Do you find it hard to maintain a good mood? These three behaviours could be to blame.
In an ideal world, we’d all be in a good mood most of the time. After all, while there’s something weirdly satisfying about wallowing in a bad mood (ideally with a load of blankets and endless chocolate), being in a good mood makes life a little bit easier.
But despite this, very few of us stop to think about how the things we do (and the ways we think) could be affecting our moods.
Sure, your mood can be influenced by external factors – we’re looking at you, annoying person on the Tube – but a large part of how we feel is decided by the thought patterns and routines we follow on a day-to-day basis.
The only challenge is identifying these problem areas – and knowing how to address them – and that’s where this article comes in. To find out more about the factors which can affect your mood without you even realising – and what you can do to stop them – we spoke to master life coach Dr Krystal Conner. Here’s what she had to say.
Three factors that could be influencing your mood without you realising it – and how to fix them
1. Replaying the bad parts of your day
Humans have an innate negativity bias, and as such, it’s not abnormal to find yourself focusing on the bad things that happen throughout the day. However, failing to tackle this impulse can have a detrimental impact on your mood.
“Without even thinking about it, we often begin our day by replaying all of the things that went wrong the previous day, and while it seems like an innocent enough thing to do, it can put you in a negative mood,” Conner explains.
To tackle this, Conner adds, don’t try to stop yourself from reflecting on things that have happened throughout your day; instead, try to do so from an informational lens, focusing on both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
“Make a decision that you won’t allow yesterday to spill over into today,” she says. “And with that intention, decide how you will improve or do things differently, without dwelling on it.”
2. Comparing yourself to others
We’ve all compared ourselves to others at one time or another – but when you’re doing it regularly, it can have a surprisingly big impact on how you’re feeling about yourself.
“We all do it – often subconsciously, but comparison is a sure way to ruin your mood if you don’t catch it,” Conner says. “Looking at what others have achieved and comparing it to your own perceived shortcomings will make you feel like you are falling behind or are somehow less than.”
To tackle your need to compare yourself to others, Conner recommends turning your attention back towards yourself and making an active choice to celebrate your wins.
“You can celebrate the success and wins of others while reminding yourself of all of the accomplishments you have and will make in the future,” she says.
“Keeping a running list of all of the things that make you special, talented and worthy is a great way to do this.That way when you find yourself comparing, you can quickly focus on yourself – not only on the ways you can improve but also what ways you are already wonderful and amazing in your own right.”
3. Being indecisive
Putting things off and mulling over decisions may seem like the easiest way out in the moment, but delaying the inevitable can increase your stress levels.
“Not making decisions may not seem like a big deal, but it can be a sneaky mood buster,” Dr Conner says. “When you allow decisions to hang over your head, it causes undue stress and pressure.”
To fix this, Dr Conner recommends being strict with yourself when it comes to making decisions.
“Allow yourself set amounts of time to mull over a decision, and when the allotted time has expired, make the best possible decision you can,” she says. “The added benefit of this is that, over time, you will learn to trust yourself with decision-making. In the long run, this will help you to make decisions more quickly.”
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