“To understand me, you have to meet me and be around me. And then only if I’m in a good mood- don’t meet me in a bad mood.” – Avril Lavigne
You would be surprised at what can affect your mood. Apart from the big and obvious ones like the weather, bad news or a break up, there are some sneaky ones that can affect your mood. Watch out for these 10 and learn how to turn them to your advantage.
1. Make sure your bedroom is completely dark
Poor sleep quality can put you in a bad mood for the whole day and everyone around you suffers. The key is, of course, light pollution. When a friend of mine bought black out curtains for his room, I was inclined to see it as a mere fad. But I was proved wrong because studies show that light pollution can really disturb your sleep. It interferes with the production of melatonin which is the essential for restful slumber. Actually, I should know because I often fall asleep with my bedside lamp on!
2. Is your clutter upsetting you?
See what happens when clutter gets in the way. You tend to multitask and your focus goes into a stop and go mode. This affects you in many negative ways:
- Frustration builds up as you cannot find things.
- Production is badly affected.
- Time is wasted.
- Mental fatigue sets in.
No prizes for guessing that you will be in a bad mood after all that searching and rebooting. One of the best solutions is to devote a few minutes a day at a set time to start getting rid of all that clutter or putting it in some order. Some studies show that if the objects are of a sentimental value, it is better not to touch them as this reinforces the emotional hold they have on you. Ask a friend or partner to help you here.
3. Facebook again!
Yes, it is true. All those great images and funny videos that your so called friends are posting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is just stoking the fires of envy inside you. As if that was not bad enough, your self esteem will sink and you will feel down. Limit your time on Facebook and watch a funny video, read a book or just listen to music. None of these activities requires any one-upmanship.
4. Stay away from negative people
“Nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around.” – Bill Watterson
You know those family members or friends who always complain that life has dealt them a really rough deal. Everything is wrong, bad and corrupt. It is contagious and toxic. Listening to that sort of stuff will affect your mood and you should try to steer towards confident, cheerful and positive people who will uplift and encourage you. Protect your emotional immune system.
5. Limit your media time
I must confess that I watch very little news bulletins these days on TV and try and reduce online news as well. The sheer misery, injustice and cruelty of human trafficking upsets me the most. I know that we will have to abolish slavery all over again. I get angry with the world and feel frustrated that I can do precious little. Yes, it does affect my mood so I limit it as much as I can. Today can only be lived once.
6. Too much/little sunlight could be bad for you
Normally we associate the lack of sunlight with depression and insomnia. This is the one that we call winter SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which apparently affects 5 percent of the population. But did you know that too much sunlight can affect a small number of people (about 1.5 million Americans) which is the summer version of SAD? Staying cool or in ideal temperatures is the best solution, if you are affected by the summer version. If you feel down in winter, light therapy sometimes can help.
7. Is your diet right?
Your diet could be affecting your mood. Look at the following ways you can set things right. If you are following the perfect diet and are always in a good mood, you can skip this bit.
Keri Grans, author of The Small Change Diet offers some great advice:-
- Make sure that you do not get hungry by not eating for long periods. This causes a drop in blood sugar and you get grumpy and feel lethargic
- If you stock up on lots of sugary carbs at breakfast, a sugar crash is on the cards. Then you really get cranky!
- Make sure that you are getting enough Omega3s by eating lots of fish, avocado and nuts. Studies show that low intake of these fatty acids is connected with depression.
- Ensure that you have enough iron-rich foods so that you do not get burn-out which could lead to fatigue and irritability. Eggs, beans, artichokes and red meat can help to redress the balance.
8. Happiness at work
There is a definite correlation, it seems, between happiness and productivity. Employers should read the study done at the University of Warwick which shows that there is a definite connection between happiness and better work all round. Happier employees were more efficient and stayed longer with the company than their unhappy colleagues. Providing ideal conditions with more flexibility would be a good place to start. That would put people in a better mood and increase profits!
9. Color Affects Your Mood
Pardon the pun, but this is a grey area! Lots of traditions, customs, rites , rituals and a few scientific studies are all attempting to illustrate how color affects our health and well being. The most fascinating area is how color might affect your mood. The work by Richard Hammer of the University of Missouri School of Medicine is interesting and also practical. He uses calming colors on his screensaver while he changes this to another one full of reds, oranges and other stimulating colors when he has to meet a deadline or get something done! Choose two of your favorite paintings which will have blues for easing tension while the other one will be full of bright colors. When you are in need of a change of mood, choose the one which best fits your immediate needs and stare at it for a few minutes.
10. Sweet dreams
Making sense of dreams is a rather hazardous business. But there is no doubt at all that waking up after a nightmare may leave us traumatized and nervous. A bad beginning to the day and our mood is likely to reflect that. After a sweet, ridiculous and funny dream, we are usually in a good mood and marvel at the complexity and lack of logic of the human brain. A friend of mine is a psychotherapist (Jungian school) and he uses dreams as a basis for all his work. An essential tool is that all patients have to make notes of their dreams, once they wake up. If you are into dreams, you might like to keep a dream diary.
As we have seen, there are lots of weird and wonderful things which can affect your mood. Would you like to tell us about them?
Featured photo credit: Macolin sur Bienne/ Jean-Daniel Echenard via flickr.com