Lets look at how employing mind over mood can change our relationship with our ever-changing moods to one of peace.
Angry moods, grumpy moods, childish moods ...they affect us all. My teacher used to get angry whenever I beat him at table football but I am sure it didn't affect his peace.
How is it possible to be grumpy and to experience peace at the same time?
Here is how. Our lack of peace stems, not from the mood itself, but from the mind's commentary that tells us there is something 'wrong' with feeling whatever we are feeling.
When we totally accept it without judgement, seeing that it is simply part of the constantly changing kaleidoscope of thoughts, feelings and emotions that come and go, then where is the problem? Moods, in themselves, are never a problem. They are simply energy moving.
Change your relationship with the the mind's commentary and there is peace.
The first thing to observe is that we have no control over our moods. They simply arise by themselves, sometimes caused by obvious factors, other times apparently uncaused.
Sometimes you simply get out of bed on the wrong side! Oftentimes, when I feel a bit flat, people around me are feeling the same. It is simply something in the air. Who knows why?
So, the first mind over mood tip is:
don't judge whatever it is you are experiencing
There is nothing 'wrong' with feeling whatever you
are feeling. The mood appeared by itself. You didn't choose it. It is
nobody's fault. So, as best you can, simply allow it to be there
without resistance. Saying YES to your mood will immediately
bring a level of peace to your experience.
The second tip is:
there is no need to analyse or understand
When we are feeling down or grumpy, the mind will automatically try to rationalise or understand why we are feeling what we are feeling. Getting involved in the mind's hypotheses about the mood is counter-productive and simply serves to energise the idea that there is something wrong. Without resistance or commentary, it is simple energy passing through.
Who knows why it is there? Maybe your neighbours have had a fight and you are picking up on it?
Why not focus instead on something positive such as gratitude or praise. Whether you give the mood your attention or not is a simple choice.
see choose happiness
Another powerful mind over mood strategy is to practice mindfulness, or present moment awareness.
Problems simply cannot exist in this moment.
The mind can only focus on one thing at a time. Practicing mindfulness keeps us anchored in the present moment. Whatever you are doing right now, give it your full attention.
If you are walking, feel the earth beneath your feet, feel the breeze on your face, be aware of your breathing or look around and appreciate the trees. If you are eating, chew consciously, feel the texture of the food in your mouth.
The extent to which we are affected by our moods is in direct proportion to the extent that we are identified with our minds. Rather than being defined by the mood, realise that the mood is not YOU. The mood is simply an event passing through the unchanging awareness which you are. See the mood as a passing phenomenon that need not touch you or affect your peace in any way.
The relationship with the mood then becomes ...so what!
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