Talk to someone, not necessarily about how you are feeling, but ask about them, how they are feeling. Switch the focus of your attention away from yourself onto other people. Sometimes it can feel as if we are the only person in the world who feels this way and then we discover that, no, we are surrounded by family and friends who also have good days and bad days. Just knowing that we are not weird or different can help.
c) Exercise – try and work your way through the alphabet of exercise and find the one that is right for you – Aerobic, Body Balance, Yoga, Running, Jogging, Walking, Climbing, Rambling, Golf, Tennis, Badminton – anything and everything to get those feel good chemicals flowing through your body, mind and soul.
d) Eat Healthily, healthy foods feed the body and the mind. There is a tendency when are down to eat junk food. I have heard it many times over the years – I deserve this chocolate, roll and sausage, curry and chips because I have had a hard day, I am stressed, I am upset. Well it might make you feel good in the moment, but how long will that last and will it change your mood? No, it will probably make you feel worse, because now you are feeling down and you also feel guilty and annoyed with yourself.
e) Don’t resort to artificial substances, especially alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and will only make you feel worse. It might give temporary relief but the the next day, you will still feel down but also have to cope with a hangover.
DO WATCH YOUR DIET
DO GET INTO NATURE
DON’T SIT STILL
DON’T RESORT TO ARTIFICIAL STIMULANTS
Wherever you are at this moment in your mood chart, no matter how bad you feel, our moods are always changing. Even if we sat in the one place long enough and did nothing they would eventually shift they will just take time but if you move and do something different you will help the process along and change will happen quicker, maybe moving to a lighter shade of grey or white canvass ready for you to paint on todays emotions.