Choose Your Mood – It’s Up to You

I wrote this a few years ago, and it’s a good reminder (especially to myself!) all the way around.

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Yes, it can be done–you can choose your mood! I know from experience that often when I’m having a pissy day, some stubborn little root inside my heart likes that pissy day, and doesn’t want to change it. It’s the kind of indulgence that feels great at the time; afterward, not so much. There is a perverse pleasure in being Crabby von Crabbenstein for a few minutes, hours, or days. It’s like eating potato chips and chocolate ice cream for two days straight–it’s fun for a while, but it isn’t sustainable.

Contrary to popular belief, bad moods don’t just drop down on us from the sky. Suffice to say that they exist and that we all have them from time to time. The hard part is deciding if we want to stay in that bad mood, or lift ourselves out of it.

For years I couldn’t understand how to do that; how to make myself happy, or at least less miserable. But it is surprisingly simple to make that change. The longer I live, the more I realize that our mental pain comes from fear or resentment or just plain loneliness; no one seems to want to be with us or appreciate us. That’s when it’s time to haul out the cheerleader pom-poms (and no–I never was a cheerleader in high school) and cheer for YOURSELF.

So here’s what I’ve been doing to at least show myself that I am still somewhat on the ball: I make a list each day. By the end of the day, there may only be things on it such as “I made the bed,” “I emptied the dishwasher,” “I made a pitcher of iced tea,” “I did a load of laundry,” “I brushed my teeth,” and “I wrote and sent a letter to my uncle.” But they are accomplishments, little as they might be. That list cheers me up and lets me know that, even though I still don’t feel like my old pre-lumpectomy self, I am still in the game, and still doing something each day.

One of my favorite saying comes from the wonderful Scottish folk: “many a mickle makes a muckle.” This means that many little things add up to big things, and that’s GOOD.

Additionally, I have learned to talk myself out of bad moods. There is an amazing power to hearing your own voice say, “Now c’mon, that’s enough of being negative. Start thinking about all the many things in your life.” Then what starts out as a little trickle of goodness becomes a flood of good things. Another trick in my tool bag is saying out loud (and it works so much better when you DO say it out loud), “I am NOT going to be in this bad mood! I’m going to have a GREAT day, and nothing is going to stop me from having it!”

Oh sure, if you’re doing this while driving (which I often do), people will probably stare at you, but so what? You are the one who is going to have a great day, no matter what their day is going to be. When some impatient twerp behind me roars by and gets one car length ahead of me, I say (again, out loud), “Good–I’d a whole lot rather have you ahead of me than behind me!” Wish them well and go on with your day.

So can it be that simple to change moods? Yup–it is, it truly is that simple. And if a big old crabasaurus like me can do it, so can you.

Have a great day, everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Choose Your Mood – It’s Up to You

  1. pamkirst2014 says:

    May your good mickles be many!!

  2. Diane Kirkup says:

    Thanks for your sharing Jane. Unfortunately I disagree with you for some of us who have mental chemical imbalances and who refuse to be drugged it’s a struggle to remain positive and just change your thoughts. I, for one, have to fight daily sometimes to keep my thoughts in check and it is wearing. There are times when it’s easy and other times when it’s a constant challenge to see the glass full. In earlier years I was drugged for an anxiety disorder, as I have aged and learned more and refuse to drug myself, peace comes from swimming, mediation and my faith in God. But there are those times when I wake up and the grayness is upon me and sometimes it lasts for days. Accepting myself as I am has been an ongoing process and so I understand just a little more about those who cannot just say I can change my mind and it has given me sympathy and understanding for those who suffer from mental disorders and yet try to live a normal life. Sometimes it is beyond being able to describe to anyone else and so it becomes more isolating, especially in times of great challenges that life puts before us. I am not defending a negative attitude, I intellectually know where I want to be and yet it’s like something pressing down on me. I hope my sharing may help another soul. My work reflects beauty, light and love and I pray my soul can reflect that. Perhaps I get a little defensive when someone says just change your thoughts, for some it’s not that easy.

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