A recent headline caught my attention in Google news alerts: “Study finds doughnuts the most likely food to put you in a bad mood.” It wasn’t so much about the food item as it was the power of that doughnut…
Put you in a bad mood?
I got thinking about all the things that can “put” me in a bad mood: being late, someone else being late, a messy kitchen, finding dog poop behind the couch, I could go on.
The power of mood
Our mood can set the tone for the day. And it can also have an impact on our behavior. Have you ever walked into a room in a bit of a huff and then blamed it on being in a bad mood because of traffic, weather, your boss, your dog, etc. etc,? You’re not alone.
There’s even a new study out that shows teenagers can catch moods from their friends. As a mother of teenagers, I didn’t need a study to tell me that, but it’s comforting to read the science.
There’s no question our mood can have an impact on us and others around us. But can we have an impact on our mood?
What do you control? What are your choices?
At the core of being Thoughtfully Fit, is focusing on your choices and what you control. Let’s look at our core from the perspective of mood.
Can you control your mood?
Simply put, no. You can’t control your mood, when you’re in it. If you’re in a bad mood, you can’t change in that moment the way you can change your sweater. If you’re in a bad mood, that’s simply where you are. Pretending you’re not doesn’t work. (There’s lots of research on this, like this: Experts Say Trying to Force Yourself to Be Happy Doesn’t Work.)
What are your choices?
Think that because you’re in a bad mood you have to have a bad day? Or that gives you permission to take your bad mood out on everyone else?
You may not be able to control your mood when you’re in it, but you have plenty of choices on how you respond to it. This is where your power is! If you’re in a bad mood, you can still choose how you want to deal with it.
You can address what it is that “put” you in a bad mood (have that conversation with a coworker). You can acknowledge the negative self-talk running through your head, like “I’m not enough”. And if you know you’d feel better if you put down your phone or went for a walk, well then you can choose to do that.
You can also choose if you want to be vulnerable and let people know what’s going on. It’s not uncommon on my team for someone to say at the beginning of a meeting, “I’m having a rough day, so if I seem off my game don’t hesitate to ask some clarifying questions.” Sharing this upfront doesn’t mean they’re off the hook for crappy behavior, but the act of sharing where you are in that moment is like releasing the air on a pressure cooker. Everyone can take a breath and be a bit more understanding.
One-Minute Thoughtfully Fit Workout
So here’s a one-minute workout that you might be able to do in 30-seconds!
Pause. Check in with yourself.
Think. How would you describe your mood? What choices do you have right now? How do you want to show up in this moment, in this mood?
Act. Whatever you decide, do that!
Becoming aware of your moods
The more you think about your mood, the more you can recognize what put you in that mood. Take some time to notice your moods and see what you discover about yourself. If you choose, you can look for patterns for things that “put” you in a good mood.
Who knows, it might just be a doughnut!