You Are Not Your Mood
Want to get your bother on starting now?
Read the first chapter from my new book for a jolt of fresh perspective and possibility, and a radical reframe on what to do when you are feeling lost, blah, unmotivated, or burned out, in any area of your life or for any reason — even success!
Long ago when I was in my ontological coaching training, I learned this interesting theory: humans are always in a mood. Moods are the background tone of our lives, but we easily forget that we are in a mood and, instead, we believe we are our moods and that our moods are fixed and will never change.
From there, we tend to fall into “why bother?” procrastination, putting others first, and overwhelm.
BUT when we remember that our moods are malleable, changeable, that we can always change our mood at least a little, we stop waiting to feel like it.
We remember: action changes mood.
Simply remembering our moods are not us, and not fixed, can get you off the couch and out the door for your walk or to the computer to write.
And sometimes you need a bit more help.
I struggle with depression and anxiety, and I am not suggesting that because moods are malleable we can change how we feel “presto!” But rather this is another tool to play with to give us relief and wiggle room.
Here is what I do to work with my mood:
I welcome what I am feeling. This morning this looked like lying in bed, in the predawn moonlight, welcoming my depression and slight anxiety about the guided journal I’m writing, Get Your Bother On (available early December!)
I breathed deeply, and I greeted my mood. My sadness.My thoughts of, “I suck, I can’t do this.”
“This, too,” I whispered. “This, too, is welcomed.”
I reminded myself: “What is met can move.”
I connected with what I care about: my desire to write a journal that translates the ideas in Why Bother? into practice and action.
I reminded myself when I’m depressed I’m not the best judge of my work or my future.
I asked myself, “What mood would I like to cultivate so I can love today?” This felt a bit ambitious, so I changed it to, “What mood would I like to cultivate so I can feel okay today?’
My posture shifted, my breathing expanded, I remembered I have manychoices in this moment. I remembered I’m okay.
Your mood is a background that you can always bring to the foreground. In doing so, possibilities can open up.
You can shift your mood with movement, dance, a wonder walk, yogic breathing techniques, journaling your worries and fears, taking one small action step, but first you have to remember:
You are not your mood.
Your mood will change no matter how bad it is right now.
(It may have changed a tiny bit reading this!)
You do not have to wait to “feel” like it to take action on your desires, just a small step will help.
You can handle this day.
Be gentle with yourself. Play with your mood if that appeals to you. Either way, thanks for being in this with me.