What’s your default mode? How do you react when something bad or unexpected happens? When your significant other is in a bad mood do you get upset? Do you allow negative things and people to bring you down? Can you even answer any of these questions?
I ask this because for the longest time I wouldn’t have been able to answer any of these questions. Like many people, I was allowing my feelings to run in default mode. I didn’t even realize I was doing it.
The worst part was my default was the equivalent of jumping down a really dark rabbit hole. It was depressing and hard to get out of. For example, anytime my husband was in a bad mood, I internalized his anger and blamed myself for whatever was wrong. Even if it didn’t have anything to do with me whatsoever, I’d blame myself.
It took me 10 years not to do this. And, honestly, I still have to force myself to jump over that rabbit hole instead of jumping into it. It’s definitely one of those things that does not come natural to me. However, when he’s in a bad mood now I stop myself. I take the time to figure out what’s actually causing him to feel upset. Because I do this, I can recognize things outside of our marriage that are contributing to his mood. I still internalize some of it, but have found ways to redirect my energy to a more positive state.
One of my favorite things to do when I start to notice that I’m slipping into this state is to listen to music. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “when you’re happy you enjoy the music, when you’re sad you understand the lyrics” and felt like it was speaking to your soul, then you probably already familiar with the power of music. Music is one of those mediums that can leave you feeling depressed or like you can take on the world depending on the song you choose to listen to.
Sometimes, the songs that sound upbeat are riddled with depressing lyrics. Those depressing songs that were masked with an upbeat melody were my go to when I was jumping into my rabbit hole. Now that I’m trying not to jump in, but rather jump over the hole, I have to consciously select songs that will help lift my mood versus songs that will cause my mood to sink further.
If your default mode is as negative as mine can be, then it’s time to look for alternative ways of dealing with your emotions. Emotions are fickle. Don’t allow a fleeting feeling dictate your mood for any given period of time. Instead, find ways to boost your mood when things aren’t going well.
Let’s be honest, life is hard, it’s not what’s depicted on social media. There are good days and bad days, but you have the power to choose how you react to negative events in your life. If something happens and you honestly cannot control it, then why stress over it? Worrying about it won’t change it, but it will send you spiraling into a dark place. Once you’re in that dark place it’s hard to fix anything else that comes your way.
3 Easy Tips To Take Control Of Your Emotions
So, let’s discuss some different methods you can use to fend off those psychological vultures that tend to show up right when things are starting to go south. I’ve already discussed one, which is music. But, music isn’t the only medium that you can use to maintain your positive mindset. Dance and exercise are also great ways to counteract the blues. Exercise releases endorphins into the bloodstream. Endorphins attach to the pain receptors in the brain. Not only does it relieve pain, but it also creates mild euphoric response.
If music, dance, and exercise aren’t your things, then another medium to try is art. If you like painting, drawing, designing, or building things then do it. The sheer act of doing something you enjoy will lift your mood. It’ll distract you from whatever is bothering you. Plus, if you complete something you’re proud of, then you’ll benefit from the added confidence boost.
Not only is important to seek out things that will positively effect your mood, it’s also important to avoid things that you know will trigger you as well. For a lot of people, social media can be psychological war fare. Not only do you end up comparing yourself to someone else’s highlight reel, you’re also comparing yourself to things that aren’t actually real at all. Between photoshop, filters and fake followers, social media has turned into some alien realm.