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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra

What’s Driving Your Mood Today? Insights and Interventions for Emotional Well-Being

*Also published on Medium  <- Take a look*


Moods — something we all feel, but most of us don’t really pay that much attention to.

But they are actually more complicated than we assume and influence our thoughts and actions a lot more than we give them credit for.


Our moods can change on a dime — from happy and content to irritable and angry, or any emotion in between. 😊 😠


Moods can shift just as easily as smiles on a cloudy day — from the pure joy of recently seeing an old friend, or finishing a tasty meal, to blood pumping with fury at being cut off in traffic, to just about any feeling in between.


But what exactly drives how we feel? 😕


Let’s take a closer look at the things that affect our mood and see if we can figure out what dictates our emotions and what we can do to manage them.


 

What Is A Mood Exactly?


While feelings and emotions are intense and short-lived, moods are more low-key emotional states that can last for minutes, days, or even weeks.


So what’s the difference? 🤔


Well, feelings and emotions are usually linked to a specific trigger — like seeing a scary movie or getting a good grade on a test.


These triggers cause an intense emotional reaction that doesn’t last very long.

Moods, on the other hand, while still linked to your emotions, are more general states of being.


Just like emotions, moods can vary in valence, but generally, people categorize them as good or bad.


Okay, now that you have a more general understanding of what moods are, let’s see what affects them. 💫


 

Factors Influencing Our Mood


It’s no secret that our moods can greatly impact our lives.


If you think about it, moods play a role in many aspects of your day-to-day and even relationships with people.


They can affect how productive we are at work, and they can influence the decisions we make and affect our communication with the people around us.


That’s why it’s important to understand what are the factors that have led to the mood and emotions you are experiencing.


  • The first factor we want to talk about is sleep. 😴

You might have noticed that when you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to be in a good mood and have the energy to take on the day.


And in contrast — lack of sleep can cause you to feel down, irritated, lethargic and even angry.


  • Another key factor worth mentioning is the environment. 🌳

Surroundings have a significant effect on mood. Sunny, natural settings often lift our spirits, while cluttered, chaotic surroundings stress us out.


Seasonal changes affect us too.


We all know that walking around in nature is something that can bring up your mood. However, interestingly, nature can also have the opposite effect on your state.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is categorized as a mood disorder, is most reported during seasons with bad weather, darker days, and colder temperatures.


  • And, of course, the food we eat can also profoundly impact how we feel and think. 🍔🥗

There is a strong body of research linking diet and mental health.


Diets rich in sugar can lead to mood swings due to blood sugar crashes, while balanced diets designed to lower inflammation — such as those rich in vegetables, fruit and omega-3 fatty acids — have been linked to lower levels of depression.


Research in the area of food and depression is becoming a hot topic and has generally shown that the way you eat can, in fact, affect your mind.


So next time you feel off, take a step back and see if you can narrow down the cause.


By understanding what affects our moods, we can take steps to improve them. 💚


 

Practical Steps To Improve Our Mood


Unfortunately, improving your mood might take more than just ice cream and cheering yourself up with positive words. 😊


But don’t worry — the steps you need to take are pretty straightforward and they will help you in fostering lasting emotional health:


  • 😴 I cannot highlight enough the importance of getting a good 6–7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It will not only bring your mood up but also fill you with energy, which might be helpful for our next point.

  • 🏋️ Exercise 🏃‍♀️ — whether talking about a walk in nature or lifting weights at the gym, exercise will undoubtedly help lift up your mood (no pun intended). Physical activity releases endorphins, known as the body’s natural mood lifters.

  • 🍱 Of course, a well-balanced and healthy diet is also something that can keep you happy and full of energy. Foods high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help to ease the biochemical imbalances that can cause mood swings.

  • 🧘 Incorporate Mindfulness and Meditation. These are powerful tools for mood regulation. By fostering a state of awareness and presence, mindfulness helps you acknowledge and accept your feelings without judgment. 🌿 Meditation, whether guided or through techniques like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, can reduce stress and enhance overall emotional resilience. Regular practice can help you maintain a more consistent mood and increase your capacity to manage stress effectively.

  • 🤗 And last but not least, if you’re looking to improve your mood, be sure to surround yourself with friends and loved ones who will make you laugh and help you see the glass half full.

I also want to mention that in some cases these things don’t seem to be enough to change your mood.


If this is happening to you, it’s important to seek and work with a professional who could help you get to the root of the problem. 💟


After all, your mental health is just as important as your physical health!


 

You don’t have to walk this path alone… 🤝


If you find yourself longing for deeper emotional resilience and a harmonious balance in your inner journey, know that you’re not alone.


I support individuals who, like you, navigate the complexities of life, helping them find serenity, inner resilience and purpose.


Let me show you how to cultivate mindfulness, embrace personal growth, and foster a life aligned with your authentic self.


Schedule a pesonalized session with me by visiting this link.



I’d also like to offer you a Free 23-pg Guide to start your Own Mindfulness Journey:


You can check out my Free Meditations on Insight Timer: https://insighttimer.com/Renew_with_Alexandra


Embark on your journey to Inner Harmony with me by your side. 🌿

For more inspiration, follow me @_renew_therapy on Instagram.

Ready to transform? Let’s connect!

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