Managing Our Moods

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“That’s one of the peculiar things about bad moods – we often fool ourselves and create misery by telling ourselves things that simply are not true.” ~David D. Burns

wife controlDo you let your moods affect those around you? Almost everyone has bad days, or times when they feel cranky. If we are not aware that we are “under the influence” of a negative mood , we can assume that the problem is with others, rather than ourselves. It is a little like putting on dark glasses, and forgetting you have them on. Everything looks less bright, but we assume that is the reality “out there,” and not just the lenses through which we are looking.

If we are not aware of our moods, it is easy to be angry and critical of others, simply because we feel an inner irritation that we project out to those around us. We may just feel justified in snapping at others simply because we feel so miserable.

However, this is really not okay. It is not fair, and it is confusing to others. Suddenly they are on the receiving end of anger and blame for reasons they do not understand. They either end up feeling very hurt and wronged, or else they become angry and defensive. Uncontrolled moods can create havoc in relationships, both personal and professional.

The first step in creating a healthier emotional ecology is to learn to “contain” our moods, much as environmentalists might work to contain an oil spill. We need to be aware when we are feeling “off” and to take responsibility for our own inner state. It is important to have strategies to manage our emotions so others are not victimized by them. While it is fine to apologize after a “mood induced” incident, you cannot really erase the impact from the heart and mind of another.

Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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