We’ve all been there: we’re doing fine and then out of seemingly nowhere, a mood hits us. Your mood is the nexus between environmental influences, life events, and your body. Here are three sour scenarios and how you can enter a better headspace.
Scenario #1: You’re so stressed all the time.
Sometimes feeling stressed comes second to another emotion. For example, you may be stressed about a new deadline for work, but you’re really feeling frustrated instead. Labeling an emotion accurately helps you determine what is really going on for you. Ask yourself: What does stressed feel like? What is making you feel this way? Once you’ve figured out the root of your emotional turmoil, consider the next steps; maybe this means establishing clearer communication with your employer.
Scenario #2: Your friend just downloaded on you and now you’re blue.
Emotional contagion is real. Humans tend to mimic their companion’s facial expressions, posture, body language, and speech rhythms without being completely aware of it. These small movements can trigger the actual feeling in your brain, as if you were actually feeling what your friend is feeling. One thing to remember is that absorbing your friend’s emotions won’t help them or you. To mitigate emotional contagion, consider taking a break from the conversation to clear your head and remind yourself that your friend’s emotion belongs to them, not you.
Scenario #3: You’re feeling irritable and angry out of nowhere.
With everything going on in the world, it seems like there’s a lot to be frustrated about. But if you get angry out of seemingly nowhere, and on a regular basis, you should investigate the root cause. Anything that affects your hormones or blood sugar can cause sudden mood changes, as can encounters with certain people and places. First things first: discern whether its physiological or environmental factors. Once you know what’s triggering this change, you can course-correct – maybe by limiting sugar intake, establishing boundaries with difficult people, or taking some alone time.
These are certainly emotional times. But emotions like anxiety, fear, and sadness are visiting forces – it's up to you whether you invite them to stay longer. Excavating the root cause of your rollercoaster can help you build a track that’s a smoother ride for all.