We all have bad days when things we don’t like happens to us. What can you do about it?
Well, a good place to start would be to understand moods and how they work, would you agree? This understanding can help you out especially on the really dark gloomy days. Without this, you will have to deal with a great deal of frustration, stress, and anxiety.
Sometimes you will get the feeling that your life and experiences are more difficult than they actually are, and you will more than likely make a bigger deal out of things than you really need to. If you take the time to comprehend your moods this can be your protection from the illusions your mind can create when you are in a really awful mood. This will allow to let go of things a lot easier, to know when to back off, keep your sense of humor, and get along better with others, especially yourself. This understanding can save you a ton of grief and make your life much easier to get through.
Think for a moment how strong and cunning your moods can be. When you are in a good mood how do you feel? You probably feel more secure that on the whole you actually enjoy life. You feel confident, optimistic, reasonably happy. You like yourself, your friends, and even mom and dad are not too bad When you are in a good mood and a problem happens you feel somehow you can deal it and solve it. Think about school and it is not too bad and you can get through it. When you are in a good mood and someone says a cutting remark you may not like it, but it doesn’t get under your skin because you are calm and you have some perspective on things.
On the other hand, think about these exact same things when you are having a bad hair day, or in a foul mood, yikes! When you are feeling insecure, depressed, angry, or afraid your life can seem unbearable! You look around and all you see is doom and gloom. Regarding liking yourself, your friends, your parents, teachers, even the neighbors it will be much different from when you are in a good mood. Right? You’ll be more critical of everyone and everything when in the bad mood. You’ll be much more sensitive to yourself and take things much more personally. School will seem to be a drag, people will be out to get you, and no one really cares or understands you. Even the smallest thing will turn into a drama of negative emotions. Small problems will look like they are insurmountable. The strange thing about the low moods is that they appear to be so accurate and true, it looks as if what you are seeing and feeling is the way things really are.
Wait a minute! What does this tell you? The exact same person, the identical set of circumstances, the same difficulties, challenges, parents, school, friends all seem very different depending on how you feel. Another way to look at it is if you put on a pair of glasses with green lenses, this taints everything you see as being green. In a low mood, it taints everything to seem worse than it really is. In a low mood, you will always be far more reactive, hopeless and pessimistic. WOW, what a top notch thing to know! Do you realize that knowing this is going to make your life so much easier and how many arguments, fights and problems you will be able to avoid when you don’t take the thoughts in the low moods so seriously? How you look at the problems will be different. Now you have a choice you can decide to let the problems overwhelm you and be a victim, or realize this feeling will change and so will the way you deal with things. What a relief.
The secret is when you are in a low mood, instead of trusting what you see and feel and taking it too seriously and reacting to it, try and become a little suspicious of the way you are seeing and feeling things. Ask yourself if you were in a good mood would you look at the thing that is upsetting you in the same way? Everyone is always more pessimistic and negative when they are low and in a rotten mood. However, as soon as the mood goes back up they feel and act differently.
Be patient with yourself. on the low days don”t try to figure things out, make important decisions, or tell others what you think of them because on these days you won’t have very much compassion, common sense, or wisdom. You may even say something that will hurt someone very deeply and no matter how sorry you may feel after, you won’t be able to take your words back. You cannot unring a bell.
The problem is that when you are feeling low, that’s the time when you really want to try to figure everything out because that’s when everything feels so important and urgent. This is where most people react and mess up. Take this to heart and do nothing. Whatever it is you are dealing with will pass. Just exercise a little self-control and patience and tomorrow things will work out. Or just sleep on it and see how things turn out.
Until next time I wish peace, love and happiness. Martin Acton sensei