Dark Mood Ahead. Detour on the Road to Joy
(Read in just over :03) “The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low.”~ Richard Carlson
Before you go getting the wrong idea about me, you need to know something. This is not just a little rah-rah-feel-good blog. You won’t get sugar shock reading my sweet posts. No sir, I’m not always feelin’ it. Somedays I just don’t take a seat on the sunshine bus. I’m wired to be cheerful and optimistic but now and then I short out and blow a breaker. When it happens, a dark mood can roll in on me as fast as a Nebraska thunder storm.
I’m not sure why, but even the most chipper person can have an off day for no apparent reason. Happiness is an elusive thing that plays peekaboo with us. When the clouds roll in and dump a dark mood on me, they pour on doubts and fears as well. That makes me even grumpier than the mood itself.
Hey, I’m the encourager here and I have a positive message to share! Then boom, a mindset blowout, like a flat tire on my mood. Just like a tire, it happens without warning, slows us down and it’s always a pain in the a**. It bugs me most when I can’t put my finger on why I ran into a detour on the road to joy.
Why did my mood ring turn black?
Remember mood rings? They were popular along with incense and ouija boards in the late 70’s. (Man, that was one strange era!) The color-changing stones had a lot more to do with our circulation than our frame of mind but that’s a topic for another day. If you’re too young to remember, a black stone denoted a grim outlook. If the set turned brilliant blue, the wearer was in a state of bliss.
I’m 100% sure that I am not alone in experiencing occasional transient dark moods. We get really good at hiding them and pretending to be deeply absorbed in something when someone asks if we’re ok. “Fine, fine!”, we answer. It’s a lie. Good news, though, researchers like Brene Brown have found a lot of negative triggers that can send us off the cliff. Not one of us is immune. Some days, we simply wake up “off”, just plain down or feeling weirdly ominous with nerves so jangled it feels like we have a triple espresso IV drip going on.
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ~Brene Brown
Common dark mood triggers
In my opinion, there are three primary reasons for our ugly moods and once we learn to recognize them, we can often talk ourselves right off the ledge. It’s important to remember we can’t always believe what we think!
- Comparing ourselves to others. There will always be someone richer, smarter, thinner or better looking than we are. That does not detract one bit from our value in the world. The comparison game is the root of endless and needless suffering.
- Lack of gratitude. When we lose sight of all the reasons we have to be grateful, we will never ever have enough. It is essential to be mindful of all we do have, right here and right now.
- Feeling we are never enough. There are many reasons why we sometimes feel unworthy or inferior, most are self-declared and all are the result of faulty thinking.
It’s always helpful for me to stop and reflect on which of these triggers has allowed a negative thought to take hold of my emotions. Focus and reflect on the inner dialog that led to your feelings and with practice, you can often think your way back out of an unhealthy frame of mind.
We’ll talk more about this subject next time! Brighter days ahead! See you Thursday!