Saturday, June, 25,2022

MOODINESS THE COMMON COLD OF THE MIND

He is just impossible. When something goes bad, he takes things out on anyone for no good reason…” This is a widespread complaint about people from all walks of life. Some are moody, grouchy and unpredictable. A moody person’s emotions change often. One day, they are happy and trusting. The next day, they are down and critical.

As confusing as it may seem, almost everyone goes through different moods from time to time. Often a bad mood is due to illness, poor diet, fatigue and exhaustion because of unrelenting pressures. A moody person is difficult to live with. Some say that moods are beyond our control, being governed by chemicals in the brain. Whether that is true or not, feelings are contagious. We can either be cheered up or depressed by those around us. One can ask, “how do I react when I’ve had a bad day or when I’m feeling under a lot of pressure?” Do I sometimes get grumpy or irritable? Am I touchy, sullen or uncommunicative?

There is nothing to be ashamed of if we suffer from an emotional illness – any more than suffering from a physical illness. Being alarmingly common, moodiness has been termed as “the common cold of the mind.” Just about anyone can get it. It is all-pervasive and affects every aspect of one’s life. It corrodes one’s confidence, self respect and ability to think straight and make decisions. Often a person weeps for no reason due to an overwhelming sense of loneliness and pain, despite having family and friends.

Most of us know what it is like to experience a wave of sadness. With time, the feeling subsides, but the depressed feel the ups and downs, twists and turns as if on a speedy train not knowing when or how to get down.

Mood swings are an indicator of an underlying disease. Lack of sleep, stress, weaknesses or habits in life style, a break up of a close relationship, dark indoor work space, cloudy cold climate, genes or adverse life experiences can trigger moodiness and depression.

What one eats can also make a difference. Eating a lot of sweets and junk food is detrimental to one’s mood. Exercises and eating healthy are a real mood up lifter.

A moody person can become self absorbed. Death can be preferred to life when one feels trapped in one’s situation. By recognizing distorted thinking patterns and mentally questioning their validity, one can maintain an optimistic attitude and not allow the mood to dominate one’s life.

Some of our emotional problems may be rooted in the past especially if we have been victims of unjust treatment. It is better to forgive and forget than destroy our life by dwelling on what cannot be undone.

By putting one’s feelings into words is a healing process that prevents the mind from trying to deny the reality of the problem. We should not allow an ‘undaunted by adversity’ appearance to inhibit us from taking help from others.

Using few simple words that manifest interest, concern and affection can do much good to the moody one. Lending a hearing ear is fundamental to soothing others. This can make the afflicted one share his / her fears. Commendation empowers a depressed individual for a personal fight against feelings of disappointment or rejection.

Some keep their melancholies to themselves because of which they are in a constant dreary mood. Whether feelings are shared or not, regaining cheerfulness, depends to a large extent upon one’s frame of mind and outlook.

Music can create various kinds of moods in us. Listening to the right type and for the right duration, can do wonders in raising the spirits and instilling a happy attitude.

It is hard to fight a sullen mood. But directing our attention and energy to do something for others will be of immense help in nourishing a good mood.

Engaging in activities that bring pleasure like shopping, playing games, cooking a favourite recipe, surfing the net, browsing through a book store, dining out, reading, even putting together a puzzle, can be a ready medication for ‘down / blue’ days.

Rather than confusing the illness with the individual, making efforts to understand, can help one to treasure the beautiful person behind the moodiness.

Successfully fighting mood changes requires having a balanced view of our own worth. False pride, ignoring our limitations and perfectionism, are all an overestimation of ourselves. Resisting these tendencies and also avoiding the other extreme can dispel gloominess and lead to cheerfulness.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

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