I have yet to run into someone who doesn’t admit to an up and down pattern in their moods. Yes, some people are typically up, and others are typically down. Some of us have very steep up and downs. Others have more gently rolling ups and downs. Others have a mix depending on where we are in the ride.But nobody has ever told me that they are in the same mood all the time. We all ride some type of mood roller coaster.
Here is a key to understanding our moods and this ride we are on. We often think of moods as feelings, but I find it is more accurate to think of moods as a characteristic of thought. Moods are highly linked to our thought capabilities.
Think of it this way: We feel our thoughts, and when we are feeling our moods, we are feeling an indicator of whether our thoughts are up or down.
Like the high position on a roller coaster, up moods are characterized by a high perspective, being able to see more.
As we plunge, our focus is more and more narrow, more stuck on the low point in front of us.
As indicators of our thinking, up moods are characterized by more openness, can do thinking, confidence, security. Down moods are characterized by more narrow-mindedness, can’t do thinking, doubts, insecurity.
Rather than seeing our thoughts and feelings as something we catch from the outside world, think of them as characteristics that ebb and flow naturally within us. We then project them into the outside world based on our position on the mood roller coaster.
States like passion, tenacity, enthusiasm, and happiness aren’t things we catch from the outside world. They are lights we shine upon it while we are up.
Anger, frustration, and irritation aren’t feelings the outside world forces upon us. They are projectiles we hurl at it from a low mood.
This ebb and flow of moods is very natural, and one thing that seems to provide most people comfort in their low points is to remember that no matter how low we sink, the ride always rises again.