As someone who is prone to low moods – by which I mean periods of days or weeks that I feel flat, and more negative, impatient, dissatisfied and heavy – what has been incredibly helpful to me is to understand the true nature of moods.
I used to think that there had to be something causing a bad mood, that they were an unwelcome deviation from being creative and switched on caused by some situation or person to be resisted at all costs. If someone or something was bringing me down then the logical thing was to work out what was doing it and try and fix it. As such I would routinely enrol those closest to me trying to diagnose the cause and cure, which was inevitably a fruitless exercise as I lacked the clarity and perspective to have any fresh thinking.
What I now see is that moods are like the weather, a product of whatever the prevailing thinking is passing through your head. This varies from moment to moment and is beyond our control, sometimes happy, exciting thoughts, sometimes concerned or insecure. It is when we get particularly interested or concerned about some of that thinking, taking it seriously and believing it true rather than just something we thought, that it tends to stick around.
Like bad weather the only and best thing to do is to accept that you are not in control and make the best of the weather you find yourself in, doing what you can in those conditions, and waiting til it passes – which it invariably does – there really is little else to do that’s helpful. The more you fight it, question it, seek out who or what is causing it the deeper you sink into it and the harder life becomes. Because in a low mood you generally lack clarity and perspective you almost never find any answers by trying to think your way out of it.
It is also really useful to see that moods, like the weather again, are not as constant as they appear. Whilst it can feel like we are spending hours, days or weeks in a consistently low mood, the clue to their true nature lies in the fact that at any moment when we get distracted or interested in something else – be it a person, activity, song or scene – we can for that time be totally present, engaged and animated. It is only when our focus reverts to the familiar thoughts that had been weighing us down that the ‘mood’ returns.
But the most valuable parallel to appreciate is that, like the weather, the sun is always there behind the clouds no matter how dark they are, or stubbornly they persist. At some point if we let them, the clouds of our thinking will blow by and our state of mind will elevate back to its natural state of good sense and good humour. From there we see just what there is to do to address any of the genuine issues in our life that remain, many of which were only a product of our insecure thinking.
So if you are someone prone to low moods, or live or work with someone who does join us to learn what moods really are and how they can pass quicker and with less impact on you and everyone around you.
So if you are someone prone to low moods, or live or work with someone who does join us online TONIGHT at 8pm to learn what moods really are and how they can pass quicker and with less impact on you and everyone around you. If you would like to attend let us know and we’ll send you the details of how you can access the talk via computer, phone or tablet. This will be the last online talk we’ll be doing for a while so if you haven’t managed to join us yet we’d love to see you there.