Quick…how do you feel RIGHT NOW? Feeling a mood coming on? What’s it like? Maybe it’s that happy over-the-top feeling you hope lasts and lasts. Perhaps it’s a prickly irritation or a slow boil that has you teetering on the edge. It could even be a state of calm that feels like a favorite food or plush pillow.
Sprint, crawl, and standing still
Whatever you’re feeling, moods can make or break your day, but they aren’t always caused by just one thing. Moods are the result of a collection of things around you and inside you that become the houseguest you hope will stay forever or the interloper you fear will NEVER leave.
To get a grip on what you’re experiencing, it’s important to understand that emotions, moods, and traits are different.
Emotions are fleeting. They may last for mere seconds or hang in for a few minutes, but either way they are an immediate response to something. Sights, smells, sounds, and events can set them off. Memories from the past or thoughts about future can trigger an emotion as well.
Moods last for hours, days, and beyond. A mood is brought on by a series of events or activities, and can last for a while. Moods tend to be directed at the world rather than towards a particular thing.
Traits are simply who you are. Traits are pieces of your personality and are consistent throughout your life. They are how you describe yourself or how others describe you.
Moods change for a number of reasons – something building up with your boss, unchanging weather, hormonal shifts, issue at home, or too much sugar. And if it seems some people are more prone to moodiness, you’d be correct with that assumption.
People are different and in particular the GENDERS are different. For example, the male brain on average produces 52 percent more serotonin, a chemical that affects mood, than the female brain. This difference likely explains why men and women respond differently to dramas and sappy stories and why having a bad day can be harder for women to bounce from.
Another difference involves hormonal changes. Research shows that some parts of a woman’s brain can change up to 25 percent during a given month due to hormone shifts. Other life issues can exacerbate these changes. To avoid overreacting to a spontaneous barb from your mate, take a step back and breathe. We may not be consciously aware of it, but we all bring the emotional baggage of a day into the room so don’t make your first assumption your conclusion when you look at someone’s face or hear their tone of voice.
Where you live can affect mood
Researchers decided to see if moods vary per region based on their tweets on Twitter. They found that people on the west coast of the US are consistently happier. Check out the video below and start planning that west coast getaway for some feel good time.
If you can’t travel there, then maybe just read or watch something funny. Studies show humor is nearly a guaranteed way to lighten your mood. So go on – laugh out loud!
In addition to a deep belly laugh, go catch a few rays. This mood infographic shows how a little vitamin D goes a long way to helping people feel happy. To get the full benefit, skip the sunscreen for about 15 minutes unless there’s a medical reason you can’t.
Whether you’re feeling up or down one thing is certain: We can “catch” a mood. That’s why you sometimes take on the moods of others in your life. Paying attention to mood goes a long way to defining the emotional health of any relationship.