How Your Moods Can Affect Your Health
By Dr. Michelle Kmiec, Founder OHH
Have you ever experienced a time in which you were feeling absolutely amazing, and then for no apparent reason your mood drastically changed and you became highly annoyed or frustrated? You must have wondered what caused this about-face to occur for no apparent reason. Perhaps you just chalked it up to hormonal changes or a lack of a good night’s sleep. Though good reasons, could there be additional explanations as to why your emotions seem to have a mind of their own from time to time?
Maybe it’s time to discover how you feel right now via personal observation.
The ability to tune into your feelings at any given moment can be an extremely useful tool, especially when it comes to removing negative stressors in your life. Though this sounds like a skill that would be fairly easy to learn, it is far from it. We can be skilled at lying to those around us, but this “skill” falls short when it comes to lying to ourselves.
When we are truthful with ourselves, we often experience emotions brought on by feelings of guilt, shame, weakness, and even inferiority, and because these emotions can be so powerful, many people simply tune them out.
They ignore these emotions, distance themselves from them, and then proclaim, “I don’t know how I feel.” Others deeply bury their feelings by using escape tactics such as alcohol or drugs to dull their senses even further.
We are all emotional and energetic beings and should feel free to express ourselves at any time. However, in many cultures, only “certain” emotions are acceptable, especially as it relates to gender.
If we deny and/or bury our emotions, how can we even begin to understand them, let alone control them? No emotion just appears out of thin air. All emotions have a “charge” rooted in a previous experience or assumptions that have been made.
It is important to note here that reactionary emotions are not to be confused with intuition, experiencing a “sensation” that triggers an emotional response. The two often get confused or are used interchangeably because both can have a visceral response even though they are very different by nature.
An example of a reactionary emotion is coming in contact with a rude individual and then immediately assuming that this person is mean-spirited and purposely attacking you. In this instance, you may respond in an angry manner. What you do not know, however, is that this seemingly rude person has just received the worst news of his or her life and that the “rude” behavior is really a reaction to the unfortunate news and has nothing to do with you.
Reactionary emotions are usually superficial and the responses coming out of them uncontrolled. Much like the mindless chatter that can overtake our thoughts and rob us of clear thinking.
An example of an intuitive emotion would be when you experience feelings from a nonjudgmental place of compassion. In other words, you are able to perceive the truth independent of any reasoning or conscious effort. Using the example above, had intuition kicked in, you might not have reacted angrily, but instead with compassion for someone who appears to be working through a personal struggle.
Intuitive emotions come from a deeper place without all of the internal chatter. They come from a calm, peaceful and controlled place within.
So, the next time you have a sudden change in mood, stop for a moment and write down and/or record why you believe the change occurred.
You will find that your own negative inner chatter which is still continuously replaying certain events is largely responsible for your change in mood. But this brings about an important question. Why hasn’t the issue, whatever it is, been resolved? Because if you allow this to continue, you can easily see how this can have a domino effect on your health, not to mention your state of well-being. So let’s try to get to the bottom of why you may be holding onto things that should have been let go of long ago.
Keep track of the day’s events as they occur, and note when you experience an instantaneous change in your mood. It’s important to record events as soon as they take place because waiting may cause you to forget initial feelings that may have changed your mood, as well as allow your imagination to intercede which could lead to the creation of assumptions.
You may also record how you feel during each of the day’s events so you can later invoke the emotions that you felt at the time. Make sure you are honest about your feelings. (In other words, don’t be politically correct. This is for YOUR eyes and ears only!) Make sure that you not only provide the details of how you felt at certain times, but also how your mood changed, and if there were any physical changes such as the sudden onset of fatigue or a headache.
At the end of the day go back and reread each event that sparked a change in your mood and ask yourself, did I react with reactionary emotion or intuitive emotion?
This is an amazing exercise and can really serve as a wonderful tool for better understanding those pesky mood shifts and why they occur!