Are you down in the dumps? Well, if so you are not alone. Many of us are unaware that we are in a bad mood or that some people would describe you as a “Negative Nina or Nigel”; In many cases, someone close to us sharing their thoughts about us is the only way it comes to our attention. Years ago, I began to ask myself “Why am I always in a bad mood?”. I had always considered myself an optimist. However, I have recently been told a different story from my loved ones. Suddenly, I was never an optimist at all, more like an individual that would inflict my tirades on everyone I care for, which came as an extreme surprise for me.
As a teenager admittedly, there were times when I suffered from debilitating fear and anxiety. Even, too afraid to try to reach for my goals. My latent negative self-image caused intense anxiety about an undesirable potential output. Leaving the house felt like a struggle, any time I ventured out for school or work. My stomach would constantly churn at night or in the morning before a task that I would presume would be unsuccessful. The duration of social functions was unbearable, I constantly imagined that each person that I encountered thought and spoke negatively about me. My ultra sensitivity would kick in and suddenly other people's emotions affected my mood. Any and every remark would congratulate myself worth. In the evening when returning home, I would just cry incessantly, about everything I interpreted as a personal attack that occurred during the day.
After years of introspection, now I was able to identify the physical manifestations of fear in my life. Relief was finally in my grass and I was in control of my mood through mentally altering my emotions. The practice of positive thinking and meditation to was the integral change. Positive thinking was the new method I used to dispel the fear that I created in my head. Although acquired either instinctively or cognitively equipped with what I consider a predisposition towards a negative mood. I was able to overcome my dismal perceptions, I placed new tools like positive thinking and expectation in my toolbox instead of excuses, permissions to fail and extremely the symptoms of a bad mood.
Since my belief that I was totally recovered from this disruptive condition, it turned out to be dormant when things were going well in my life. It was not until termination from my job in my mid-thirties, turned my world upside down. At that time, I began to experience the overwhelming haze of a persistent bad moods again. I felt I had lost control of my life and emotions. No longer, did my academic and career achievement matter to anyone, including myself. I felt justified and taken advantage of by my former employer. As a coping mechanism, a pity party was in order and unfortunately I had the right to live once again down in the dumps.
All of a sudden, my life had changed for the worse, the bad mood was back and ruining my relationships. The symptoms became increasingly increasing as I accepted what many call the “realistic” or pessimistic outlook on life. It seems comical in hindsight, how my life came full circle; I then asked myself the same question as before “Why am I always in a bad mood?”, But unlike before surprising answers re-surfaced this time around.
In light of this, I thought back to when my twenties came to a close. At that time, I began to understand how my mental outlook and expectations affected my reality. I was doing great in my career, accomplishing my goals, and had a great boyfriend, but as I accumulated these achievements. I realized that somehow, I forgot to take care of myself and focus on my personal goals for my life. The exercise regime had long since ended, nothing was fun anymore and no longer was I connected with my thoughts through use of journal. During my unexpected hiatus, I determined that the primary reason for my bad mood was that I did not do anything to stimulate my spirit, my energy or my creativity.
What happened to fulfilling my goals such as piano, tennis and Spanish lessons? What happened to the things I once enjoyed. That that moment, there was very little that I enjoyed about my life, the negative circumstances in my life seemed to magnify. I began to feel like my career, was all there was for me and my education had to be validated by my success in the corporate world. After college, I focused primarily on my career and with nothing else to look forward to after work. This realization, caused me to remember many unfulfilled goals over this period of adversity and uncertainty.
In a nutshell, it is not only your attitude in life that determinates whether you will have a good or bad mood. It is what you fill your life with that changes how positively you view your life and what mood you are in. So, ask yourself these questions: Do you do things you enjoy? Or are you bogged down in the dumps of life, concerned only with increasing earnings and success?
Here are some practical suggestions for Improving mood:
Spend some time with family
Create some “Me” time on calendar
Develop your long lost hobbies
Write in a journal daily about what you are thankful for
Exercise, walk or run
Meditate on the great things in your life
Develop your spirit nature
Read a book on self-improvement
Volunteer or mentor
Take the time to continously balance your work and family commitments with favorable activities in your schedule; it can create lasting optimistic perspectives and a positive mood through your life. Be sure to include some of the things on the list above, when prioritizing your life and scheduling tasks. You will begin to change your bad mood for the good. Take it from me, the thought of doing something fun or worthwhile is enough to propel anticipation of good things that are still to come, into all areas of your life.