Before we can begin to know what emotions or feelings we are experiencing in our daily lives, we need to be aware of our moods so that we may manage and shift them to affect positive outcomes within ourselves, our relationships, at home, work or at play.
Mood can be defined as frame of mind, disposition, bad or good temper and humor, sulk, having the doldrums. In an “atmosphere” mood creates a feeling, vibes, ambience, an aura in the air that may set a tone.
It is often difficult for us to identify our moods. If you didn’t know this already, we have a variety of moods to choose from which we experience in a day and may change many times during it. A mood cannot be simply described as “bad” or “good” – it helps to be more specific. It may sound simple, but knowing the specific mood we are experiencing will better allow us to work on changing or easing it and as a result allow us to name the emotions and feelings.
Moods are identified as one descriptive word: anxious, mad, happy, hurt, disappointed, loving, proud, guilty, ashamed and afraid. For instance, if we were in a frightened mood – a high level of emotion/feeling may be I feel dreadful, panicky, terrified, horrified, petrified, and desperate. A moderate level of emotion/feeling may be I feel alarmed, jittery, strained, shaky, threatened. A low level of emotion/feeling may be I feel uneasy, tense, timid, anxious, nervous or puzzled.
How to identify Moods
Body – focus on any changes to your body, is there a heaviness throughout it that may show disappointment, depression, while tight shoulders may show fear and tension or vice versa, relaxed shoulders may show we are in a pleasant mood.
Identify emotions/feelings – it’s important that we not judge our mood, as many of us may not want to admit to certain feelings as a result of our mood (e.g. anxious, bored). Moods are just that moods. It is okay to be honest about the mood and name it by the feeling or emotion and simply deal with it truthfully.
Be clear – Avoid using vague terms to describe your mood and be exact in your description, for example a sad mood, say, I feel bummed out, down, disappointed.
Moods are different from thoughts – Try to know the difference between moods and thoughts – this takes practice. Psychology Today explains our mind is cluttered with thousands of thoughts, most of which are repetitive and circular. Thoughts may range from wondering what “other people feel about me” to ruminating on “what life is all about.”
Identify and rate our Moods – On a scale of 0 to 100 we can think about rating the intensity of our moods – the higher the rating – the higher the intensity. We can think about the situation, describe where we were, who we were with and what we were doing? By being specific we can find our mood(s) in one word.
Canadian Mental Health Association reports that Mood disorders affect about 10% of the population. Everyone experiences “highs” and “lows” in life, but people with mood disorders experience them with greater intensity and for longer periods of time than most people. One common mood disorder is Depression. A person with depression feels “very low.” Symptoms may include: feelings of hopelessness, changes in eating patterns, disturbed sleep, constant tiredness, an inability to have fun, and thoughts of death or suicide.
It helps to know ourselves well if we can identify our moods. As a result we have a better understanding of our emotions and feelings to allow us to enjoy a healthier mental state and create greater relationships all around.