He wasn’t exactly in a rotten mood
In fact he was doubled over and could hardly breathe!
First he coughed, then spluttered, then he erupted into a staccato ‘yuk,yuk,yuk’ that sounded like a machine gun firing. At one point, he was gasping for breath.
I love it when I get this kind of response to a joke!
Naturally, a few minutes later he stopped laughing, and we continued our conversation. If he hadn’t stopped laughing, events might have taken a slightly different turn! The point is; it’s natural to stop laughing at some point.
Laughter results from a particular state of mind
Other states of mind include sadness, confidence, calm and Texas (no, sorry — that’s a different type of state!).
To maintain your state, you need to keep reinforcing it
So if you want to maintain laughter, you’d have to keep remembering the joke, or at least the punch line! Sadness would require you to keep reminding yourself of reasons to be sad. To maintain happiness, you would need to recall your reasons for being happy, and to maintain that rotten mood, you’d need to remember the reasons you’re in a rotten mood.
This is the way you keep your mood alive — regardless of whether you’re aware of it. Those with high levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) have learned to manage their emotions and mood.
You create your own mood
I’ve discovered the fundamental causes of moodiness are:
- A lack of self-awareness or recognition that mood management is under each individual’s control.
- An inability to express oneself clearly and appropriately.
1. Lack of self-awareness, or recognition that your mood is under your control
If you’re a moody person, you might not be aware of how you make yourself moody, and that’s part of the problem. Without self-awareness, you won’t understand how you ‘do’ your mood.
Moods seem to descend on you like a fog or rain
But, unlike the weather, you do possess some control over your moods. Most sulky people blame something, someone or an event/situation for how they feel. What about you — who or what do you blame for your moods? It’s important to realise it’s you own reasoning — or lack of reasoning — that’s keeping you stuck in the rotten mood.
Moods and the law of attraction
Moodiness begins with a negative judgement about something. That negativity attracts more supporting gloom-ridden thoughts and opinions, which justify the first negative judgement. Pretty soon there’s a whole gang of negative, poisonous thoughts just lying in wait ready to hijack the next person who dares make conversation!
Jenny’s boyfriend said he’d call her around 4.00pm to talk about where they would go for dinner than evening. He didn’t call at 4.00 pm, so Jenny thought “I bet he’s forgotten that we’re even supposed to be going out tonight.” Followed by, “He’s done this to me before.” Then, “I bet he doesn’t want to go out anyway.”
“I don’t know why I bother with him”
“No-one else would put up with this sh*t!”
Jenny finds many judgements to support her original theory. When her boyfriend calls at 4.45pm, apologising for being caught up in an important meeting, Jenny is seething and sulky.
[Read more about thoughts and the law of attraction in this article How to conquer your toxic thinking.]
Mood on — mood off
Because people have control over their moods, they can turn them on and off.
Here’s an example
I was working on a project with a colleague who was in a foul mood. He met my questions and suggestions with blunt one or two-word responses or grunts. He responded to my attempts to lighten his mood with drop dead glares. The situation was tiresome, childish, and unprofessional.
At one point, his boss came into the room. For a moment I wondered if she was his fairy godmother, because her entrance had an almost magical effect on my co-worker. For the ten minutes the boss was with us, he took on a whole new persona. He was lively, fun, confident, even flirty. The minute the boss left, she took his good mood with her.
The darkness returned
The black cloud came back, along with the rotten mood, one-word responses and dirty looks! If you’ve ever been around someone who’s moody, you’ve no doubt experienced something similar. That someone can interrupt a mood like that is a testament to how much control people have over their state of mind.
2. An inability to express oneself clearly and appropriately
As you saw from my example, a person can target a mood towards one or more people. This is because the moody person doesn’t communicate effectively, or doesn’t say what they wish to say, to whomever they need to say it. They don’t know how to express their emotions without blaming someone else for those feelings.
Being moody becomes a way of punishing everyone the moody person holds responsible for their feelings — plus a few others. This is a great confusion tactic, because no-one knows who is guilty of upsetting the moody person!
So if you’re a moody person, how can you change?
There are several ways:
- Take responsibility.
- Tell whoever has upset you exactly what they did and the impact their behaviour has had on you, but without blaming them.
- Remember, others cannot read your mind – they may genuinely have no clue why you’re in a snot!
- Develop more self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
Let’s explore each one
1. Take responsibility for your emotions
Recognise that moodiness is a choice. No-one can make you feel unhappy unless you allow them to, because only you control your emotions. When you allow others to control your responses, you’re behaving like a victim — and giving away your power. Learn how to stop people pushing your buttons.
You don’t blame others when you’re happy, do you? So why would you blame others when you’re unhappy?
2. Tell the person who has upset you
If you believe someone has done or said something deliberately to upset you, tell them about it. If you think you can’t tell them, learn how to — or write them a letter. It’s much better to get the issue off your chest than keep it inside eating away at you. If you consider the misdemeanour was not deliberate, why are you getting upset about it? Forgive the person and move on!
3. Remember, others cannot read your mind
They don’t know what you’re upset about. So if you don’t tell them what’s upsetting you they might upset you again.
4. Develop more self-awareness.
Become aware of your own thinking processes. How are you making yourself moody? Observe the negative thoughts that are contributing to your mood. Change them, one-by-one, to support a better mood.
Use the same ‘rotten mood creating strategy’ to experience happiness and gratitude
Yes, you use the same strategy you used to create a rotten mood — but use different words and tone. To make yourself moody, you need to keep reliving something upsetting, and search for other things that justify and confirm your moodiness.
Instead, remember something you’re grateful for
Replay it over and over in your mind. Notice the pictures you make in your mind and words that show you’re grateful. Now remember another thing you’re thankful for, then another. Continue until you’re feeling blessed, lucky, happy and joyful!
Use the same strategy to create a great mood
Don’t hold back! Look at some jokes, recall funny situations from your past, look at cartoons or watch a video.
Now, about that bad mood…
- Remember, self awareness is the key to understanding your emotional states and mood.Start with my free Get Unstuck self Review. It will help you identify the areas where you can improve your self-awareness.
- Learn how to express yourself clearly and appropriately, so you let people know when you’re unhappy about something — rather than stewing on it.
- Take control of your emotions. Ultimately your mood is your choice.
It’s your life — create it how you’d like it to be.
I’m here if you’d like help to change your thinking and mood. Check out SHIFT Coaching.Tags: Communication skills, Conflict, Managing mood and emotions, Self-awareness, Thinking and mindset